In January 2019, 12 days before I gave birth to Valentina, I did the impossible. I got my Italian drivers license. If you think that sounds pretty boring and basic then you have never studied or tried for your license in Italy. For a country with some epically bad drivers, you wouldn’t believe the difficulty in passing the theory exam. I actually have a whole entire article on how to do this, up on the blog so if you need very clear written instructions definitely check it out. If you’re looking for general info, this podcast will break it down for you.
First thing you should know is that if you’re not European you likely cannot just trade in your old license for an Italian one. Americans, canadians, australians, you’re all included in this. Meaning you have to start over, as if you’ve never driven a day in your life. This involves going to an autoscuola or auto school, passing a theory exam, and passing the actual practical driving test.
Second, everyone must now (as of 2012) go through an autoscuola to get their license. You cannot simply go to the motor vehicle dept and take the test. Unfortunately, this means it’s going to cost you more than you were probably hoping. The prices are regulated but be prepared to spend around 800 euro when all said and done.
Third, the theory test is by far the hardest part. They write the questions in a way to purposely confuse you. The best thing you can do is attend the classes at the driving school if your italian is not great, but also use one of the apps that lets you take practice quizzes. I had completed about 60% of the entire library of test questions on an app before I passed the official theory test.
Fourth, you will likely need to learn to drive a manual transmission. Some schools do have automatic, but if you don’t take the test on a manual, you will forever have a giant A on your license and run into difficulties with car rentals etc in the future.
That’s just a snapshot, so for more detailed info be sure to check out my blog post and.. if you’re thinking of getting your license, in bocca al lupo ragazzi!