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Exchanging a foreign driver’s license to a Finnish one

Summary

Check if you are eligible to change driver’s license.
You will need: medical certificate (if your current driver’s license is not from EU), two passport photos, and 35€.
Make an appointment with Driving Department

Step-by-step

In Finland, getting a driver’s license is pricy (well pretty much everything is expensive here).  But luckily, driver’s license from certain foreign countries can be exchanged into a Finnish one, with an affordable fee.

The first step is to get a medical certificate (specifically for driver’s license). But if your current driver’s license is from an EU country, then you can skip this step.
The medical check-up costs 110€ from a private care provider (60€ in public health center, where there’s a few months’ waiting time).  Meeting with the doctor takes only 10 minutes (no small talks, and yes it is still 110€).  Very briefly check vision, and ask about health condition/history.  Measure blood pressure.  Then the certificate is printed out right away.  Two copies: one for self record, and one for the driving department (just bring both and let them take whatever).

The second step is to make an appointment with Driving department.  It is very easy to make an appointment online.  But somehow still need to get a customer number once inside of their building (what is the scheduled time for?).  During the short meeting with an officer, fill a form.  The officer pastes two photos onto the form, takes a copy of passport, and checks personal ID, see if it’s within two years after becoming permanent.  It costs only 35€. The actual driver’s license card comes to home more than two months later (three weeks for my husband).  But they give a temporary driver’s license (in my case, valid till the two year mark).  The whole meeting takes less than 10 minutes.

Why should you change into an Finnish driver’s license?  For me, it’s because my US one is expiring soon, and after changing, I get 15 years of worry-free!

 

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