Driving licence in Sweden
The practical training varies depending on how well the student can already operate the vehicle
- Driving tests (usually around 13 or 14 before the student is ready for the final test)
- Risk 2 (hazard education). This tests how the student manoeuvres his or her vehicle in the winter if it's slippery and effective braking.
The theoretical tests in Sweden consists of 8 tests.
- Phase A, B and C (traffic & Risks)
- Phase Vehicle (how to maintain the vehicle)
- Phase Repeat (repetition of prior steps but with additional questions)
- Phase Final test (recreating a final test from "Vägverket")
The student needs to take the "Risk 1" theoretical training about drugs, alcohol and driving.
All these are completed on the computer except the Risk 1 which they will work together in a group and listen to an instructor.
- AM Driver licence = is 50cc for age 15 year old and up. The AM-licence also allows the driver to drive an EPA-Traktor (a specially reconstructed car with a maximum speed of 30 km/h) or a moped car (a small car with a top speed of 45 km/h)
- A1 Driver licence = 16 Years of age (includes motorcycle 125cc and class 2 vehicles Tractor and 25 km/h moped)
- A Limited = 18 Years of age (includes a motorcycle with a maximum of 25 kW, and must have 0.16 kW per kilo) - This automatically becomes A Unlimited after 2 years.
- A Unlimited = 20 Years of age (if the driver has motorcycle for 2 years or more, otherwise 21)
- B (car) = 18 years of age (includes car licence for a vehicle that weighs less than 3.5 tonnes and also light truck, light trailer, tractor, three and four wheeled motorcycles, off-road military vehicles that weighs less than 2 tonnes, snowmobile (if the driver gets his or her licence before year 2000, otherwise the driver needs an off-road licence),
- BE (car with heavy trailer) = The driver may use a heavy trailer for his or her car. There is no limit concerning the number of trailers, although restricted by the maximum length of an equipage. Licenses issued before 2013 have no weight limit on the trailers, licenses issued since 2013 are limited to 3.5 tonnes total trailer weight. Even if licenses have no weight limit, the towing vehicles and the trailers have such limits, which can be up to 3.5 tonnes for some cars.
- C (heavy car/trucks) = a car or truck that may weigh above 3.5 tonnes
- CE (heavy car/truck) = a car or truck with 3.5 tonnes of weight or more with an unlimited weight trailer.
- D (bus) = Bus licence requires the driver to be 21 years of age.
- DE (bus) = Bus licence with unlimited trailer weight.
A learner's permit can be issued at age 16. The student may choose to learn by going to a driving school or in private with up to four different instructors. Usually a mix of the two is used. These instructors must be 24 or older and must have held a valid driver's licence for five years (it must not have been cancelled temporarily for drunk driving and other serious traffic violations, but a single speeding conviction is now acceptable). The instructors and student must go through a traffic safety course before permission is granted; it takes about three hours to complete and is usually given at all driving schools on certain dates. From 2010 it is enough for every student and every instructor to go on this course once; before that each instructor and student pair had to go together, e.g. father/elder child, mother/elder child, father/younger child, mother/younger child.
When learners reach age 18 they may take a theory test (Swedish: Kunskapsprov); a score of 52 out of 65 questions is required to pass. They must also attend a hazard lesson (Swedish: Riskutbildning), which may, for instance, take place at a track which is sprayed with oil to make it slippery. First, students learn about the human factor and other dangers in traffic; then they drive the course and try to make the car spin so they can learn to control it during such situations.
Students then take a driving test. If they pass, a driver's licence is granted; it usually comes by mail a few days later. Until then newly licensed drivers are given a temporary licence (valid for a year). The licences are issued by the Swedish Transport Agency. For both tests a fully valid identity document is needed.
Driving test for class A (motorcycle)
The student must show ability to hold the weight of the motorcycle by walking with it. Then the student must do a driving test in very slow speed, in order to show balance. After that there is a test to maneuver away from obstacles at 50 km/h, and then a brake test at 70 km/h and 90 km/h.
If the student has passed these tests, a driving test in the city is performed, and then on a highway. The student must be able to handle traffic, know the traffic rules and be able to handle the acceleration of the motorcycle.
Driving test for class B (car)
The student must show knowledge of how to do a standard check of the vehicle, like checking the brakes, the brake fluid, the lights etc.
Then there is the driving test. When it comes to B licence, the student goes through three steps, city road (for example driving in a soft manner), highway (making sure the student accelerates fast and yet driving safely for the environment and traffic safety), housing estate (making sure the student is observant of people and pets that may move through these areas). The student must be able to handle traffic and know the traffic rules.
Driving test for class C and D (heavy vehicles)
The theoretical test covers similar things as the car test, but also things like brakes, driving time rules etc.
The driver test aims partly to test ability to manoeuvre a large vehicle.
In order to be allowed to drive professionally (against salary) a special skill certificate is needed. A special education is needed to get it, which covers things like the driving time rules, the tachograph, load securing, passenger safety (buses) etc. This education is around six weeks long.
The first two first years are considered a probationary period (Swedish: Prövoperiod). If a driver commits a serious traffic offense during that time, the licence is revoked, and the driver must retake the driving test to regain it.
Replacing a foreign driving licence
It is mandatory to have either a Swedish or EU/EEA driving licence to drive in Sweden if one has been a resident in the country for more than one year.
A person holding a driving licence from certain countries may exchange it for a Swedish licence without the need for a test. These countries are the EU/EEA nations, Switzerland and Japan. People holding a driving licence from other countries must do the full test in order to obtain a Swedish driving licence.
Holders of an EU driving licence in Sweden must pay an additional "inspection fee", on top of the standard fee for the issuing of the licence, to have their licence converted to a Swedish licence. This differs from many other European countries, where authorities charge national licence holders and EU licence holders the same fee to have a new licence issued, seeing as all EU licences are equally valid and follow a standard format.