How to get a driver's license in Austria
If you already have a driving license, but it was not obtained in the European Union country, then you can use it on Austrian roads. But only within six months. After that, you will have to follow the procedure for obtaining a driver’s license (already Austrian) again. In this article we will tell you how to do this.
Algorithm for obtaining a driving license in Austria
To get a driver’s license, certain conditions are necessary:
First, you choose the driving school. There are plenty of them in Austria, and it is not necessary to visit the one that is in the place of registration. When the driving school is chosen, the candidate for a driver writes an application. Data, included in it, is entered into the special register of driving licenses. That is, all formalities are handled by the driving school itself.
You can’t start training in a driving school, if there is no half-year interval before the minimum required age. For the most common B license, this age is 18. Therefore, admission to training can be obtained no earlier than 17.5 years.
An exception to the rule is the special L17 training program offered by almost all Austrian driving schools. It allows you to obtain a driving license in Austria at the age of 17.
For such categories as A and F, the minimum age is 24.
But in any case, you can’t get a driver’s license without going through theoretical studies. The latter can be combined with practical driving lessons.
For 15 years there is a multi-level training system for those wishing to obtain a driver’s license in Austria. This means that even a holder of a driving license will be required to take special courses on honing the driving skill.
Theoretical basis of driver training
The theoretical part of driving instruction in Austria takes 32 hours. Then the person chooses himself with what intensity he or she should study the theory – two hours twice a week for 8 weeks (a regular course), 4 hours four times a week for two weeks (an intensive course), or 4 hours daily for 8 days (an express course).
In any of three variants of training, you will still complete necessary 32 hours. Also there is an opportunity to buy printed materials (books) and a disk in the driving school – for 40 euros – where all questions, situations and exercises, without exception, included in the theoretical examination, are contained.
During the theoretical course or after it you must take a first aid course. It is paid separately (55 euros). This program takes 6 hours, during which the future driver will be taught the skills of artificial respiration, closed-chest massage, etc.
If a person, having received a first aid course certificate, does not pass exams within a year and a half, he or she will have to repeat the course.
It is also necessary to have a medical certificate of health (35 euros, valid for a year and a half).
When theoretical lessons are completed, the candidate for driver chooses a driving school for passing the exam. It can be any school. The main thing is to come with an identity card (you won’t be admitted to pass the exam without it).
The exam is conducted on computers in separate booths. The content of the exam is standard and the same for the whole Austria. In the content of the theoretical examination there is a block (module) with basic tasks for all categories – it is passed by all without exception, and 9 more modules by categories (A, B, C, C1, D, D1, BE, E, F). If a person wants to get B license, he passes the base module and the category B module. When someone who already has a driver’s license and wants to get another category, passes a theoretical exam, he won’t need to answer the questions of the base module.
There are 4 possible answers for each question. One, two, three, and all four of them can be correct. Questions are easy, medium and difficult. If you have any difficulties, you can skip questions and they will appear at the end.
It is offered one or two extra questions for each main one. But they won’t appear, if the main question is given the wrong answer.
In total, each module has 20 questions. Consequently, the entire exam contains 40 questions. You need to answer them in half an hour.
If the candidate has 80% of the required number of points, the exam is passed. Each module is evaluated separately.
The first attempt to pass the exam is free. You will have to pay for all subsequent.
Without the passing of the basic module and module of the selected category the applicant won’t be allowed to take the practical driving test.
A driving test (practical part of driver training)
After passing the theoretical exam, the system of multi-stage driving instruction involves the passage of three more stages:
Those wishing to get category A1, A2 and A must have 12 hours of practical driving. The one who chose category B should have 13 similar hours. Those preferring category F must get 4 hours, etc.
In fact, an hour of practical training means only 50 minutes of driving.
According to Austrian legislation, at the first stage of driving instruction it is necessary to drive with an instructor for at least 6 hours. The preparatory stage takes place on the training site/autodrome, where the student gets acquainted with driving a vehicle. A basic training takes place in sleepy areas, with a minimum car flow.
The number of driving hours required to complete the main part of the training is not regulated by law and depends on the student’s progress and skills, but should be at least an hour, even with sufficient driving skills.
Contents of the main phase of practical driving instruction:
– commented driving;
– assessment of the traffic, pre-emptive driving style;
– lane change;
– going into a fast car flow;
– negotiating intersections;
– driving in a traffic flow;
– driving on two-way traffic;
– driving on dangerous sections;
– economical driving;
– driving in a fast traffic flow;
– training of the seconds counting method – determination of the corrected speed with different visibility using the seconds counting method;
After the successful completion of the main phase of training, it is possible to start improving driving skills. Austrian legislation prescribes at least 6 hours of driving for this stage:
After taking the theoretical exam on the computer and completing the practical training, you can start the practical driving test.
