License and Registration Please – Austrian Driving Regulations

Given that Austria has an exceptional public transport system, residents living in major cities rarely invest in a vehicle. However, for those wanting the freedom to occasionally escape the city life, a vehicle may be quite useful. Whether you rent or buy is something to consider, but either way you will need to know the driving regulations in Austria. Below are the license and registration requirements for both EU driver’s license holders and foreign license holders. Though first outlined are a few road rules to consider.

Most motorways have toll requirements. It should be noted that a toll pass is required to proceed on toll highways, or “Autobahnens” in Austria. These can be purchased from most retail outlets and gas stations around the country. Not having the toll pass displayed clearly on your vehicle can incur a very large fine. The same goes for disregarding payment completely.    

EU License Holders

If you are a European driver’s license holder, then you are able to drive in Austria without hesitation. You will not be required to obtain an Austrian license as long as you have a valid drivers license from another EU country.

Non-EU License Holders 

Driver’s license holders from countries outside the EU, such as the US are not legally allowed to drive in Austria solely on their country’s driver’s license. These drivers must obtain an international driver’s license to accompany their existing license. Alternatively non-EU driver’s license holders can provide an official license translation to prove they have a valid license. These conditions apply exclusively to the first six months after arrival in Austria, after which time individuals must obtain an Austrian driver’s license.

It is essential to review the driving license requirements needed to obtain an Austrian license, based on your respective country. Vienna’s US embassy has outlined further details for US citizens wanting to obtain an Austrian driver’s license. 


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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