Driving in Greece

January 2013

Driver Licenses

International Driver Permits: Tourists and temporary residents who plan to stay in Greece up to six months, must carry a valid U.S. license as well as an International Driving Permit.  American citizens who plan to stay in Greece more than 6 months, according to local law, need to convert their U.S. driving license into Greek.

The U.S. Department of State has authorized two organizations to issue international permits to those who hold valid U.S. driver’s licenses: The American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance.  An international driving permit issued by AAA can be obtained through the mail.

The American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the American Embassy has permit applications and the address for the office that handles overseas requests..  Permit applications and instructions are also available on the AAA website (http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpc.html). If you are currently overseas you can mail your completed application to the following office and address:

AAA/IDP
1000 AAA Dr.
Heathrow, FL 32746
Attn: Mailstop #28
Tel. 407-444-4240

For more information, call ACS at 210-720-2414.  International permits must be renewed every year by mail with the same procedure.  Please note that the Greek Automobile Association (ELPA) is not authorized to issue or renew International Driving Permits for non-Greek licenses.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: 

If a U.S. tourist in Greece is stopped by traffic police and is found to drive without the proper documentation (valid U.S. license together with International Driving Permit or, Greek Driving license, if he/she has exceeded 6 months of stay in Greece) the U.S. citizen may be arrested and face trial.

Some Greek rental car agencies sometimes rent cars to tourists without informing them of problems that might occur if one is driving without the proper documentation.

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.