Hanne Plougmann driving through the countryside of Lolland, Denmark. Photo: Lars Plougmann, Flickr
For years, US citizens settling in Denmark have experienced problems getting a Danish license, partly because the US belongs to the so-called ‘Group 2 countries’ where driver training is not deemed comparable to that of Danish drivers.
As a result, many middle-aged Americans have been forced to take a Danish driving test despite having driven safely every day of their lives for upwards of 20 years.
Hans Christian Schmidt, Denmark’s transport minister on Friday presented a solution to the problem to the US embassy, which will enable Americans to easily get a Danish license without excessive bureaucracy.
“We at the US Embassy in Copenhagen are thrilled that US citizens, who have decided to call Denmark their home, will be now be able to exchange their American driver’s license for a Danish one,” Rufus Gifford, the US ambassador to Denmark, said in a press release.
“These new regulations will make Denmark an even friendlier place for American companies and individuals to do business.”
“Thank God!” wrote Melissa Thøgersen, who moved to Denmark after marrying a Dane. “I was going to have to take a written and driving exam, even though I've been driving for 15 years. I'm so glad they've come to a resolution!”
A previous attempt to make it easier for Americans to get a Danish license by proving that they possessed sufficient driving experience failed because it was too difficult for US citizens to obtain the necessary proof.
The US embassy has been attempting to resolve this issue for more then two years, but did not manage to arrive at a solution this month.
“It’s important that we have now reached a solution so Americans do not have to go through a maze of bureaucracy, when they want to exchange their driver’s license,” Hans Christian Schmidt, Denmark’s transport minister, said in a press release.
“US traffic conditions are very similar to those in Denmark, so it is only natural that it will now be easier to exchange licenses.”
The new system is expected to enter into force as quickly as possible in 2016.