How to get a driver’s license in Croatia: Guide for 2024

Cars on the road
Cars in Split

UPDATED: 14.3.2023.

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.

In this post, we cover:

Let’s take a ride…

How to get a driver’s license in Croatia

Who can apply for a Croatian driver’s license?

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

  • Croatian citizen who is a registered Croatian resident
  • Croatian citizen who is a temporary Croatian resident with prebivalište or boravište for a period of at least 185 days
  • EU/EEA citizen who is a Croatian resident or is educated in Croatia
  • Third-country national who is a Croatian resident for at least 185 days in the calendar year and has a temporary or permanent residency

[Read: Available visas and residence permits for Croatia]

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.

#1 Attending autoškola (driving school)

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

You must attend a driving school if:

  • 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-EU/EEA 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.

[Read: How to find administrative police stations 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 the urgency, there are three options for requesting a driver’s license:

  • Regular 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 (available only in Zagreb)
  • Home delivery

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 the following:

  • Personal identity card
  • Certificate of passing the driving test when applying for the first time (if you passed the test before January 1, 2018)
  • Your old driver’s license for extension, if applicable
  • Medical certificate about driving capability not older than 15 months
  • 35×45 mm photography
  • Proof of payment
    • All possible administrative costs for this procedure are available here.
  • Proof of identity and an appropriate document proving you are a Croatian resident or that you’re in Croatia as a student for at least 6 months (if you are not a Croatian citizen)

Payment information is available here. Learn how to pay bills (invoices) in Croatia here.

If you got a biometric passport, electronic ID card, an ID card with OIB, or e-driver’s license issued from September 4, 2017 during the past 5 years, you don’t have to provide a picture if your appearance has not changed significantly.

[Read: How to apply for a national ID card (osobna iskaznica)]

If you are applying for your first driver’s license, you no longer have to provide your Certificate of the passed driver’s exam. It is electronically delivered to MUP.

After submission of the request, 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 a driver’s license. The certificate must be returned to the police station when picking up your official license.

A Croatian citizen who has an electronic identity card can submit a request for a 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 a change in personal data, but it must be valid.

[Read: e-Građani (e-Citizens) – Online portal for Croatian government services]

What is a medical certificate?

A medical certificate is a 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 medical 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 15 months, so it is best to finish the driver’s school within this period. If you finish it after, you will have to repeat the medical testing. The certificate price varies depending on the medical practice. Private practices are usually more expensive.

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

[Read: How to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian one]

Where to pick up your driver’s license in Croatia?

Pick up the finished driver’s license according to the method of your request:

  • Standard procedure – at the police station where you submitted the request
  • Accelerated procedure – at the police station where you submitted the request
  • Urgent procedure – only at the main police administration in Zagreb, Heinzelova 98
  • Home delivery – you must pick it up once a postman delivers it to your home address, or they will return it to MUP

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.

Validation period for a Croatian driver’s license

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

[Read: Vehicle and driver’s license categories in Croatia]

People with 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.

View our other driving posts

Vozačka dozvola by MUP
Izdavanje vozačke dozvole by MUP
Uvijek je dobro znati: Koliko dugo vam vrijede vozačke dozvole za sve kategorije?! by HAK

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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