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How to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian one: Guide for 2023

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UPDATED: 02/11/2022

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.

The rules for exchanging a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian one vary depending on whether you have a driver’s license from an EU/EEA member state or a third country (non-EU/EEA member state).

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

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

Exchanging foreign driver’s licenses in Croatia

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 the 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:

  • 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
  • Non-EU countries
    • Iceland
    • Liechtenstein
    • Norway

Note: 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 an EU/EEA driver’s license for Croatian?

In Croatia, you may drive using a driver’s license issued by a member of the EU/EEA until its expiration date. Exchanging the EU/EEA driver’s license for the Croatian driver’s license isn’t mandatory.

After your EU/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 EU/EEA driver’s license with a Croatian one right away.

[Read: How EU/EEA citizens can get temporary residence in Croatia]

[Read: How EU/EEA citizens can apply for permanent residency in Croatia]

If you want to exchange your EU/EEA driver’s license for a Croatian license, you must go to an administrative police station in Croatia.

You must provide:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence in Croatia
  • Foreign driver’s license issued in an EU/EEA country
  • Passport photo (35×45 mm)
  • Proof of payment for the procedure
    • Regular procedure – 151 kuna (20,04 €)
    • Regular procedure with delivery to home address – 181 kuna (24,02 €)
    • Accelerated procedure – 200 kuna (26,54 €)
    • Urgent procedure (available only in Zagreb) – 450 kuna (59,73 €)

Payment information is available here.

Instructions on how to make this payment are available here.

[Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]

How to exchange a non-EU/EEA (third country) driver’s license for Croatian?

If your driver’s license was issued in a foreign country that is not a member of the EU/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 driver’s license with a Croatian driver’s 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.

[Read: How third-country (non-EU/EEA) citizens can apply for temporary residency in Croatia]

[Read: How third-country citizens can apply for permanent residency in Croatia]

If you drive with a foreign non-EU/EEA license after a year, the license isn’t considered valid in Croatia anymore. 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.

[Read: How to take driving school (autoškola)]

To exchange your non-EU/EEA driver’s license, you must go to an administrative police station in Croatia.

You must provide:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence in Croatia
  • Foreign driver’s license issued in a third (non-EU/EEA) country
  • Translation of a foreign driver’s license if driving categories and a validation period isn’t clear (if more than 6 months has expired)
  • Medical certificate stating driving capability (not older than 6 months, more on this below)
  • Photo (35×45 mm)
  • Proof of payment for the procedure
    • Regular procedure – 151 kuna (20,04 €)
    • Regular procedure with delivery to home address – 181 kuna (24,02 €)
    • Accelerated procedure – 200 kuna (26,54 €)
    • Urgent procedure (available only in Zagreb) – 450 kuna (59,73 €)

Payment information is available here.

Instructions on how to make this payment are available here.

[Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]

Additional information on exchanging driver’s licenses in Croatia

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

All categories that are visible in your current driving license will be transferred to a new Croatian license.

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.

View our other driving articles


Sources: 
Zamjena vozačke dozvole by MUP
Vozačka dozvola by MUP

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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