I did my first driver’s license and the only one I thought I’d ever need … in South Africa. When I moved to London, I was easily able to convert my license, the same was done in Thailand and Prague. When I moved to South Korea, I landed up re-doing my entire license again, but was offered it in English so the task wasn’t too tricky. Bring on Italy … I am not able to convert my license here as my licensed country does not have an agreement with Italy, however if I lived in our very close neighboring countries like Germany or Austria the conversion would be easy. So sadly, I hit the drawing board again – okay, I’ll just get my international license in the interim while I figure this all out. This luckily gave me one year of driving legally in Italy possessing my original drivers [sic] and international license even though my international license is valid for another three.
But once you get your permanent residency in Italy, it means you lose this perk of using your international license and are more illegal than when you drove around like a tourist. Where’s the sense in that? So, I’m now paying taxes, considered a lesser ‘alien’ and am legal here with a permanent doctor, and some benefits, but I can’t drive legally anymore?
Last resort, I will bite the bullet and do my drivers [sic] for the third time in my life. I’ve done it before, so it can’t be too bad, surely … WRONG! In Italy, the drivers [sic] license test is only offered in Italian or German and in some exceptional cases … French.
Excerpted from Italy, You’re Driving Me Mad! (Südtiroler Wirtschaftszeitung Nr. 11/23), written by Kira Lang-Pertoll, Kaltern.