Driving in Austria

How to get a driver's licence in Austria

The legal age to drive in Austria is 18. Anyone wishing to drive in Austria should keep the following in mind:

  • Within the period of November 1 and April 15, winter tyres are mandatory
  • It is mandatory to drive with the lights on at all times
  • The "Autobahn Vignette " should be stuck on the windshield (otherwise, a fine up to 120€ can be issued)
  • A number of rental agencies prohibit cars from being taken to eastern European countries and anyone being caught doing so will be charged with attempted auto theft.

Moreover, if your driving licence is not in German and if it doesn't follow the EU Guidelines on driving licences, it must come with either an official translation or an International Driving Permit to be valid in the country, regardless of the length of your stay in Austria.

Exchanging your licence

If your driver's licence is from the EU/EEA, then you can take it o the Austrian driving authority to exchange it for an Austrian licence. This is not mandatory.

Licences from non-EU countries must be exchanged within six months of arriving in Austria.

Those with licences from the following countries do not need to sit any tests: Andorra, Japan, Croatia, Monaco, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, Canada, South Africa, Korea (if issued after 01/01/1997) and USA.

If you do not fall in either of the above categories, you will have to sit the full exam (theory and practice) to get a driving licence, except if you possess the Austrian nationality.

For the exchange of licence, you can go to any administration dealing with driver's licence (Führerscheinbehörde), regardless of your place of residency. The addresses of the the different Führerscheinbehörde can be found under:

http://www.bmvit.gv.at/verkehr/strasse/fuehrerschein/sfs/behoerden/index.html 

The documents to provide for an exchange of licence are:

  • The driving licence exchange request form
  • Your birth certificate
  • The original driving licence
  • The translation of the licence (it can be done at the ÖAMTC - http://www.oeamtc.at/ for 13.81€)
  • An ID photo (size: 34 x 45mm)
  • A doctor's certificate of good health
  • Your residence registration card (Meldezettel)

The exchange will cost you 60.50€.

Getting a driver's licence

It is possible to start driving from the age of 17 in Austria with the L17 if accompanied by someone with a driver's licence for at least 7 years and being in the close circle of relations of the teenager. This type of licence is slightly more expensive than the classic B licence and should end up costing around 1.650€ instead of the 1.550€ for a B one. For further comparison on prices between driving school, the following website can be visited: http://fahrschule-wien.at/ 

Theory

The test will take place in front of a computer where multiple answers are possible per question.

Different points are attributed to questions and this is why the number of questions can vary between 58 or 59. 33 points must be obtained for a B licence (and just 28 for A licence). Classes can be taken, but this is not mandatory and CD or books can be bought that will allow you to train for it.

The practical part: a two-phase licence

The licence is divided in two parts. During the first part, 12 hours of driving are mandatory on top of a 6 hour first aid course. The driving exam must be sat within 18 months following the end of the theoretical formation. It lasts 25 minutes, and can be re-sat after 14 days if failed.

Upon success at both exams follows a probational period where no important infractions are tolerated and where the alcohol limit in the blood is set to 0.1 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood (instead of the 0.5 one when off the probational period).

For the second part of the test, 3 more courses must be followed:

  • An improvement drive course of 2 x 50 minutes, that has to be completed within a time window of 2 to 4 months after passing the licence
  • A one day training, that includes group chat with a drive psychologist and that has to be done within 3 to 9 months after passing the licence
  • An advanced improvement drive course of 2 x 50 minutes that must be done 6 to 12 months after obtaining the licence and not before 3 months of completing the first improvement drive course.

The addresses where to carry out these trainings can be found under (in German):

http://www.oeamtc.at/fahrtechnik/?id=2500%2C1144331%2C%2C 

The cost of the second phase should amount roughly to 300€.

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: