How to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian one: Guide for 2022

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A foreign driver’s license can be exchanged for a Croatian driver’s license (called “vozačka dozvola”) without taking any additional driving exams, in most cases. Before you can exchange a license, you must be a legal resident of Croatia.

You may exchange your foreign license at most administrative police stations in Croatia. In Zagreb in particular, you must go to Heinzelova 98 as they do not process exchanges at their main office at Petrinjska 30.

How to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian license

What is the EEA?

There are two scenarios under which you can exchange your foreign driver’s license for a Croatian one, depending on whether or not your license is from an EEA member country.

EEA (European Economic Area) or EGP (Europski gospodarski prostor) is an international agreement that enables the extension of the European Union‘s single market to non-EU member parties. EEA was founded in 1994 to create a single market that enables a free movement of people, goods, services, and capital. EEA was created to enable participation in the single market to country members of EFTA without joining the EU.

EPG includes these countries:

  • EU countries
    • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK*
  • Non-EU countries
    • Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway

*The UK will not be part of the EU after December 31, 2020. People with UK driver’s licenses are encouraged to exchange their licenses for a Croatian driver’s license by the end of the year to avoid having to take a driver’s test. You can read more about this on the UK government’s web site here.

1. You have a driver’s license from a country that is a member of the EEA

In Croatia, you may drive using a driver’s license issued by a member of the EEA until its expiration date. Exchanging the EEA driver’s license for the Croatian driver’s license isn’t mandatory. After your EEA driver’s license expires, you may extend it at any administrative police station in Croatia. If your license is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get a new one.

However, after you get a temporary or permanent stay in Croatia, if you want, you can replace your EEA driver’s license with a Croatian one right away.

If you want to exchange your EEA driver’s license for a Croatian license, go to an administrative police station and bring these documents:

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Proof of residence in Croatia
  3. Foreign driver’s license issued in a country, which is a member of the EEA
  4. Passport photo (35×45 mm)
  5. Proof of payment for the procedure
    1. 151 kn for a regular procedure
    2. 200 kn for an accelerated procedure
    3. 450 kn for an urgent procedure (available only in Zagreb)
    4. IBAN državnog proračuna HR1210010051863000160, model HR65, poziv na broj 7005-477-[YOUR OIB] — Here are instructions on how to make this payment.

2. You have a driver’s license from a country that is NOT a member of the EEA

If your driver’s license was issued in a foreign country that is not a member of EEA, then you may use your foreign driver’s license for a period of one year after coming to Croatia. After a year, you are required to replace your foreign license for a Croatian license.

However, after you get a temporary or permanent stay in Croatia, if you want, you can replace your foreign driver’s license with a Croatian one right away.

If you drive with a foreign non-EU/EEA license after a year, the license isn’t considered valid anymore (in Croatia). It would be the same as if you’re driving without a driver’s license at all.

If your license has been expired for more than 6 months, you cannot exchange it for a Croatian license. In this case, you must enroll in driving school and take the standard procedure to get a Croatian driver’s license. You can read all about driving school here.

To exchange your non-EEA driver’s license, go to an administrative police station and bring these documents:

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Proof of residence in Croatia
  3. Foreign driver’s license issued in a foreign country
  4. A translation of a foreign driver’s license if driving categories and a validation period isn’t clear (if more than 6 months has expired)
  5. Medical certificate stating driving capability (not older than 6 months, more on this below)
  6. Photo (35×45 mm)
  7. Proof of payment for the procedure
    1. 151 kn for a regular procedure
    2. 200 kn for an accelerated procedure
    3. 450 kn for an urgent procedure (available only in Zagreb)
    4. IBAN državnog proračuna HR1210010051863000160, model HR65, poziv na broj 7005-477-[YOUR OIB] – Here are instructions on how to make this payment

Other important information

If you are trading in your driver’s license, you must surrender your foreign license at the time of picking up your Croatian license. You cannot have both.

If the date of issue isn’t specified on your current license, you must provide confirmation from the foreign competent authority about the date of issue for every driving category. If you don’t enclose the confirmation, the first date of issue will be taken as the general date of issue.

You don’t need to provide a passport photo if you have already received a biometric passport, an e-identity card, an identity-card with OIB or an e-driver’s license in the past five years from the Republic of Croatia.


Sources: 
https://mup.gov.hr/gradjani-281562/moji-dokumenti-281563/vozacka-dozvola-332/zamjena-vozacke-dozvole/281743
https://mup.gov.hr/vozacka-dozvola-281592/281592

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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