Getting a driving license is still a necessity for many people. Here’s everything you need to know about the process of getting a category B (cars) license in Luxembourg.
Before you can apply for a driving license you need to fulfil certain criteria and submit a number of documents.
If you already have a foreign driving license and are looking to exchange or register it, see our separate article for all the details.
First, if you want to learn how to drive a car you need to be at least 18 years old. If you wish to driver smaller vehicles, such as mopeds then you can already do so at 16. However, you can already start taking lessons before your eighteenth birthday; only the practical test needs to be taken after that date.
Driving licenses can only be obtained from state approved driving schools, a list of which can be found here: https://snca.public.lu/en/permis/autos-ecoles-agrees.html. If you are unhappy with your choice you can simply change the driving school at any time.
Before you start taking lessons, theoretical or practical, you will need to pass a medical examination, to prove that you’re fit to drive. Your normal GP can do the latter and there is no need to look for a special doctor. The examination doesn’t take long and tests basic things such as your eyesight and reflexes.
Once you’ve completed the medical exam you can enrol in a driving school. The school will complete your application and pass it to the competent authority at the National Society of Automotive Traffic (SNCA). Alongside your application you need to provide these documents:
- a copy of your ID or passport
- the medical certificate
- a passport photograph
- a copy of your criminal record (if you are already 18 at the time of application), if you’ve lived in Luxembourg fir less than 5 years you will need to provide one from your country of origin
- a tax stamp (provided by the driving school and worth €30)
- a signature and copy of a form of ID of a parent/guardian if the candidate is underage at the time of application
- a learner’s certificate (provided by the driving school)
The cost varies from school to school but should be around €1000 upwards, depending on the number of lessons you’ll need to take.
The Theoretical Exam
The theoretical part of the course covers the Luxembourgish traffic system, candidates are taught the rules at lessons in the driving school. Everything is covered in 12 one-hour lessons after which you are allowed to take the test. Check which languages your school is offering before enrolling to make sure you can follow the course. Everything taught in the course can also be found in the ‘Code de la route’ (Highway Code’), which can be found in bookshops and exists in several languages. It is useful when preparing for the exam but a used copy will do.
The actual exam is digital and you can practice online beforehand. The test can be taken at three locations (Sandweiler, Diekirch, Esch) in five languages (English, Luxembourgish, French, German, Portuguese). To sign up for the exam you can either phone or email the SNCA or start a procedure on myguichet. You’ll get the result immediately, in case you fail you have to restart the course and pay a readmission fee.
People who are learning to drive have the opportunity to practice with a relative or friend who already has their license. Accompanied driving gives you the opportunity to practice outside of the normal driving lessons. In order to be eligible for accompanied driving, the candidate must be at least 17 years of age, have passed the theoretical exam, and have completed 12 practical lessons (of one hour each) in a driving school.
In order to qualify as an accompanying driver, one needs to have a close relationship with the candidate, i.e. be a parent, guardian or close friend. Furthermore, the accompanying driver must already have had their license for at least six years, and not been convicted of any traffic offences in the three years prior to the commitment. Before they can drive together, the accompanying driver also needs to attend two of the candidate’s driving lessons.
In addition to the documents mentioned above, the candidate needs to submit the following for accompanied driving:
- name and driving license number of the accompanying driver
- a copy of their criminal record
- a copy of their ID
- an insurance certificate which states that damage caused during accompanied driving will be covered by civil liability insurance
Accompanied driving can take place alongside normal lessons (after the first 12 hours) and candidates need to take at least 4 lessons again before taking the practical exam. Vehicles used for accompanied driving need to be marked with a sign depicting a white L on a red background. The sign needs to be displayed in the rear window. In addition, the drivers need to stick to certain rules: they can only drive in Luxembourg, only between 6AM and 11PM, and the accompanying driver must be sitting in the front.
The Practical Exam
Without accompanied driving, candidates have to take at least 16 lessons before being eligible to take the exam. There is no upper limit, you can take as many lessons as necessary. You need to be 18 at the time of the exam and your driving school needs to register you for it, so you might have to chase them up if they don’t. The exam takes approximately 30 minutes. If you fail you’ll have to take at least eight more lessons before attempting it again.
Training Period and Safety Training
After passing the practical exam the candidate gets a provisional license, this looks the same as the normal license but is only valid for two years. In addition, the driver gets a training record, a little green book which may be used to record traffic offences, and which needs to be in the car at all times.
In order to receive the full license, drivers need to take part in a day-long safety training course. The course takes place at the training centre in Colmar Berg and allows participants to practice driving under difficult conditions, such as heavy rain. The course is mandatory and needs to be completed in the two-year trial period. After this period and successful completion of the course the candidate gets a final license which will be valid for 10 years.