This article will explain all the primary considerations related to exchanging your foreign driver’s license in the Republic of Georgia, including the deadlines, legal requirements, and overall process for making the exchange.
Do I Need To Get A Georgian Driver’s License?
- A foreigner is authorized to drive in Georgia for 1 year after their last entry into Georgia (unless the term of validity of their driver’s license expires before that).
- A foreigner is entitled to swap their foreign driver’s license with a new Georgian driver’s license without passing the local driving test.
Should I Exchange, Or Take The Local Driving Test?
The local driving test is reported as being easy to pass (if you study and are an experienced driver) in Georgian or Russian language. The English theory test, however, is renowned for being so poorly translated that you have a high chance of failing, even if you studied thoroughly. The requirements to pass are relatively simple. It is the translation that causes the issues.
An exchange of license does not require a test. But the documentary evidence needed for the exchange needs to be considered.
How To Exchange Your Foreign Driver’s License
The following details are based directly on the legislation (Order 598, Article 49 – currently only available in Georgian).
- Your passport (translated and notarized in Georgia); OR, your Georgian residence permit and passport (in such cases, translation and notarization are not required).
- Your original valid foreign driver’s license. Note: You will have to leave your foreign driver’s license in the Agency.
- A notice issued by the relevant administrative body of the foreign country, legalized/apostilled, then translated, and notarized here in Georgia. The notice should indicate:
a. That you have been granted the driver’s license;
b. The date when the driver’s license was issued;
c. The category and sub-category (vehicle types) of the driver’s license.
d. Restrictions on driving a vehicle (if any);
e. The fact of suspension or termination of the right to drive in the country that issued the driver’s license (if any);
- A Form 100/a (ფორმა IV-100/ა – about your health condition) issued within the last 180 days.
Note: Many hospitals, clinics, and individual practitioners can issue this document. It is issued after answering a few simple questions and/or taking a simple test. Its price varies, but usually it is around 15-25 GEL.
How Can ExpatHub Assist?
Please note that at this time, ExpatHub can only assist with a driver’s license application if you have acquired all the necessary documents detailed in the “Documents Required” section above.
Once you have gathered all of the required documents, we will review everything prior to submission. Next, a member of our legal team will attend the submission appointment with you, to make sure there won’t be any misunderstandings or language barriers and that everything goes smoothly. Our fee for this assistance is 375 GEL (+VAT).
Additionally, while we will do our best to assist you and prevent any issues, we cannot guarantee a successful license exchange, since this is under the Service Agency’s jurisdiction, and not ours.
- Visit the Service Agency (of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia).
Address: 5a Petre Kavtaradze St, Tbilisi
- Submit the documents.
- Pay the fee (15+1 GEL) (a bank is located in the same building).
- If approved, receive a new (Georgian) driver’s license in approx. 15-20 minutes.
What is the validity of your new Georgian Driver’s License?
From Article 41.5:
- for categories A, B, BE, T, S, A1, and B1 – 15 years;
- for categories C, CE, D, DE, C1, C1E, D1, and D1E – 5 years.
How do I get my documents apostilled/legalized?
This process can only be provided by a recognized authority of the country which issued the documents. Contact your country’s embassy/consulate in Georgia for advice on how to proceed.
How do I get my documents translated/notarized?
Any Notary Public in Georgia can assist with this. Alternatively, our legal department also provides translation services, and we’d be happy to help you.
What sort of document is required to satisfy item 3 above (the document from the authorities stating when the license was issued, etc.)?
It is very important that the notice includes all the information listed above. If it does not say anything regarding the suspension of the license, simply because it has never happened, such documents do not get accepted based on our experience. The Georgian Service Agency tends to be rigid on this matter, which is why a foreigner must specifically ask the issuing foreign authority to include all of the above mentioned information regarding the driver’s license, even if the standard form of the notice in a foreign country does not usually contain such info.
If you cannot successfully argue this, contact your embassy or the local authority in your home country to request if a document of this nature can be provided.
Can I exchange the Georgian license for one in another country if I leave Georgia?
That would depend on the country in which you wish to make the exchange, and you should seek advice from the relevant authorities in that country.
If I can drive legally in Georgia so long as my last legal entry was less than 1 year ago, do I need a Georgian license if I leave and return more than once a year?
This is a bit of a grey area. If your passport shows that your last entry was less than 1 year ago, then you most likely can drive on your foreign license, even if you have been mostly in Georgia for many years. What the law says and how the law is enforced tends to differ in some instances, so all we can comment is that, if you have not got a visa stamp proving you have been in the country for less than 1 year, definitely don’t drive on a foreign license.
If you normally live here, and have for more than 1 year, but do have a last entry of less than 1 year, then the risk is on you if you continue to drive on your foreign license. We can’t say for sure how the law would be applied in this case.