Are you a foreign national living in Romania and looking to exchange your driving license to a Romanian one? Then you’re in the right place. This is a practical step-by-step guide for having your foreign driving license exchanged to a Romanian license. The guide was prepared by our experts providing immigration services to expatriates in Romania for more than 15 years.
IMPORTANT: Before applying this guide, please carefully read the instructions described under the “Important prerequisites” tab below, to ensure it applies for your case.
This guide was prepared only for individuals holding foreign driving licenses and looking to exchange to a Romanian driving license. If you do not hold a driving license, we do not recommend purchasing this guide, as it may not be useful to your specific needs. Please look for for the right guide on our website. If you do not find a guide specifically tailored to your situation, please feel free to contact us with the questions you have.
- a foreign driving license can be exchanged only by foreign individuals living in Romania for at least 6 months, and who hold a Romanian residency permit;
- a holder of a foreign driving license should be able to exchange it to a Romanian one without the obligation to pass the driving exam in Romania; there are however a few exceptions or driving licenses that are issued by countries not having an acknowledgement agreement in place with Romania;
- to be able to apply for the license exchange, your foreign driving license must not have been suspended or cancelled;
- you must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Romanian driving permit for category B (normal vehicles);
- prepare yourself with loads of patience and acceptance of bureaucratic rules which may get annoying :); information that you can sometimes get from authorities related to driving regulations and driver’s license requirements may be contradictory sometimes.
If you are holder of an international driving license, you neither have to, nor can exchange it with a national one.
!!! For holders of Chinese driving licenses: A Chinese driving license can be exchanged to a Romanian one which is valid only for driving category B (common vehicles).
EXCHANGE DRIVING LICENSE TO ROMANIAN ONE
FULL PROCEDURE EXPLAINED
1. LIST OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTS – EXPLAINED
a) Application form
The application form will be filled out on the spot, on the day you submit your file to the local Romanian Office for Driving Licenses and Car Registrations.
b) Valid foreign driving license
Along with the original driver’s licence, you will also need to have a Romanian legalized translation of it. The translation needs to be done by certified translator and also legalized by a Notary public.
c) Valid passport and Romanian residency permit + copies
You will need to ensure your passport is valid and already have your Romanian residency permit issued by the Romanian Immigration authorities. Please ensure to bring both documents in original, along with photocopies for EACH document.
d) Medical certificate
If longer validity for the driving licence is desired (longer than your current license has), you need to obtain a medical certificate stating that you are medically fit for driving the category of vehicle reflected on your driving license. The exact wording that must be on the certificate is “titularul este apt să conducă autovehicule din categoria …”
Please note that this medical certificate needs to be obtained FROM AN AUTHORIZED MEDICAL FACILITY. You will find the updated list of the authorized medical facilities on the Romanian Ministry of Health’s website here. You just need to open the link “Unitati sanitare autorizate” and then scroll in the xls file to the list of medical facilities in your locality of residence. Please note this list is generally updated once or twice a year. Therefore, WE RECOMMEND that before you proceed to one of those medical facilities, you confirm with them that they are still authorized in this matter.
e) Certifying document from the institution which issued your foreign driving license
This document needs to certify the authenticity and validity of your current foreign driver’s licence. So, it should be issued by the authority responsible for issuing your driving license. In certain cases, the foreign consulate of the respective country in Romania could also be able to issue such document. So we recommend checking first with the consulate to understand if they are able to help.
Once obtained, the document needs to be translated into Romanian by an authorized translator.
e) Pay driving license fee of 68 lei
The payment can be done in any CEC Bank branch or to the Treasury – in ANAF – Administration of Public Finances – to the account wearing the fiscal identification code: 4317959. Typically, in either institution you go, they should be able to help if you tell them that you want to pay the 68 lei tax for your driver’s licence exchange.
You can also do the payment via internet banking. If you choose internet banking, the payment could take more than 24 hours, because the information must be verified also by the Romanian Treasury. So, if you choose this option, consider the possible delay. Make sure you allow for at least 24 hours after payment, and you print out the proof of payment done via internet when you go to submit the driving license application file (please see below details regarding this step).
Once you ensure all documents are available as described above, you can proceed with scheduling your appointment online:
2. SCHEDULE the application ONLINE
To do so, you need to access the website of the Romanian Office for Driving Licenses and Car
Here, you may want to check the English version in the upper-right corner. Then go to the “Online Services” section in the main menu to make the online appointment. From the Online Services drop-down menu select the “Counter Scheduling” option. Please refer to the print-screen below for more details on this step:
Next, you will be directed to a page where as first step you need to choose the Romanian county where you have your address registered in Romania. Romania’s map will be shown, with all the counties available. Select the correct county – e.g. if you live in Brașov county, select Brașov, if you live in Bucharest select Bucharest, etc.
Then the next step will be to choose the type of service for which you want to make the online appointment. In your case, that will be: “Exchanging Driver License”.
As last step, you will need to fill in a form with your personal information (i.e. name, surname, Romanian personal numerical code (PNC), and email address). Then, select a date and time you want to schedule the application at the authority’s office. Once you do that, you can hit the “FINISH BOOKING” button and the online scheduling will be finalized. Please refer to picture below for details on this step:
3. Submitting the application file
Once you successfully finalize the online scheduling, you will also receive a confirmation email with the scheduled date and time for the application.
Please make sure you arrange your agenda in advance, as you must be present on the date and time scheduled, to submit the application file containing all documents detailed under point 1 above.
To check the detailed address of the authority’s office in the Romanian county where you live, you can go to the homepage of the same website where you scheduled your application and check this information on the right sidebar of the page named “Work program, Communitary public service”. Just select your county from the drop-down box and the address will be displayed. Please refer to print-screen below for details:
Please make sure to arrive there with at least 10 minutes in advance.