Those who move to Sweden have quite a lot to learn when it comes to living this close to the North Pole. Kanelbullar, Midsommar and Melodifestivalen are a few pleasant surprises. The fact that the sun seems to forget about this place for about one third of the year is one of the tougher aspects to digest.
But what about driving in Sweden?
If, like me, you moved to Sweden armed with your existing driving license ready to take on Swedish roadtrips, you might be in for another surprise. If you have registered as living in Sweden, most foreign driving licenses become invalid after 12 months.
So, what do you do if you want to continue driving in Sweden after 12 months?
Exchange your EEA license for a Swedish driving license
Driving licenses from countries within the EEA (and Switzerland and Japan) can be converted to Swedish licenses as long as they remain valid. Visit https://transportstyrelsen.se/en/road/Driving-licences/driving-licences-from-eea-countries/ for more information on this.
Get your Swedish Driving License
Those from outside of the EEA will need to apply for their license. This process is pretty straight forward if you follow these steps:
Step 1 – Get a Körkortstillstånd (driving permit)
You need first this no matter what vehicle you intend on driving (car, truck, motorbike)! Follow the instructions on how to get a körkortstillstånd here.
Step 2 – Prepare for your driving exam
Yes, even experienced drivers will need to practice! It is important to remember that while you might be an excellent driver back in your own country, driving in Sweden can be very different and it’s important to feel confident and safe before going for your driving test. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
Practice at home
You can practice driving at home with an accompanying driver. Before you drive together, you will both need to take an Introduction Course, which is about three hours long. If you want to take your Intro Course in English in Stockholm, you can book it with us here.
Remember: your accompanying driver must be over 24 years old and have held a Swedish driving license for five uninterrupted years. Learn more about these requirements here.
Practice with a driving school
If you want to be sure you are learning everything correctly and in the safest environment, we suggest learning with a professional driving school like My Driving Academy. Our teachers can help those who have previously driven to brush up on their skills before the driving test. If you’re worried your Swedish isn’t up to scratch, the teachers at My Driving Academy speak multiple languages, including English, Serbo-Croatian, Amharic and Kurdish.
In our experience, a combination of home driving and driving with a school is the best way to approach your Swedish driving license without breaking the bank!
Step 3 – Prepare for your theory exam
Driving theory is very important, particularly with all the different Swedish road signs around! Thankfully there are plenty of ways to practice theory leading up to your tests. My Driving Academy has 1000 practice questions in Swedish and English available on our app Mitt Körkort! We’ve also created multiple education videos to help you drill those more difficult sections. The best part? It is completely free!
Step 4 – Take your Risk 1 and 2 courses
These courses are mandatory! Most driving schools conduct the Risk 1 course – including My Driving Academy, who also provide a Risk 1 course in English in Stockholm. Risk 2 is super fun because you get to drive on a slippery road. There’s only a few facilities that provide this course, but many provide it in English! You can book your Risk 1 or Risk 2 courses in English here.
Step 5 – Take your Driving exams (theory and driving)
This is your final step to obtain your Swedish Driving License! These tests are both taken at Trafikverket Förarprov. You can either book the tests yourself (book in advance) or you can go through My Driving Academy, where we take care of this for you (including an ‘Education Control’ drive where we will determine how ready you are for the exam, to maximise your chances of passing first time!)
Here are some good resources to help you further:
Trafikverket.se have some great information available in different languages, including this cool ‘Road to getting your license’ to visually depicted when to do each of the above steps:
My Driving Academy – us! (www.mydrivingacademy.com/en)
We run a full service in English in most of our locations, including Stockholm, Uppsala, Göteborg, Gävle and Umeå. We also have driving teachers who teach in English at all of our driving locations. Our app, ’Mitt Körkort’ is available in English, and also includes a chat feature that you’re encouraged to use if you have any questions about getting your Swedish driving license – we’re here to help!
Transport Styrelsen (https://transportstyrelsen.se/en/road/)
These guys are where you will get your permits and official documentation from.
I hope this has cleared things up a bit. Good luck with getting your Swedish driving license and stay safe on the road 🙂
– Sheona (an Aussie in Stockholm) from My Driving Academy