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Driver's license naturalization

Driver's license naturalization

Conversion of a driver's license issued by a foreign authority

The nationalization of a driver's license issued by a foreign authority is considered valid when:

  • the holder of the driver's license declares that at the time of issuance of the foreign driver's license, they had a habitual residence or domicile in the issuing country, and furthermore
  • the holder of the foreign driver's license meets the age requirements at the time of the Hungarian driver's license application. A driver's license can only be issued to an applicant whose habitual residence is in the territory of Hungary.

Concept of habitual residence:

  • the country where the individual generally resides, where they spend at least 185 days in a calendar year due to personal and occupational ties, or in the case of individuals without occupational ties, due to personal ties indicating a close connection between the individual and the country where they live, and
  • in the case of individuals whose occupational or personal ties are linked to different countries and as a result, they alternately reside in two or more EEA states, the habitual residence is considered to be the state according to the personal ties, provided that such an individual regularly returns there.

However, this latter condition does not need to be met if the individual resides in a member state for a specified period for the execution of a task. However, university or school studies do not constitute a change in habitual residence. If the driver's license to be naturalized was issued in a country that has acceded to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the foreign driver's license can be used for driving for one year from the start of continuous residence; thereafter, the foreign driver's license can be nationalized into a Hungarian document without the obligation of a driving test.

States that acceded to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (January 27, 2016):

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Kingdom of Bahrain, Belarus (Belarus), Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Republic of Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Georgia, Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Lithuania, Luxembourg, Principality of Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Kingdom of Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Republic of Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Moldova, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Republic of Tajikistan, North Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

The current list of countries that acceded to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic can be found on the UN's official website by clicking on the following link: United Nations Treaty Collection

In the case that the driver's license was issued in a third country that did not accede to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the foreign driver's license can be used for driving for one year from the start of continuous residence; thereafter, instead of the foreign driver's license, a Hungarian driver's license must be obtained through a naturalization process.
If, based on a certified translation of the foreign driver's license, the content of the driving entitlement can be equated with any international category recorded in a Hungarian driver's license listed in the annex to this decree, the naturalization of the driver's license can take place following a successful examination in basic traffic knowledge without attending a course. However, if the content of the driving entitlement cannot be determined or does not correspond to any international category recorded in a Hungarian driver's license listed in the annex to this decree, the naturalization of the driver's license can take place following a successful practical driving and traffic knowledge examination without attending a course.
The detailed description of categories that can be recorded in a Hungarian driver's license is included in Annex 2 of Government Decree 326/2011 (XII. 28).

Third country: countries other than EEA states and states enjoying the same rights as the EEA state based on an international agreement concluded between the European Union and a third country.

EEA state: a member state of the European Union* and another state participating in the agreement on the European Economic Area**, as well as a state whose citizens enjoy the same legal status as those of the European Community and its member states, and the states participating in the agreement on the European Economic Area with a citizen of a state that is not participating in the agreement on the European Economic Area, based on an international agreement concluded between the European Community and its member states and a state not participating in the agreement on the European Economic Area;
namely:

*Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, United Kingdom, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Netherlands, Croatia, Ireland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia

** Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

A driver's license issued by another EEA state's authority entitles driving in the territory of Hungary within its validity period. However, if the document does not contain a validity period, a Hungarian driver's license must be obtained after two years from the start of continuous residence. A driver's license issued in another EEA state can be exchanged for a Hungarian driver's license without an obligation to take an exam. (The procedure for exchanging a driver's license issued in another EEA state can be found in the Case Type for the exchange due to the expiration of the health suitability of the driver's license)

Where can the naturalization process be initiated:

From January 1, 2013, tasks related to the naturalization and repatriation of foreign driver's licenses are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Transport Authority. The procedure for naturalization of a driver's license issued by the authority of a third country can be requested and conducted exclusively at the Personal Customer Service of the National Transport Authority (previously: Central Document Office) at 1133 Budapest XIII, Visegrádi utca 110-112.
The procedure for exchanging a driver's license issued by the authority of another EEA state can still be requested and conducted at any document office functioning at district (municipal district) offices or government offices, as well as at the Personal Customer Service of the National Transport Authority. For the cases initiated before January 1, 2013, at other document offices but not concluded, further processing can only take place at the Personal Customer Service of the National Transport Authority.

Documents required for processing:

  • valid identification document (ID card, passport);
  • official document proving residence (residence card), for foreign citizens without such a document, a document issued by the immigration authority proving the right of residence (residence permit).

Documents to be attached for processing:

  • driver's license issued by the foreign authority
  • medical opinion certifying fitness to drive (The health suitability opinion for issuing a driver's license can be used until the date indicated as the nearest examination date);
  • proof of payment of the driver's license issuance fee (In case of payment via postal money order (check), the sender receipt for the check, in the document office or government office customer service for payment by credit card, the receipt for the payment);
  • authentic Hungarian translation of the foreign driver's license (if the country where the driver's license was issued has not acceded to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic).

Costs

The fee for exchanging a driver's license issued by the authority of another EEA state is 4000 HUF or 1500 HUF if the applicant:

  • has reached retirement age;
  • based on the prescription of the health authority, the validity of the driver's license is 1 year or less. If the driver's license was not issued in an EEA state, the fee for naturalization of the foreign driver's license is 6200 HUF.


If a course-free examination is required, the following examination fees must be paid for examination conducted by the Traffic Suitability and Examination Center:

  • Theoretical exam: 4,600 HUF
  • Practical exam: 11,000 HUF

ATTENTION! The information on examination fees likely appears 'incorrectly' on the Ministry of Interior's website (4500 HUF examination fee per exam). The examination fees listed here show the examination fees applied by the Traffic Suitability and Examination Center.
These fees will need to be paid to the examination center during the naturalization process.

Processing time

If the circumstances are clarified (i.e., the legal conditions for issuing the driver's license can be established, and all necessary documents are available), the processing time is 8 days.
If the circumstances are not fully clarified, the processing time is 21 days. There is an option to request SMS and/or email notification about the date of the completed driver's license delivery and its arrival at the document office.

Important to note
During the naturalization process, the foreign driver's license will be confiscated and, in the case of reciprocity, returned to the issuing authority or otherwise retained until the foreign citizen's return. If the foreign driver's license was issued in a country that did not accede to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, during use in Hungary, the document must be accompanied by an authentic Hungarian translation.
The foreign driver's license, along with the translation, is valid for driving in Hungary for one year from the start of residence in Hungary.


A certified Hungarian translation of the foreign driver's license prepared by the National Translation and Authentication Office will be accepted.
If the foreign driver's license does not meet the above conditions and in the absence of different provisions in an international agreement, it only authorizes driving from the border to the place of accommodation or from the place of accommodation to the departing border crossing point.

Source: https://nyilvantarto.hu/archiv_honlap_2016/hu/vezetoiengedely_honositas

If you'd like to apply to us, write us an email (Ez az e-mail-cím a szpemrobotok elleni védelem alatt áll. Megtekintéséhez engedélyeznie kell a JavaScript használatát.), click on the Jelentkezés menu, or reach us via phone: +36-70-720-5455 (availability: Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm).

Registration fee at our driving school: 15.000 HUF

Price of practice driving for those naturalizing:
in Hungarian: 10,000 HUF / lesson
in English: 12,000 HUF / lesson
(One lesson according to Government Decree 24/2005 (IV. 21.) is 50 minutes).

If you also want to review the rules, we have a good solution for that too. With our online refresher course, you can review the entire traffic code, rules, signs, and traffic situations at your own pace and time.
Price of online refresher course: 51,000 HUF (usage time: 36 hours, 90 days)