Driving lessons and driving licences

Driving licences are granted on completion of driving lessons with a driving instructor and lessons at a driving school. Driving licences can be obtain at the age of 17 at the earliest.

Driving lessons

  • Young people can begin taking driving lessons for passenger cars at the age of 16 although the licence in not granted until the age of 17. The licence age for light motorcycles (scooters) is 15 and 16 for tractors.
  • To begin taking driving lessons a certified driving instructor must be contacted. The driving instructor manages both the practical and the theoretical part of of the lessons and recommends a driving school where the theoretical part takes place.
  • Driving students can engage in practice driving in a car with an instructor other than the driving instructor. The conditions for permission for practice driving are:
  • that the student has completed at least the first half of the theoretical studies and has received sufficient practical training in the opinion of the driving instructor
  • that the practice instructor has reached the age of 24 and has at least 5 years driving experience
  • that the practice instructor has a permit for which an application is made to the district magistrate in the area in question. In Reykjavík such application shall be made to the Chief of Police.

Driving test

  • Driving tests are held on a regular basis by Frumherji which has service centres throughout Iceland and is responsible for the execution of tests on behalf of the Road Traffic Directorate.
  • On completion of the theoretical studies, a written examination is taken. Permission to take the test must be obtained in advance. Such permit may be obtained by applying for a driver's licence to the district magistrate. In Reykjavík the application shall be sent to the District Magistrate og the Greater Reykjavík area in Kópavogur.
  • Forms are available from the magistrates and in driving schools. Applications may be made anywhere in Iceland irrespective of residence.
  • The practical test may be taken on completion of practical lessons and when the written test has been passed.

Driving licences

  • Those who pass the driving test can be issued with a temporary driving permit on the same day by the Chief of Police in exchange for the submission of a driving lessons log signed by the test examiner.
  • Driving licences are delivered within a few days after the driving test is taken. The first driving licence is temporary and applies for three years.
  • A permanent licence is issued no sooner than one year after passing the driving test. Applications for permanent licenses shall be submitted to district magistrate office. In Reykjavik applications must be submitted to the District Magistrate of the Greater Reykjavík area in Kópavogur.
  • Conditions for the issue of a permanent licence is that the driver has not received penalty points for traffic violations during the past year and has undergone a ability test performed by a driving instructor.

Renewal

  • General driving licences are valid until the holder reaches the age of 70. After the age of 70 the licence must be renewed on a regular basis. 
  • If more than two years pass from the expiry of a driving licence, an ability test must be taken before the licence is renewed.
  • Those whose licence has been revoked will need to pass the driving test again if the revocation has lasted more than one year.
  • Beginners with temporary licences, who have lost their driving licence or are banned from driving must take part in a special course and must pass a driving test to get their licence again.

Licence categories

  • General driving rights are specified as B-rights in the driving licence and grant the right to operate various vehicles in addition to passenger cars.
  • Increased (Advanced) driving rights, such as the right to drive lorries, buses, trailers and to transport passengers for commercial purposes, requires participation in the appropriate courses in a driving school.
  • The right to operate industrial machines is granted by the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health in Iceland.

Links of interest