Rules for foreigners willing to drive in Italy vary depending on whether the driver is a European citizen or not. You should have a valid driving license to drive cars, motorcycles and also mopeds or scooters.
Rules for EU nations state that you have the right to drive in Italy with your home country issued European driving license without any problem.
Non EU citizen
In general as a non EU national you cannot legally drive in Italy with your home country driving license unless:
- you obtained from your home country an International driving license or permit (permesso internazionale di guida)
- or you obtained a certified translation (by an Italian consulate abroad or by your home country consulate in Italy) of your driving license (you must ask for clarification and specific directions concerning your country to the relevant Italian embassy).
- you have not requested residency in Italy. If you have requested residency you have one year to convert your license into an Italian one.
Warning: This general rule allows you to drive forever in Italy unless you take out residency (not domicile). If you take out residency you have a year of grace in which you can drive according to the rule above. Note that in order to take out residency in Italy you should specifically apply for it at the Municipality (the address you give when you apply for the permit of stay is considered to be your domicile). After this period of grace expires - unless your country enjoys a special status - you have to obtain an Italian driving license (and hence you have to pass one theoretical and one practical driving exams or - if you're lucky - you have to convert your driving license).
Nationals of the countries listed on this website in the PATENTI NON COMUNITARIE section have the right to ask for their driving licenses to be converted into an Italian one. The procedure to obtain this conversion is, however, quite cumbersome. In order to obtain the conversion you should go to the relevant office (ufficio motorizzazione) with the following:
- A completed TT2112 form;
- A photocopy (of both the front and back) of your driving license;
- 2 passport size pictures (fototessere). One of those pictures should be authenticated by the general practitioner who issues the medical certificate attesting that you're fit to drive;
- A receipt showing that you paid 9 euros into postal account n. 9001 and another one showing that you paid 29.24 euros into postal account n. 4028 (these taxes change quite frequently; check with the ufficio motorizzazione before paying anything)
- A copy of your permit of stay;
- A medical certificate attesting that you're fit to drive with a marca da bollo of 14,62 euros on it;
- A photocopy of the medical certificate;
- A translation - with a marca da bollo of 14,62 euros on it - of your driving license that must be authenticated by the consulate of your home country and approved by the prefettura;
If you have time to waste you're free to try to fight against Italian bureaucracy all alone. Our suggestion is to ask for help from a driving school or from the ACI.
You should pass a written theory test (on the rules of the road) and then you must pass a pratical test (driving test). We should warn you that Italian driving license exams can get quite expensive (up to 1000 euros).