Cyprus presents few challenges when it comes to driving: Cypriots drive on the left and all the motorway signs are printed in English.
This extends, too, to licensing issues: unlike most countries, where your UK/EU licence can only be used for six or 12 months, in Cyprus visitors and residents from the UK or other EU countries only need to convert to a Cypriot licence once their licence from their home nation has expired. So if you’re relocating to the island only semi-permanently, you may never need to change your licence at all!
Information for those relocating from outside the EU can be found at the bottom of this article.
When will I need to convert my licence?
In most EU countries, as in the UK, your driving licence is valid until you reach the age of 70, but the photocard in your wallet needs to be replaced every 10-15 years. It’s only then that you’ll need to get hold of a Cypriot licence instead. Note that you do NOT need to exchange your licence simply because the card in your wallet bears a Wolverhampton address and you now reside in Nicosia – the Cypriot licensing regulations allow for this.
Once over the age of 70, the licence needs to be renewed every three years, so older drivers will need to convert sooner. Similarly, if your UK/other EU licence is lost or stolen, you will need to get a new, Cypriot one issued, which you can do by obtaining proof that you previously held your existing licence from the DVLA in the UK, or from the corresponding authority in your home country.
How do I convert my licence?
The process for converting from a UK or other EU licence to a Cypriot one is relatively painless. As long as you have a full licence from your country of origin, you can simply exchange it for the equivalent class of Cypriot licence, without having to undergo any eye, theory or practical tests whatsoever.
To convert your licence, you will need to visit either a Citizen Service Centre (which is usually the easier option) or one of the regional offices of the Department of Transport. Once there, you will need to complete a TOM 7 application form and supply two passport photos, along with a copy of your resident’s permit, proof that you have been a resident on the island for at least six months (such as a utility bill), and your passport.
If all your documentation is complete, it should then be a case of simply handing over the €40 Euro conversion fee – although here older drivers get some good news, because for the over-65’s this charge is waived.
If you’re coming to Cyprus from outside the EU, you will need both your domestic licence and an International Driving Permit to drive at all in Cyprus. You will then need to convert to a Cypriot licence after six months if your licence comes from any of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, USA, Zimbabwe. The conversion process for licences issued in these countries should be as per UK/UE countries, outlined above.
Drivers from other countries will need to convert their licence after just 30 days, and are advised to contact the Cypriot Department Of Transport directly for details of the conversion process. You can do this via their website.
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