The exam is conducted in the early morning hours. The applicant drives up to the driving school, where he is met by the instructor. He is the representative of the training party. The examiner comes in a few minutes. As a rule, several students take the exam in turn. To pass the exam, an applicant must have a passport with him, otherwise he will be sent home.
The practical examination in Austria consists of three parts:
1. Checking on the vehicle. The purpose of this check is to make sure that the examinee has learned the theory and can in practice do a car safety check. The examiner asks the student questions from the following list of topics (at least three topics are addressed):
– wheels (checking the tire tread height, use of winter and spike tires);
– brake system (checking the brake fluid level in the hydraulic brake reservoir, checking the brake system, checking the brake pedal free play, checking the resistance of the brake pedal, checking the brake system tightness, checking the brake booster, checking the stop lights, the brake of the parking brake system);
– lighting – what kinds of light are there in this car (low and high beam, reverse, parking lights, hazards, side turn signals, fog lights), turning on and checking;
– warning signals (intermittent light signal, horn, flashing side indicators, hazards);
– steering box (hydraulic power steering, driving belt, electromechanical power steering, free wheeling check, front tire wear);
– sufficient view (windshield wipers, windshield washers, windshield blow-off, rear screen heating);
– checking the liquid level (oil, coolant, brake fluid, washer fluid);
– accumulator (work, poles, liquid level);
– driving belt (function, status check);
– check in the cabin (correct sitting at the wheel, adjusting the driver’s seat, head restraints, mirrors, how to fasten the seat belt);
– fog (peculiarities of driving in fog, fog lights);
– car engine.
2. Exercise on autodrome or quiet street. Each examinee will have to complete two tasks: parallel parking and backing into a perpendicular park. As a rule, cones are placed with a sufficient distance, so it is not difficult to pass this part of the exam. Do not forget about appropriate light signals. When parking, driving out of the “garage”, as well as leaving the car, you should show the examiner with the appropriate head movement that you are watching all the road users.
3. Driving in city or on autobahn. Getting in the car and before starting the engine, you shouldn’t forget to adjust the seat, the rear-view mirrors, the headrests, the steering wheel and, of course, to put on the seatbelt. The examiner will observe the applicant’s actions, mistakes will be recorded by him in the exam report. The examiner gives the examinee instructions: “always drive straight, if there were no other instructions” and “if there was a command to turn, look for the nearest opportunity”. Then, as usual: “turn right, turn left, drive to the specified point and park.”
The minimum driving time for each examinee is 25 minutes. During the driving, the examiner makes notes in a special examination report. The other candidate is in the backseat all this time. Further, both candidates change places, and all the first can do is only to remember his successful or not very successful maneuvers.
4. Discussion of the experienced situations. At the end of the driving, the examinee may discuss with the examiner the mistake he made and justify his behavior. The examiner, at his own discretion, cannot note this mistake, if he found the justification reasonable. In the examination report, the following situations are selected as topics for such discussion:
– choice of speed;
– choice of lane;
– choice of distance between cars and lateral margin;
– driving on autobahn and motorways;
– recognition of dangerous situations;
– defensive tactics, ecological driving style;
– perception, analysis, prediction of the road and transport situation.
The total duration of the practical exam (all four parts) takes at least 40 minutes.
If the exam is passed, a temporary driving license is given (valid only on the territory of Austria). A full-fledged driver’s license comes by mail in a couple of weeks or earlier.
But the validity of the driver’s license in Austria is limited to 15 years. It is believed that this time is enough to update the photo and make the document more protected from forgery.
Only the first stage of driving instruction in Austria ends with the getting of a driver’s license. Further, in 2-4 months, it is necessary to complete a course of honing your driving skills (the first) in a driving school, and after 6-12 months one more course (the second). Each course of improving driving skills costs about 110 euros on a driving school car or 90 euros on your own.
Between these courses, in 3-9 months after getting a driver’s license, it is necessary to undergo an extreme driving course with a subsequent psychologist’s lecture. On a specially equipped autodrome, participants will be able to practice an emergency braking with ABS, an emergency maneuvering and a car stabilization in case of skidding, and an emergency passing obstacles. It will be necessary to come to the place of study in your own car, or in the rented car of driving school).
The course of extreme driving (officially takes eight and a half hours) includes:
– 50 minutes of theory;
– 5 hours of practical training with a lunch break;
– one-hour-and-a-half lecture on road traffic with a psychologist.
This course costs 150 euros.
Consequently, the second (and the last) stage of driving instruction in Austria includes three courses.
If you didn’t pass the second stage, two reminders and then the deprivation of driving license follow.
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