Can I drive in Sweden with a foreign driving license as an asylum seeker?

According to the driving license law (1998: 488), a foreign driving license is valid in Sweden only under certain conditions. Among other things, according to Chapter 6, Section 2 of the same law, the driving license is valid in the issuing state and, if the driving license is issued in a state outside of Europe, that the holder has not been registered in Sweden for more than a year back in time. The deadline is solely linked to the population records (”folkbokföring”) and the actual residence time in Sweden is irrelevant.

Simply put, you can drive with your foreign driving license in Sweden while you are asylum seeker. If your driving license is not in English, we recommend that you translate the driving license and always have the translation along with the driver’s license as attachment.

Your driving license must be provided with a photo of you otherwise you must have a valid photo ID while driving.

However, if you get a residence permit in Sweden and register at the tax authorities (Skatteverket Folkbokföring), you will have a time limit of one year from the registering at the Tax Autohorities (Skatteverket).


Suppose Ahmet is an asylum seeker in Sweden from 1 January 2015 and is entitled to a residence permit 2018-01-01. Ahmet has a foreign driving license from Turkey, with his photographe on. Ahmet has also translated his driving license that he brings when driving the car with the driver’s license. Ahmet is allowed to drive a car throughout this period since he applied for asylum until he obtained a residence permit. Since Ahmet obtained a residence permit, he can be registered in Sweden Skatteverket (Tax autohirities). We assume that Ahmet is registered with the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) 2018-01-01, from this day he can continue driving with his Turkish driver’s license for a maximum of one year.

As long as you are not registered in Sweden as a resident (no longer asylumseeker) at the Tax Agency (Skatteverket Folkbokföringen), there is no limited time for how long you can drive in Sweden with your foreign license.

Content last checked 2018-04-20.

Keywords: Foreign driving license in Sweden, asylum seekers are allowed to drive a car.