U.S. citizen tourists/temporary residents with stays less than six months must have a driver’s license from the United States and an international driver’s permit (IDP) issued by American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance to drive or rent a car in Greece. AAA accepts applications by mail, but processing time may be a couple of weeks. Contact the companies directly for instructions. The Embassy does not issue IDPs; you should apply for your IDP before your trip to Greece if possible.
Some Greek rental car agencies rent cars to tourists without informing them of problems that might occur if one is driving without the proper documentation. If you drive without one of these documents, you may face high fines or be responsible for all expenses in the event of an accident.
For stays more than 185 days in Greece: A Greek license is required. U.S. citizens may be arrested and face trial if caught in Greece without correct documentation if you have exceeded six months of stay in Greece. Contact the Regional Office of Transportation and Communication for more information.
Renewing U.S. Licenses: To renew or replace a U.S. driver license, applicants should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in their own state for information. The Embassy is not authorized by any state to renew or replace driver licenses, nor can the Embassy administer driving or eye tests. Some states issue licenses only to those who actually reside in that state; if an applicant no longer resides in the U.S., he/she may not be able to get the U.S. driver licenses renewed.
Converting your Driver’s License
The following criteria must be met in order to convert a US Driver License to a Greek License:
- Have his/her regular domicile in Greece
- Be a holder of a valid U.S. driver license
- That he/she does not hold any other driver’s license, Greek or of any other country except the one to be converted.
- That the individual has reached the required age for each driving category
- Have the minimum requirements of body and mental capability that apply for each driving category
The following documents are required:
- Application/Sworn statement of Law
- A photocopy of the US passport
- A photocopy of a valid residence permit or other equivalent document (if the individual does not have Greek nationality), which must have been issued at least 185 days prior to the submission of the application
- A valid U.S. driver’s license. Temporary Driver Licenses cannot be converted.
- Translation of the U.S. license by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Arionos 10, Monastiraki) or an attorney. In the case that the type of vehicles that can be driven by the holder of the license cannot be established, a statement by the respective State’s Motor Vehicle Administration must be submitted, together with its translation by the above mentioned authorities.
- One recent colored ID photograph
- Receipt from a State Fund for the payment of the necessary revenue stamps and contributions to the Motorists Retirement Fund, according to the provisions in force for every category or sub-category of driver’s licenses (€18 for categories A & B, and €108.15 for the rest of the categories)
- Two medical certificates, one from an oculist and one from a pathologist, from a Medical Committee of 2nd degree, with two revenue stamps issued by the National Bank of Greece in the amount of €45 each, for the special account of legislative order No. 638/1970 and four (4) passport size pictures. The doctors must be contracted by the respective Transportation Department.
- The applicant must request from the Department of Motor Vehicles of the respective state, a statement verifying that his/her driver license hasn’t been withheld or revoked due to any type of traffic violation. The statement should be forwarded along with the holder’s Greek address, to the nearest Greek Consulate by the respective Department Motor Vehicle. The Greek Consulate will then forward the statement to the appropriate Transportation Department in Greece. A list of Greek Consulates in the U.S. is available at the American Embassy in Athens and at our website, here. We encourage you to contact the Greek Consulate for current detailed information regarding this procedure.
- A € 30.00 revenue stamp issued by the National Bank of Greece for the issuance/printing of the driver license.