Driving For Members

What happens if you are caught driving without a valid licence in Denmark?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
What happens if you are caught driving without a valid licence in Denmark?
Driving without a valid license in Denmark is not worth the risk, no matter the circumstances. Photo by Xingchen Yan on Unsplash

Driving without a valid driver's license in Denmark can have severe consequences, as the penalties and fines are strict.


While it's not unheard of to forget your driver's license at home or slack around when it comes to renewing it, per Danish road traffic laws, you should always carry your license when driving - and ensure it's valid.

If you fail to do so, you'll face hefty fines - and might even risk a prison sentence or having your vehicle confiscated in case of repeated offences.

READ MORE: EU countries to extend range of offences foreign drivers can be fined for

Driving without a valid license in Denmark (or in any other country, for that matter) is simply not worth the risk, no matter the circumstances.

Therefore, the penalties are designed to enforce compliance and ensure that all drivers in the country are legally certified to drive.

The fines and penalties

All drivers must possess a valid driver's license when operating a vehicle, per the Danish Road Traffic Act (Færdselsloven).

If you fail to comply, you'll be slapped with a fine corresponding to the specifics of the situation, as the Danish Road Safety Council (Rådet for Sikker Trafik) points out on its website.

If you've forgotten to bring your license, expect to pay 1,000 kroner.

However, if you're caught driving without ever having acquired a license, you'll likely have to pay 7,000 kroner – and that's if you're a first-time offender.

READ MORE: Do you really need to own a car living in Denmark?

A second offence will increase the fine to 8,500 kroner. If you're caught a third or fourth time, you'll need to pay 10,500 and 14,000 kroner, respectively.

After that, you'll face prison sentences ranging from 7 days if you're caught for a fifth time to 50 days for the 10th time you're caught.

Also, know that if you're caught driving without a license three times within three years, the Danish authorities have the right to confiscate your vehicle (this might occur even faster if drunk driving is involved).


What happens if you're caught driving with a suspended licence?

Choosing to drive while having your driver's license suspended is a severe breach of the law.

Repeated offences during your suspension period – also called a disqualification period – can lead to even harsher penalties, including up to one and a half years in prison and vehicle confiscation.

Additionally, driving without a valid license during this period can also lead to insurance claims being denied.

Remember, in addition to your physical driving license, you can also access your driving license digitally on your mobile through the Driving License app.

However, to register in the app, you'll need a valid Danish driving license, a MitID, and a valid Danish passport.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Denmark's MitID app


Practising driving (without a licence)

It's important to note that practising driving, a popular activity among would-be drivers without a licence, is sometimes allowed.

The Road Traffic Act primarily applies to public roads and spaces, including most parking lots open to the public.

However, certain private areas that are not generally accessible or used by the public may not fall under these rules, so you should be able to use them to practice driving.

Nevertheless, if you end up in an accident while driving without a licence in such an area, it may negatively affect the assessment of the insurance companies.

Psst! If you're wondering how and when you should exchange your foreign driving licence for a Danish one, make sure to consult The Local's explainer on the issue.


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