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 Learner’s Permit
You will need this no matter what you intend on driving (car, truck, motorbike). To get one, simply visit: https://etjanst.transportstyrelsen.se/extweb/kktillstgrI
Step 2 – Practice driving before your driving test
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:
Learn 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.
Learn 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 – Study theory
Theory is very important, particularly when you start to notice 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 available on our app Mitt Körkort – if you want questions in English, there are plenty of alternatives that you can find through the internet.
Step 4 – Take your Risk 1 and 2 courses
These are mandatory, hassle-free and include driving on ice! There are only a few places that host the Risk 2 skid test so be sure to book well in advance! Most driving schools conduct the Risk 1 course – including My Driving Academy.
Step 5 – Take your Driving Test (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 take your license with My Driving Academy where we take care of this for you. We also include an ‘Education Control’ 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)
We run an Intro Course in English, we teach driving in different languages and we also have a free app that is available in English. Our app 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