14.3 Using a motor vehicle
There are various rules that apply when using a motor vehicle in Sweden. Below is information on some of the most important ones.
14.3.1 Compulsory regular roadworthiness test
All motor vehicles registered in Sweden must, on a regular basis, undergo a roadworthiness test in order to maintain their registration. Information and instructions on these periodical car inspections can be found on the Swedish Transport Agency's website. The tests are undertaken to ensure that a vehicle has the necessary equipment and meets environmental and traffic safety standards. Regardless of where or when the motor vehicle was purchased, it must undergo the motor vehicle test on a regular basis. The owner is personally responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is tested.
Information on various inspection companies can be found on the Swedac website.
14.3.2 Motor vehicle tax and congestion tax
Diplomatic agents, career consular officers, administrative and technical staff and consular employees who are not Swedish citizens or permanent residents are exempt from motor vehicle tax as well as congestion tax, which applies in Stockholm and Gothenburg.
However, congestion tax will be charged as long as the vehicle carries regular white licence plates, i.e. until the vehicle is registered with blue diplomatic licence plates. The Swedish Transport Agency does not have the possibility to correct a decision on congestion tax. If congestion tax has been incurred before receiving the diplomatic licence plates, or in the case of an undue demand for payment of congestion tax, it is possible to ask for a review by the Swedish Tax Agency via post (Skatteverket, Trängselskattesektionen, 701 87 Örebro), fax (010 574 51 80) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). A request for a review should arrive at the Swedish Tax Agency no later than 60 days after the decision. Please note that the congestion tax must be paid even if a review is requested. The request for a review should contain the vehicle’s registration number, the date of the decision, the reason for requesting a review, as well as the name and address of the owner.
14.3.3 Driving licence
Applicable rules on driving licenses in Sweden can be found in the Driving License Act (körkortslagen) and the Driving License Ordinance (körkortsförordningen).
Staff members of embassies or consulates and their family members who are not Swedish citizens or permanent residents are required to carry a driving licence valid in the country of issuance. If the license is not designed in accordance with one of the international conventions on road traffic signed in Geneva on 19 September 1949 or in Vienna on 8 November 1968, nor is in English, French, German, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian, the license is only valid together with a certified translation into one of these languages. A driving license without a photography of the license holder is only valid together with an identity document with a photography. A Swedish driving licence is generally not necessary for individuals, like most staff members of embassies or consulates and their family members, who are not registered in the Swedish population register.
Different rules apply for individuals, like most officials of international organisations and their family members, who are registered in the Swedish population register. Driving licenses that are issued in countries outside of the EEA are not valid if the holder of the driving license has been registered in the Swedish population register for more than one year. The one-year rule does not apply to driving licenses issued within the EEA. The Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) may under certain circumstances grant an exception from the one-year rule and decide that a driving license issued in a country outside of the EEA is valid for a longer period than one year. The Transport Agency makes an assessment in each individual case based on the information in the application and decides whether an exception should be granted.
There are no special forms for making an application for an exception from the one-year rule. An application can be made in English or Swedish and should include:
- A letter from the applicant with a description of the purpose of the stay in Sweden. The letter should also include personal identity number, name and contact details of the applicant.
- A copy of the foreign driving license. If the driving license is not issued in English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian or Danish, it is also necessary to attach a certified translation of the driving license.
- A contract of employment from the international organisation which should include the length of the intended posting Sweden.
Applications for exceptions should be sent to Transportstyrelsen, 701 97 Örebro.
Further information on driving licenses, including on how to exchange a driving licence from an EEA country or how to obtain a Swedish driving licence, can be found on the Swedish Transport Agency's website.
Questions relating to driving licenses in Sweden may also be directed to the Transport Agency on the following telephone number: 0771-81 81 81.
14.3.4 Traffic rules
The driver of a motor vehicle is expected to follow all Swedish traffic rules. The same applies to mission staff in accordance with the Vienna Conventions. Below are a few examples of traffic rules to follow.
Seat belts and child seats
The driver of a motor vehicle, and all passengers, must use seat belts at all times when driving.
All children with a height below 135 cm should use an appropriate child safety seat. Until the child is four years old, it should be transported backwards in the car. If the child safety seat is used in the front seat, the air bag should be deactivated. Make sure that the child safety seat is valid in the EU according to EU directives and ECE regulation 44-03, or the latest version.
More information on car safety for children can be found in the recommendations of the Swedish Transport Agency.
Diplomatic missions are expected to follow parking rules and pay for any parking tickets received. More information on parking tickets can be found on the Swedish Transport Agency website.
See section 9.2 Speed violations.
See section 9.1 Drink driving.
14.3.5 Winter tyres
From 1 December to 31 March there are special requirements on which type of tyre certain vehicles must have when there are wintry conditions on the road. Studded tyres (dubbdäck) are permitted on Swedish roads between 1 October and 15 April. It should be noted that studded motor vehicles are not permitted on certain streets, e.g. Kungsgatan, Hornsgatan and Fleminggatan in Stockholm.
Further information on winter tyres can be found on the Swedish Transport Agency website.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Visiting address Gustav Adolfs torg 1
Address 103 39 STOCKHOLM
email to Protocol Department