Localizing and renewing your driver’s license in Hungary

May 6, 2022

To drive in Hungary, you need a driver’s license. But when can you use your own, how to localize your license, or how to renew your expiring document? Read on to find out.

Use your existing driver’s license

If you are a resident in Hungary and your driver’s license was not issued in Hungary, you can still use it for some time before you are required to localize it, depending on where it was issued.

If your license was issued in any other country, you will need to localize it before you can drive a car in Hungary.

Localize your driver’s license

The requirements for localization depend on where your original license was issued.

A. If it was issued in an EEA country or another country that joined the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, you just need:

  • your driver’s license,
  • your residence permit, and
  • a certificate of medical aptitude.

B. If it was issued in a country that has not joined the Vienna Convention of Road Traffic, you will need

  • your driver’s license,
  • your residence permit,
  • a certificate of medical aptitude,
  • a certified translation of your license (by OFFI);
  • if the content of your license cannot be matched to Hungarian requirements, you might be asked to pass a theoretical and/or practical exam too.

Your original driver’s license will be taken away, and you will receive a Hungarian license which you can use all over the EEA while you remain a resident in Hungary. If you leave Hungary before your original license expires, you can get it back.

For the medical aptitude certificate, you can just make an appointment with your family doctor. They will ask you some basic questions, test your eyesight, and then issue the certificate for a fee.

The administrator working on your case will determine whether you must pass an exam. In that case: several driver’s schools offer courses and exams for the purpose of driver’s license localization, with the help of instructors speaking foreign languages.

Driver’s license localization and renewal procedure

You can get your driver’s license localized only in person, at a government office. This is because you will have to hand over your existing driver’s license, which will be kept until you leave Hungary. Your Hungarian driver’s license will be mailed to your address in 8 days (or in 3 weeks at most).

It is best to make an appointment online before you go, which you can do even if you have not yet registered for Ügyfélkapu (or the “Client Gate”, the customer portal for electronic administration in Hungary). If you are not yet registered, make sure to do so while you are at the government office. It takes just a few minutes, and will make your life easier in the long run.

Renewal can already be done online through Ügyfélkapu. You will need a new medical aptitude certificate, but your doctor can upload it to the administrative system after your visit, so it can be checked online. For the procedure, you will need a to have your signature and your photo available in the administrative system, and they cannot be older than 3 years. You can check whether you have everything required for the procedure here, and if these components are missing, you will be able to make a video call with the administrator so they can confirm your identity and your data, taking your photo and your signature. Your new driver’s license will be mailed to your address in 8 days (or in 4 weeks at most).

Need help? Ask the experts!

If this seems too complex, feel free to get in touch with our team and ask for help with driver’s license localization, registration for the Ügyfélkapu customer service portal, or any other administrative procedure, including residence permit application and renewal. Helpers Hungary has been providing administrative assistance to expats living in Hungary since 2005, and we are confident that our service can make your life easier in Hungary.

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