Driving in Denmark

Licences and tests for road vehicles

Driving in Denmark

The high registration tax of 180% and 25% VAT make buying a new car in Denmark an expensive process. Such high taxes are put on car ownership as a deterrent for owning private vehicles, nevertheless cars are an increasingly popular mode of transport in Denmark.

Driving licences

Obtaining an international licence

For nationals of certain countries it is not necessary to apply for a Danish driving licence, the licence from your home country will be recognised, however, it may still be necessary to obtain an international licence.

All licences from EU member countries are valid in Denmark. Licence holders from the USA, Canada and Australia also are not required to obtain an international licence. All other foreign nationals will be required to obtain one. An international licence is not a licence to drive in its own right and you will still need to carry your licence from your home country along with it. An international drivers licence takes the form of a booklet with your personal details and the details of your licence translated into 10 languages.

The driving licence from your home country must be valid for at least 6 months after the issuance of your international driving permit. Permits are obtained through your home country’s Automobile Association.

Applications can be done at your local Automobile Association office or through the post. A completed application form, two signed passport sized photos, your home driving licence (photocopied back and front if applying by post) and a method of payment will be required.

Obtaining a Danish licence

Without an existing licence from your home country, a full theory and practical exam must be undertaken in Denmark if you intend to drive. Any Danish driving licence issued after January 2013 will be valid for 15 years.

Learning to drive in Denmark

In order to begin learning to drive in Denmark, you must have proof of registration at a permanent address in the country, along with your CPR number. When enrolling with a driving school you must also bring along a passport sized photo and a health certificate obtained from a Danish doctor.

All new drivers are legally required to have a certain number of various types of driving related lessons:

  • 28 hours of theory instruction
  • 7 hours of road related first aid
  • 4 lessons exclusively on manoeuvres
  • 16 lessons must be taken during times of traffic
  • 4 lessons on slippery track

Theory lessons can be done online through some driving schools. All lessons, theory and practical, have to be recorded in a log book


The driving school you are enrolled at usually takes responsibility for arranging both your theory and practical driving tests.

When applying for the theory test it is required that a candidate has already completed the first aid training and can provide certification. Practical driving tests can only be taken when the candidate is 18 years old, however, the theory course can be started at 17 years and 9 months.

Theory tests usually take place on police premises and it is necessary to take along a form of identification. The test is in Danish, comprised of multiple choice questions and pictures and generally lasts half an hour.

Practical tests can only be taken once the candidate has successfully passed the theory test. The theory test result only lasts for 12 months, after this time it expires and will have to be taken again, before a practical test can be undertaken.

To your practical driving test you must take:

  • Your logbook, with the record of your completed lessons
  • Passport or birth certificate as identification
  • Completed application form

The candidate will be required to answer some technical questions about the test vehicle as well as show their driving abilities. The test lasts a maximum of 45 minutes.

If necessary, most driving schools will be able to organise an interpreter for both the practical and theory test.

Mopeds and motorbikes

For mopeds, it is possible to get a licence to drive on the road from the age of 16; this is called an AM licence but it is necessary to undertake a number of hours of road theory lessons as well as a practical and theory test. Even then moped users under 18 can only drive at a top speed of 30 km (19 mph) per hour.

The minimum age for riding a motorbike in Denmark is also 18. Although the theory and practical test for motorbike use are very similar to those for cars it is necessary to take separate tests, they can however be done at the same time. There is a set minimum number of theory and practical experience hours that must be undertaken before a test can be taken; this includes experience of motorbike use at night.  

Further reading

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