Do you need to get Romanian driving license as foreign citizen who is living in Romania? Applying for driving license in Romania is a basic right that is given to any individual requesting a license for any of the categories of vehicles they want to drive. Holding a driving license is mandatory for most types of motorized vehicles, be it a regular car, a motorcycle, or even a chopper. 18 years is the minimum age to get Romanian driving license.
No matter of the age, the driver is called a beginner in the first year after obtaining the license. A beginner has to display a distinctive sign on the back window of the car and on the windscreen, which represents a yellow disk with a black exclamation mark. It’s a way to inform the other drivers that you they have to be careful and patient with the beginner in traffic.
So, Romania has complex and specific laws and also obligations for driver’s license requirements that depends on different circumstances. You may need or not a Romanian driver’s license, depending on your personal situation. If you plan to own a car in Romania or you are a visitor in our country, then this practical guide is a must read.
Basic rules to get Romanian driving license:
- The minimum age for holding a driver’s license in our country is 18 years;
- standard validity of a Romanian driving license is 10 years, or 5 years, depending on the driving category (for category B – which applies to regular cars – the validity is 10 years);
- If you already hold a Romanian driver’s license but which is expired, this can be renewed without reexamination;
- If you hold a foreign driving license, this can be exchanged with an equivalent Romanian license, where Romanian legislation allows it (the exchange is not permitted for all countries), also without reexamination;
- You can’t drive a manual transmission car if you obtain your license on an automatic transmission car;
- If you change your domicile (living address), it’s not necessary to update it on your driving license;
- In the driver’s license are specified the categories of vehicles you are allowed to drive;
For more guidance on exchanging your foreign driver’s license to a Romanian one, you can also check our premium guide here: How to exchange driving license to Romanian one – full procedure explained. It explains each step of the procedure, together with the list of documents required, for your specific case.
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Rules for foreign citizens to get Romanian driving license
In September 2014 a Government Ordinance changed the rules that must be fulfilled by foreign citizens who need to get Romanian driving license. Thus, as first condition, foreign citizens who want to get a driving license in Romania must have their legal residence in Romania for more than 6 months. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to apply for a driving license.
A similar rule is applicable by other EU countries as well. More exactly, a foreign citizen is considered to have the legal residence in Romania in the following situation: hold a legal right for residing in Romania (e.g., Romanian residency permit – for non-EU nationals, or a Romanian registration certificate – for EU nationals), and they live at an address located in Romania for at least 185 days per year, no matter the reasons: personal or professional ties. In order to get Romanian driving license, a person must submit few documents to prove that he/she has legal residence here.
European citizens who are living in two or more countries on the EU/EEA territory must prove they return regularly to the Romanian address due to personal ties. Only under this condition they will be able to apply for a Romanian driving license. Otherwise, they will be requested to apply for the driving license in the EU country where their personal ties are located.
The good part is that a foreign national can request to take the driving examinations in a foreign international language. So, you don’t have to learn Romanian in order to take the driving examinations. The international languages available for the examination are: English, French, and German.
Examination for obtaining the license
The examination and the driving license issuance will be handled by competent authority where the foreign citizen has his/her legal residence registered in Romania. There are two different methods to obtain the drivers license in Romania: the first is by exchanging the foreign license with a Romanian one (if a foreign driving license already exists).
You can check our premium step-by-step guide providing necessary instructions for exchanging your national driving license to a Romanian one here: How to exchange driving license to Romanian one – full procedure explained.
The second method is by taking and passing the Romanian driving license tests.
The second method consist in obtaining the driving license after finishing a driving school in our country and you have to pass a double test: theory and road test.
The theory test is computerized and consists of 26 questions, and you have to score minimum 22 correct answers to pass it. If 5 wrong answers are given, then the candidate is automatically eliminated. During the exam, the candidate is photographed 3 times and later the pictures are used to testify the fact that the person present at the theory test is the same with the one taking the road test.
Only after you pass the theory test will you be allowed to test your practical learning in the road test. The test lasts 25 minutes, in that time the candidate has to prove that he/she is able to drive the car properly and most important, safely.
To get Romanian driving license, during the road test you have to do certain maneuvers like: parking, turns, all done by respecting the law. The candidate pass the road test only if he obtain no more than 20 penalty points. If he sum at least 21 points by making mistakes in traffic, then he will fail the exam and can reschedule after a 15 day period a new examination.
We hope our short guidance above is useful to you, and we wish you good luck in obtaining Romanian driving license!