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Driving and Autos: Driving and Driver's License

People in Italy drive on the right-hand side of the road.

Requirements for Locals

An Italian driver’s license is called a patenti di guida. The agency that issues it is the Provincial Office of Motor Vehicles, or Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile.

There are many different Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile offices by region; check out the nationwide Trasporti ATP website for a list of individual websites, or more information on getting a license:

The documents you’ll need to submit to apply for a license vary from office to office. However, the most common requirements include the following:

  • A completed MC 2112 MEC form, available from your local Motorizzazione Civile
  • A medical health certificate stating that you are healthy in both mind and body, signed by an authorized doctor, including passport photos
  • A valid photo identification, such as a passport
  • A photocopy of your previous license, if you have one
  • Three passport photos identical to the photos submitted with the medical certificate, no more than six months old
  • The application fee, which may vary depending on your region

Note that different rules and regulations exist for those wishing to earn a moped or motorcycle license. 

Written and Road Test

In order to earn a driver’s license in Italy, you must first pass a written test in Italian. The written exam tests your knowledge of the codice della strada, or highway code, and it’s in Italian. There are a few exceptions: in South Tyrol, you can take the test in German, and in the Valle d’Aosta, you can take it in French. Some driving schools may have practice manuals in English. The test consists of 30 multiple-choice questions, and you must get no more than four wrong.

Once you pass the test, you will get your learner’s permit, or foglio rosa. The learner’s permit, or foglio rosa, will let you drive only with another licensed driver in the car; the person must be no more than 60 years old. This person must have held a driver’s license for at least 10 years. Practice vehicles don’t have to be dual-controlled, but they do need a special sticker.

After you are issued a foglio rosa, you have five months in which to sign up for a practical driving test, which will be conducted with an examiner and an instructor. Driving classes at a driving school, or autoscuola, prior to the road test are optional. Driving classes are optional, but most people decide to take them because the school will provide a dual-controlled vehicle in which to take the road test. Otherwise, you must provide one yourself (they can be rented), as well as providing proof of insurance. 


You must be a resident to earn a driver’s license in Italy.


The legal driving age in Italy is 18 for passenger cars, but the legal driving age for mopeds and motorbikes is different. For instance, you can drive a moped in Italy at the age of 14. 


You will need to show a valid photo identification, such as a passport, and your previous license, if you have one. 


For most people, the costs for the driver’s license include medical exams, classes, and exam fees. The total cost to get your driver’s license in Italy may be as much as €500, although costs vary. 

Other Requirements

A medical exam is also a requirement. In addition to administering a vision test, the doctor will ask you a series of questions about your health. You will need to bring a passport photo to affix to the medical exam.

Requirements for Foreigners
Driving Using a Foreign License

If you are visiting Italy on a tourist visa, you can drive using a valid license from your home country as long as you also have an official Italian translation. You can find a list of officially sanctioned translators at the Italian embassy website

You will also need an International Driving Permit (see below). 

Obtaining a Local License

If you are planning to stay in Italy long-term and becoming a legal resident, you will need to earn a valid Italian driver’s license no more than 12 months after obtaining Italian residency. If you are caught driving without an Italian driver’s license after this date, you could be charged a hefty fine and have your license suspended.

If your country has a reciprocal agreement with Italy, you can simply exchange your foreign driver’s license for an Italian one. Visit the Italian Ministry of Transport ( for a list of all countries that fall under this category.

To convert your foreign license to an Italian license, you will need to take the following to your local Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile:

  • Two separate payments, using official payment slips, or bolletini, provided by the motor registry
  • Your foreign driver’s license, along with several photocopies
  • Two passport photographs
  • A medical certificate issued by an authorized doctor
  • An official translation of your driver’s license, validated by the Italian Consulate in the place where it was issued and the Prefecture

If your home country does not have a reciprocal agreement with Italy, you will have to follow the same procedure as the locals in earning your driver’s license, including passing both written and practical tests. You must also submit an original proof of residence (Permesso / Carta di Soggiorno) and a photocopy of the document when you submit your application. 

European Union Citizens

If you are a citizen of a European Union (EU) country, you are legally able to drive anywhere in the EU using the license issued by your home country, including Italy. Rules for issuing licenses as well as the physical form of the license have been harmonized among all EU countries. 

International Driving Permit

If you are driving in Italy as a non-resident tourist, you will need an International Driving Permit in addition to your foreign license. 

An IDP includes your name, photo, and basic information in ten languages. When carried together with a foreign license, it can serve as local identification in addition to permitting you to drive. It is valid in over 150 countries. The IDP is only valid when carried in conjunction with a driver’s license issued by your home country. An IDP is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.


If you are an Australian citizen, you must have a valid Australian driver’s license to get an IDP. The local Australian Automobile Association (AAA) office issues IDPs:


To get an IDP in Canada, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Canadian provincial driver’s license. The Canadian Automobile Association issues IDPs:

The United States

To obtain an IDP in the US, you must be over the age of 18 and have a valid US driver’s license. An IDP can be obtained from any Automobile Association of America (AAA) office or by mail if you are already overseas. For more information, visit the AAA website: