Driving Licence Information
The Australian Embassy in Rome is aware of the difficulties faced by Australian residents in Italy seeking to acquire an Italian drivers’ licences. At this time, there is no reciprocal agreement between our two countries and Australian licences cannot be automatically converted into Italian licences.
Discussions are continuing with Italian authorities to find a mutually acceptable resolution to this matter. We appreciate the practical difficulties it causes to Australians who are resident in Italy. The following FAQs may help to answer some of your questions.
Do I need an Italian driver’s licence?
According to article 135 of the Italian road code, foreigners in Italy who are not registered with Italian local councils may drive indefinitely in Italy, provided they have an International Driving Permit or official translation of their original licence. However, if you do register as a resident in Italy, after one year you will no longer be allowed to drive using an Australian licence with a translation or International Driving Permit and will need to apply for an Italian driving licence. In order to obtain an Italian driving licence you are required to sit a driving test in Italian (or French or German in the regions of Val D’Aosta and Trentino Alto Adige respectively where these are also official languages).
These rules do not only apply to Australians residing in Italy, but also to other nationalities.
What is the Australian Government doing to make it easier for Australians resident in Italy?
We continue to pursue the matter with the Italian government. We are currently working to progress negotiations through a Memorandum of Understanding with Italy to facilitate recognition of Australian drivers licences by Italian authorities. The issues are complex but we continue to advocate for a solution that will be agreeable to all parties in order to make it easier for Australians residing in Italy. DFAT is working closely with Austroads – the apex organisation of road transport and traffic agencies in Australia and New Zealand.
Why do Italians get to exchange their licenses in Australia?
While it is possible for an Italian licence to be converted into an Australian licence in most Australian states and territories, this procedure is based on decisions made by each Australian jurisdiction and not an arrangement that is only applied to Italy (you can see the full list of recognised countries and jurisdictions here: www.austroads.com.au/drivers-vehicles/overseas-driver-licences/applying-for-a-licence.
What about a bridging license?
Unfortunately, this proposal has been deemed incompatible with Italian and EU legislation as well as the Geneva Convention of Road Traffic and the 1968 Vienna Convention of Road Traffic.
What about reinstating the English test?
The Italian Government has confirmed that the written exam is limited to the country’s official languages: Italian, French (in Val d’Aosta) and German (in Trentino Alto).
What about other countries?
This issue extends well beyond Australians: it also affects those coming from the US, Canada and New Zealand, among others.
Have further questions?
For further assistance and clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us on ph: +39 06852721 from Monday to Friday between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm.