Holy See Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Holy See Driving Licence : The Holy See, or Vatican City State, has its own regulations regarding driving licences and permits. Here is an overview of how driver’s licences work in the Vatican:

Types of Licences

  • Vatican City Driving Licence – This licence is issued to residents and citizens of the Vatican City State. It allows you to drive within the borders of the Vatican.
  • International Driving Permit – Visitors to the Vatican can drive using their home country licence along with an International Driving Permit (IDP). The IDP is essentially a translation of your home licence.
  • Italian Driving Licence – Since the Vatican is located within the borders of Rome, Italy, Vatican residents and citizens often also obtain an Italian driving licence. This allows them to legally drive throughout Italy.

Minimum Age Requirements

  • The minimum age to obtain a Vatican City driving licence is 18 years.
  • To get an Italian driving licence, the minimum age is 18 years for a B permit and 20 years for the full A1, A2, A, and B licences.

Licence Categories

The Vatican and Italy use the standard European licence categories:

  • AM – Mopeds
  • A1 – Light motorcycles
  • A2 – Medium motorcycles
  • A – Large motorcycles
  • B – Cars and small trucks
  • C – Large trucks
  • D – Buses

Licence Validity

  • Vatican City driving licences do not expire. They are valid for life.
  • Italian driving licences are valid for 10 years. They must be renewed before expiration to continue driving legally in Italy and the Vatican.

Obtaining a New Holy See Driver’s Licence

Here is the process to obtain a new Vatican City State driving licence:


To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a resident or citizen of the Vatican City State.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Pass required medical exams.
  • Pass required driving exams.

Required Documents

You will need to provide:

  • Application form
  • Identity card issued by the Vatican
  • Medical certificate from an approved physician
  • 2 passport photos


  1. Get a medical checkup from an approved Vatican physician. They will issue a medical certificate.
  2. Obtain an application form for a Vatican driving licence. Fill it out completely.
  3. Submit the completed application, medical certificate, ID photos, and copy of your Vatican identity card to the Governor’s Office.
  4. Once approved, schedule your theory and practical driving exams through the Governor’s Office.
  5. If you pass both exams, your Vatican driving licence will be issued on the spot. There is no waiting period.

Renewing a Holy See Driver’s Licence

Vatican City driving licences do not need to be renewed. They are valid for life. However, here are some situations that require getting a new Vatican licence:

  • You change your name or address.
  • Your licence is lost or stolen.
  • Your licence is damaged.
  • You need to upgrade your licence to a new category.

To get a new Vatican licence, you generally follow the same steps as applying for an original licence:

  • Get a new medical certificate
  • Submit application form
  • Provide updated ID photos
  • Pass theory and practical exams (if applicable)

The only exception is if you are just updating your name or address. In that case, you may only need to provide proof of the change.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Holy See Licence

If your Vatican City driving licence is lost or stolen, here is how to get a replacement:


  • Report the lost or stolen licence to the Governor’s Office as soon as possible.
  • For a stolen licence, also file a police report. Obtain a copy of the report.


  • Get an application for a replacement licence from the Governor’s Office.
  • Complete the application and submit along with:
    • Copy of police report (if applicable)
    • New medical certificate
    • Updated ID photos
  • Pay the replacement fee.


  • You may need to take new theory and road exams before the replacement licence is issued. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • If required, schedule and pass your exams through the Governor’s Office.

Once approved, your replacement Vatican driving licence will be printed for you. This serves as your new official licence.

Changing Your Address on a Holy See Driver’s Licence

If you move to a new address in the Vatican City State, you must update your driving licence. Here is the process:


  • Notify the Governor’s Office of your change of address within 10 days.
  • Provide proof of new residence, such as a copy of your updated identity card or utilities bill.


  • Obtain and complete an application for an updated driving licence.
  • Submit the application with:
    • Proof of new address
    • Updated passport photos
    • Applicable fee

Updated Licence

Once your application is approved, an updated Vatican driving licence will be issued showing your new address. You must begin using this new licence right away.

Taking the Driver’s Exam for a Holy See Licence

To qualify for your first Vatican driving licence, you will need to pass a standardized theory and road test. Here are the steps:

Study and Practice

  • Study the Vatican’s driving manual and road signs to prepare for the test.
  • Practice driving with a licensed instructor or supervisor. Get experience driving in different conditions.

Schedule Your Exams

  • Contact the Governor’s Office to schedule your theory and practical driving exams.
  • Bring acceptable ID.

Take the Theory Exam

  • Arrive on time for your computer-based theory test appointment.
  • You will be asked 40 multiple choice questions about Vatican driving laws, signs, and safety procedures.
  • Passing score is 36/40. Results are immediate.

Take the Practical Exam

  • If you pass the theory test, you can immediately take the practical road test.
  • You will have to demonstrate your driving skills in a Vatican test vehicle with the examiner.
  • You will be evaluated on things like vehicle control, turns, parking, observation, and lane changes.
  • Make sure you drive responsibly and obey all traffic laws.
  • If you pass, your new licence can be issued right away.

Traffic Fines and Penalties in the Holy See

Driving in the Vatican comes with responsibility. Here are some key traffic fines and penalties:

Common Offences and Fines

  • Speeding – €100-€700 depending on severity
  • Running a red light – €200
  • Illegal parking – €80
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle – €350

Serious Offences

  • Drunk driving – Licence suspension + fine
  • Reckless driving – Licence suspension + fine
  • Leaving the scene of an accident – Licence revocation + fine

Driver’s Licence Points System

  • The Vatican uses a points system similar to Italy’s.
  • Points are assigned to convictions – more serious = more points.
  • Accumulating 12+ points can result in suspension.

Paying Fines

  • Fines can be paid at the Tribunal Office in the Vatican.
  • Unpaid fines may result in further penalties.
  • Fines must be paid promptly to renew an Italian or Vatican licence.

FAQs on Holy See Driving Licence

1. Do I need an International Driving Permit to drive in the Vatican?

If you hold a non-European licence, it’s recommended to get an IDP along with your home licence to legally drive in the Vatican. An IDP provides a certified translation.

2. How do I transfer my licence from another country to the Vatican?

You generally don’t need to transfer or exchange licences. Just use your current valid licence along with an IDP. If you become a Vatican resident, you can apply for a Vatican licence without taking exams.

3. Is my Italian driving licence valid in Vatican City?

Yes, an Italian licence is fully valid for driving within the borders of the Vatican, since it is located within Italy.

4. Can minors apply for a Vatican driving licence?

No, you must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Vatican City driver’s licence.

5. Do tourists need a Vatican driving licence to drive within the country?

No. Tourists can legally drive in the Vatican using their home driver’s licence along with an International Driving Permit.