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

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. You may exchange your foreign license in any administrative police station in Croatia.

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

What is the EGP?

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 EGP member country.

EGP (Europski gospodarski prostor) or EEA (European Economic Area) is an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union‘s single market to non-EU member parties. EGP 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
Old cars in Croatia
Image by Reuters

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

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

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

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Foreign driver’s license issued in a country, which is a member of the EGP
  3. Passport photo (35×45 mm)
  4. A tax stamp of 15 kn or online proof of payment
    1. Payment description: “državne upravne pristojbe”
    2. IBAN: HR1210010051863000160, model HR64, poziv na broj 5002-713-[YOUR OIB]
  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
    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 which is NOT a member of the EGP

If your driver’s license was issued in a foreign country that is not a member of EGP, 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.

If you drive with a foreign non-EGP 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-EGP driver’s license, go to an administrative police station and bring these documents:

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Foreign driver’s license issued in a foreign country
  3. 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)
  4. Medical certificate stating driving capability (not older than 6 months, more on this below)
  5. Photo (35×45 mm)
  6. A tax stamp of 35 kn or online proof of payment
    1. Payment description: “državne upravne pristojbe”
    2. IBAN: HR1210010051863000160, model HR64, poziv na broj 5002-713-[YOUR OIB]
  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
    4. IBAN državnog proračuna HR1210010051863000160, model HR65, poziv na broj 7005-477-[YOUR OIB] — Here are instructions on how to make this payment
Driving in Croatia with foreign driver's license
Image by Colcorsa

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.

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6 thoughts on “How to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian driver’s license

  1. Anastasia Kingsley
    September 10, 2019 @ 6:37 pm

    Hi Marija,

    What a timely topic. In 2016, I transferred my US driver’s license to a Croatian one. It took me 100€ (about 740 kunas) for the process, which took a couple of months. Like you said in your article, I had to have some tests done, but no driving tests.

    Getting an appointment was tough, and it’s only available in a few places. I was given an eye test and even a psychological test (amazing)! It wasn’t too difficult, just see how a series of shapes change in sequence, I suppose they want to see if you can pick up on subtle changes. I needed to get some paperwork translated and solemnified by a court translator, new photos were taken and fees were paid (tax stamps) for the new license to be processed at the local police station. I had to give my American driver’s license back when I received my Croatian one since it’s “one or the other but not both”.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 11, 2019 @ 11:18 am

      Hi Anastasia,

      Thank you for sharing your experience! You make a good point about having to trade in your American license. I will add that to the post. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. Ivan
    September 19, 2019 @ 3:25 pm

    Hi Marija,
    Here’s another variation of the situation. You mention that if you’re exchanging a foreign license for a Croatian one, that you must hand in your foreign license. If instead of exchanging a foreign license, you go through the whole Croatian driving school process and earn your Croatian license independently instead of exchanging for it, do you then get to keep both licenses?

    Or if I request another copy of my foreign license, and for the formality I just hand in one copy in Croatia as a direct exchange to get a Croatian one, and keep the other copy back abroad to use there, am I good to go? I would drive in Croatia only with the Croatian license, and when abroad with the foreign license.

    I have a foreign license now (not European), and am also a Croatian citizen, but have never had any driver’s license in Croatia. I’m in Croatia seasonally, but definitely still need my foreign license for the rest of the year. When in Croatia I only drive a relative’s car, but if I ever want to register my own car, or if I decide to live more of the year in Croatia (say 8 months), I would want a Croatian license, and am wondering what’s the best option. Really, I would need some way to maintain both. Thoughts?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 24, 2019 @ 12:28 pm

      Hi Ivan,

      Those are definitely valid loopholes in the system that would allow you to keep both licenses. As long as you don’t use your foreign license here in Croatia or your Croatian license in your home country, then you should be fine keeping both active.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Paola
    October 2, 2019 @ 6:36 pm

    Process is easy if you want just for car, when you want for motorcycle then things change little bit. I done it and was quite fast. You need to have HZZO head doctor appointed to give you the fit to drive. Then just go to doctor which is authorize by police for making the medical tests. They will make regular check up, as normal routine questions take pressure weight etc, and then you have to pass the Psyco test. Once you get the paper that all is good you go to police, you pay and render your driver license which have to be still valid at the time you request the change to Croatian one, and in the time you ask if normal procedure or urgent in two days you get your driver license valid for 10!years from the date they make you new one. Note: my license was in Spanish and i am from Panama so no EU partner country nothing. I didn’t have to translate nothing. I think this apply for licenses on Vietnamese or Chinese or other hard to read language.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 3, 2019 @ 8:39 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Paola!

      {reply}

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