Driving licenses from 22 countries compared: where are they valid? Italy comes out very well


Interesting investigation by Zutobi, which has compared the driving licenses of 22 countries around the world in order to understand where and with which & quot; poles & quot; are valid (or are not). And if the spendability; within the European Union of the Italian license – which a few weeks ago & egrave; was the protagonist of a small revolution related to the theory exam – it is not; certainly a novelty, & egrave; useful to know if you can & ograve; to rely on the tricolor document in case of vacation or moving, temporary or permanent, outside the Union.

Italy comes out well, almost very well: the Belpaese scored two points less than the best on an overall that exceeds 100 points, so for once we are among the best having little to complain. The Italian driving license, in short, is; very powerful – to use the definition of Zutobi.


To arrive at a numerical and therefore comparable result, Zutobi has created a points system that summarizes the spendability; of the driving licenses of the countries examined. The sum of the individual scores obtained by a country & quot; against & quot; another determines the total that & egrave; earned Italy the fourth place, behind Belgium, France and Germany.

  • 8 points: driving license valid until expiry
  • 7: valid for 24 months, then you have to apply for a local driving license without taking the exam
  • 6: valid for 12 months, then a local driving license without taking the exam
  • 5: valid for 6 months, then local driving license without taking an exam
  • 4: valid only with an International Driving Permit (IDP) *
  • 3: valid for 12 months, then & egrave; You must apply for a local driver's license by taking the exam
  • 2: valid for 6 months, then local driving license by taking the exam
  • 1: more restrictions & quot; complicated & quot;
  • 0: invalid driving license

* some bulletins (the total amounts to about 50 euros) and & egrave; valid from 1 to 3 years depending on the agreement, always for & ograve; subject to the limit of validity; of the Italian driving license in possession. [source: MIT] THE ITALIAN LICENSE ABROAD

Said of the legend, necessary to understand the table, how much & egrave; Is the Italian driving license usable abroad? The answer is: very, indeed very much .

The only country where it is not; not valid at all (among those examined by Zutobi, of course) & egrave; China : upon arrival you must necessarily call a taxi, because with the tricolor license you can not & ograve; to drive any vehicle.

We need to deepen the & quot; restrictions more & ugrave; complicated & quot; to which Zutobi awarded only one point in:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • USA

While the international driving permit must be shown in:

  • India
  • Japan
  • Russia

Here is where you can & ograve; circulate with an Italian driving license for 6 or 12 months after which you must apply for a local driving license , without for & ograve; having to take the driving test:

  • Brazil
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland

Finally, the 8 countries where the Italian driving license is; valid without limits of time until expiry:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • Sweden


There & # 39; & egrave; a & # 39; only difference between the Italian driving license and the best ones , and & egrave; to search in Japan . In Tokyo, as in the rest of the country, a German, a Belgian or a Frenchman, unlike us, can circulate without an international driving permit but freely for one year, at the end of which you will have to; apply for a local driving license, without taking an exam. 6 against 4 , two points that determine our total of 104 against 106 which is; earned the top spot.

Curious is the agreement reached with Mexico, where an Italian can drive until the license expires and that is; up to 10 years as if he were in Italy. The dynamics for & ograve; it doesn't work the other way around. Mexico & egrave; by far the country with the least & quot; powerful & quot; driving license among those listed: a Mexican on vacation with us needs an international driving permit, but more; in general, the license issued by the Mexican Ministry has never obtained the maximum score.

Before the rear there are Russia, second to last, and China, third to last: in both cases the 8 points were obtained only against Mexico.

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