Exchanging a Foreign Driver's License for a Finnish One

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Post by mof » Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:04 am

Just to add to this thread in case anyone one is as lazy as me.

If you wait over a year after your residency status is in play,
you should do the whole driving test.

..But there is a provision that allows you an extra 6 months grace period.

Soo, to my story:

After waiting 2 years to transfer my Australian License to a Finnish one, I returned to Aus for a holiday and as my Aus license was about to expire I renewed it.

So my Australian license was now valid for another 5 years, but had been stamped with the renewal date... The Finnish police (Espoo) thought that the renewal date was the date of first issue.

I was advised that I need to do the whole driving lesson..and test deal.
I could have been excluded from the lessons..but they were sure that I only had my Australian license since my vacation.

Well to wrap up the story, they accepted a fax from the local Australian license bureau and I only had to sit the test...I passed the test 3 days after my new car had arrived.

So, before I ramble on forever, here's the point:

You have 18 Months from when your permenant residency kicks in to change your license (If you don't have an EU licence) to a Finnish one.

Don't be lazy like me


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Post by kultary » Mon Nov 03, 2003 1:18 pm

OK... here's a related question:

I exchanged my American license for a Finnish one many years ago. The Finnish one is one of those extra large pink ones, which I kept in my wallet in my back hip pocket. The problem... the large pink licenses don't properly contour to the size or shape of my backside & has chipped in several places. I'm quite sure that it is no longer valid if I have to take it out of the place casing that it is in now.

The American license that I submitted has long since expired & I would like to exchange "large pink" for the credit card-sized license. Sigh

So the question... has anyone had a similar experience? Will it be just a case of making the exchange and paying the fee or will it get complicated?

- Ry

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Mon Nov 03, 2003 1:32 pm

No, just go to the police station with two photos and fill in the appropriate form, check the box saying "turmeltunut" (don't sign on the line before they tell you to), sign the affidavit saying you're not banned in any other EU country. If its not really that bad chipped you can always help it a bit further :mrgreen: ...the thing is the new licences have a date of issue which then means you can for example rent a car in some obscure EU countries they require the date. The thing was a few years back you could get the 'small E' for free w/o a driving test, but thats only useful if you haul stuff anyways...
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

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Post by Geri Bush » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:53 pm

Any ideas as to where to get study materials. I was told that if I pass the written exams I can get the E and C1E. I found the small truck book in the library (it was 12 years old) but no information on the trailer. Is the driving school the only place?

I'm American so I get the B no questioned asked.

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Post by Hank W. » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:57 pm

Uh-oh teamster lady warning :shock:

:mrgreen: just watched 'convoy' a few times too long...

I'd suggest asking at the driving school (as rules & regulations change all the time), they have the books for sale, so maybe theres a 'used books recycling' at the school or you can put an ad to the Klaukkalan Sanomat or Viiri-Market noticeboard(or whatever its called now).
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

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Post by dusty_bin » Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:05 pm

Hank W. wrote: How the hell can you accomplish that if you drive alone? Even in the mini the right seat is some 70-80 cm wide and I can't stretch my arms *that* far. Isn't it a traffic hazard trying to reach for the right window?
That is the British rule, you have different ones that are appropriate to driving on the wrong side... :) It is a bloody long time since I saw them being used though, I think most people just don't indicate.

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Post by Alicia » Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:15 pm

I applied for my licence just before I turned 22 and they asked me a dozen questions and I had an interview with the big boss. I was going from an Australian P2 licence to a full Finnish licence.

I was shown a few pictures of signs and asked what they meant. I'd been primarily driving in winter though so the big-police-man-boss was impressed. I had a full physical at the higher cost than the actual licence! And now I have a licence with a 22 year olds face on it for the next 50 years!! Better than having to pay every 3-5 years like in Australia I'd say!

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Post by Michael » Tue Nov 25, 2003 11:32 pm

Good to read this thread. I had thought that it was not possible to exchange a UK licence for a Finnish licence and couldn't bear to go through the whole test thing in Finnish.

The Finnish police were not too happy with the fact that my old UK paper licence is in two pieces.

Interesting that the UK licence is acceptable for use in Finland on a permanent basis yet the UK have a rule that you can't obtain a replacement licence if you are not resident in the UK.

After three and a half years I suppose I had better go and get things sorted out.

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Post by tjawatts » Wed Nov 26, 2003 9:52 am

I just renewed my UK driving license. As long as you have a permanent address in the UK (say parents/children/brother/sister) it is possible. It is about 20 GBP for a photo license if that is all you are doing. For a change of address it is free.

Still get funny looks from Finns when I use it as ID though.


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Post by Michael » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:21 pm

According to the DVLC that would be a criminal act! You are only entitled to a UK licence (replacement or otherwise) if you are resident in the UK.

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