How to get a driver’s license

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In most larger cities in Croatia, there is enough reliable public transport that having a car is not needed. However, sometimes it is easier to mingle around having your own vehicle, especially if you live outside of cities or have a family, in which case you would need a driver’s license (called “vozačka dozvola”).

You may drive in Croatia with a valid foreign driver’s license depending on where it was issued. If you have a foreign driver’s license, take a look at this post first.

The following people can apply for a Croatian driver’s license:

  • A Croatian citizen who is a registered Croatian resident
  • A Croatian citizen who is a temporary Croatian resident for a period of at least 185 days
  • An EEA state citizen who is a Croatian resident or is educated in Croatia
  • A foreigner who is a Croatian resident for at least 185 days in the calendar year and has a temporary or permanent residency

How to apply for a Croatian driver’s license

We have collected all the useful information and requirements into one helpful guide to make the process of getting a driver’s license in Croatia easier for you.

Autoškola auta - Driving school cars
Image by TPortal

1. Autoškola (Driving School)

There are several cases in which you must take driving school before applying for a driver’s licenses. These cases are:

  • You’ve never held a driver’s license before
  • You hold an expired foreign driver’s license
  • You hold a current or expired foreign driver’s license issued from a non-EGP country AND you have been in Croatia for more than 1 year

If you have a foreign driver’s license and wish to exchange it for a Croatian license, please go to this post.

There is so much to cover with regards to driving school, that we created another post for that. Here is everything you need to know about taking driving school in Croatia, including what you will learn, how long it will take and how much it will cost.

Once you have completed driving school or if you are not required to take driving school, you can move on to the next section of this post.

2. Requesting a driver’s license

After you finish driving school, you can request a license. You can submit the request at any administrative police station in Croatia.

If you already have a driver’s license, you can extend or replace it at administrative police stations too. If you are a foreigner, you may exchange your license for a Croatian driver’s license by following these instructions.

In most cases, you won’t need your driver’s license urgently. However, there are some cases when you need your driver’s license immediately or in a very short period.

Depending on urgency, there are three options:

  • Standard procedure – Ready to pick up in a period of 30 days from submitting the request.
  • Accelerated procedure – Ready to pick up in a period of 3 working days from submitting the request.
  • Urgent procedure – Ready to pick up in a period of 24 hours from submitting the request.

If you need to get your driver’s license for the first time or extend the old one, go to the police station and bring these documents:

  • Certificate of the Passed Driver’s Exam if this will be your first license or your old driver’s license for extension
  • Medical certificate about driving capability (not older than 6 months —More on this below)
  • Photography (35×45 mm)
  • A tax stamp of 35 kn or online proof of payment
    • Payment description: “državne upravne pristojbe”
    • IBAN: HR1210010051863000160, model HR64, poziv na broj 5002-713-[YOUR OIB])
  • Proof of payment for the procedure
  • A personal identity card
  • If you are not a Croatian citizen, you also need to enclose a proof of identity and an appropriate document proving that you are a Croatian resident or that you’re in Croatia as a student for at least 6 months

After submission, you will receive a certificate proving your request for the driver’s license, which is valid for one month. It can be used to drive a vehicle as an alternative to the driver’s license. The certificate must be returned to the police station when picking up your official license.

An exception: A Croatian citizen who has a new electronic identity card can submit a request for the driver’s license via the e-građani web application. This is possible only when requesting the license for the first time or when you need a replacement due to damage or change in personal data, but it must be valid.

Croatian driver's license
Image by Sixt Rental Car

Medical certificate

A medical certificate is proof that you are able to drive a car or other vehicle. Before enrolling in the driver’s school, you have to pass this test.

The test includes a check of:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Motor skills
  • Heart work
  • Blood pressure
  • Injury existence
  • Physical abnormalities
  • Intelligence
  • Personality type

Before testing, check which medical practices in your city offer this service. Some police stations will give you a list of doctors. When you find a practice, take your identity card and a medical certificate about your health condition from your family doctor with you.

After passing the test, you will get Uvjerenje o tjelesnoj i duševnoj sposobnosti za upravljanje vozilom određene kategorije (Certificate of physical and mental ability to drive a vehicle from a particular category).

This certificate is valid for 6 months so keep in mind that it is best if you finish the driver’s school within this period. If you finish it after, you will have to take the medical testing once more. The certificate price varies from 250 to 400 kn depending on the practice. Private practices are usually more expensive.

If you want to exchange your foreign driving license for the Croatian driver’s license, you also need to enclose a medical certificate.

Where can you pick up your driver’s license?

You can pick up the finished driver’s license according to your request:

  • Standard procedure – At the police station where you submitted the request or you can choose delivery to your address, which costs 30 kn.
  • Accelerated procedure – At the police station where you submitted the request.
  • Urgent procedure – Only at the main police administration in Zagreb (Heinzelova 98).

If you don’t pick up your license within 90 days, the driver’s license will be canceled. That means you must repeat the application process again.

What is the validation period?

Driver’s licenses for vehicles categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE, F, and G are valid for a period of 10 years. Licenses for vehicles categories C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, DE, and H are valid for a period of 5 years.

  • A detailed vehicle classification in Croatia is available here.
  • Usual vehicle classification in Croatia is available here.

People with a specific health conditions which are not an obstacle to driving can get a driver’s license for a shorter period. This includes problems with eyesight, diabetes, specific heart diseases, specific mental diagnoses, and specific chronic diseases which can have an impact on driving or result in dysfunctional motor skills.

In this case, the doctor who gave you a medical certificate will give you health permission for a period of several years after which you must repeat the health check. This period can’t be shorter than one year.

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