• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Expats in Denmark get green light for driver licence swap
It will now be much easier for Americans and others to legally drive in Denmark. Photo:Thomas Rousing/Flickr

Expats in Denmark get green light for driver licence swap

The Local · 14 Mar 2016, 14:14

Published: 14 Mar 2016 14:14 GMT+01:00

The new system is the culmination of years of lobbying on behalf of expat groups and finally ends well over two years of legal wrangling since the Ministry of Transportation agreed to give internationals an easier road to driving legally in Denmark. 
 
“Finally! The rules in this area have been a years-long headache for many expats and the international companies that hire them. Therefore it is gratifying that the minister has displayed vigour and changed the rules so that the many highly-qualified expats don’t have to fight with difficult bureaucratic obstacles just to be allowed to drive a car in Denmark,” Stephen Brugger, the executive director of the AmCham Denmark, said in a statement. 
 
 
For years, citizens of the US, Canada and Australia who have moved to Denmark have experienced problems getting a Danish licence, because they belong to the so-called ‘Group 2 countries’ where driver training is not deemed comparable to that of Danish drivers. 
 
As a result, many foreigners have been forced to pay for driving lessons and a Danish driving test despite having driven safely every day for years. 
 
AmCham and the US Embassy have long been lobbying for the change and successfully convinced Hans Christian Schmidt, Denmark’s transport minister, to finally put the new rules in place. 
 
“The difficult rules on exchanging foreign driver’s licences has been a key issue for us for many years. But it was first after a meeting with Transport Minister Hans Christian Schmidt in November that something finally happened – more than two years after the then minister, Morten Bødskov, promised to solve the problem,” Brugger said, calling the coming rule change “a big victory for AmCham”. 
 
Rather than having to take time-consuming and costly tests, citizens of the aforementioned countries will now just be required to sign a declaration stating that they have not had their licence revoked within the last five years and that they have been driving regularly over the past two years. 
 
Brugger said the change is not only good news for foreigners in Denmark, but also for the Danish labour market. 
 
"This will make a giant difference for the foreign experts and leaders who come to Denmark to fulfil specific functions," he said. 
 
Story continues below…
The new rules will allow people from Group 1 and Group 2 countries to use their foreign licences for their first year in Denmark but long-time expats who have avoided the bureaucratic licence exchange may not be fully out of the woods. 
 
“[The new rules] do not explicitly deal with the situation where a person has been resident in Denmark for more than one year without exchanging their licence. In theory, it should be possible to exchange the licence even after one year – however, this implies that the person has not had a valid licence for a period of time, which creates a dilemma in relation to the declaration mentioned above,” AmCham wrote on its website
 
The driver’s licence exchanges will be handled by local Citizens Service Centres (Borgerservice). 
 
The full text of the new rules can be read here (in Danish).

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Denmark’s asylum numbers at five-year low
Refugees and immigrants at a 'welcome party' earlier this month. Photo: Uffe Weng/Scanpix

Fewer than 300 people sought asylum in August, according to new figures released by the Immigration Ministry.

Police cameras in Pusher Street promptly torn down
Two police video cameras were installed in Christiania on Friday and more will come, police said. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Copenhagen Police on Friday installed surveillance cameras in the infamous stretch of Christiania, but they lasted only a few hours.

Denmark leads effort to stop money flow to Isis
File photo of children next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and Isis in Mosul, Iraq . Photo: Stringer/Reuters/Scanpix

A former head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has been tapped to dry up the terror group's finances.

Meet Denmark's new anti-immigration party
Nye Borgerlige's Pernille Vermund and Peter Seier Christensen held a press conference on Thursday after qualifying for the next election. Photo: Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix 2016)

A new political party that promises a stricter immigration policy than the Danish People’s Party combined with a libertarian economic outlook will be on the ballot the next time Denmark holds an election.

A.P. Moller Maersk to split into transport and energy divisions
Photo: Michal Kooren/Scanpix

The Danish oil and shipping conglomerate will split into separate businesses for transport and energy as it faces headwinds in both sectors.

Iraqi may face expulsion from Denmark over Facebook post
The man was sentenced Wednesday at Copenhagen City Court. Photo: Colourbox

The man will be kicked out of the country if he commits any additional crimes.

Danish museum forced to pay Elvis Presley heirs
Elvis and Priscilla Presley with newborn daughter Lisa Marie in February 1968. Photo: Public Domain

A Randers museum will have to fork over 500,000 kroner ($75,000, €67,000) to the estate of American icon Elvis Presley.

Falsely-accused Dane accepts settlement from New York
Malthe Thomsen, shown at a previous court appearance in New York. Photo: BRENDAN MCDERMID/Scanpix

The Danish man who was cleared of sexual abuse charges reached a compensation agreement on Tuesday that was far below the $7 million he had sought from the State of New York.

Denmark eyes looming skills shortage as economy picks up
Denmark is seeing fewer and fewer people interested in, and qualified for, manufacturing and transport jobs. Photo: Iris

After a lacklustre recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, Denmark's central bank has warned that the labour market faces a squeeze as unemployment falls, the population ages and young people shun vocational jobs.

Can Danish technology save us from airport security hell?
The Danish company has developed a system that would allow hand luggage to be scanned in one go. Photo: Exruptive

A Danish company thinks it can essentially eliminate airport security queues with its scannable ‘intelligent trolley’.

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
International
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Travel
Copenhagen declared world's most livable city - again!
Record number of Danes leave the church
Society
Record number of Danes leave the church
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
National
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Society
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
National
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Analysis & Opinion
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
National
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
National
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Society
Expats: Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Business & Money
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
2,246
jobs available