L17 – general information
Individuals who want to start driving before the age of 18 may undergo L17 training (B licence at 17, ‘early permission to drive category B vehicles’). In this case, lessons at a driving school can be started from the age of 15 years and 6 months, and a driving licence can be issued at the age of 17 (at the earliest).
In general, these rules also apply to EU citizens in Austria.
L17 on-road training is only possible for licence category B.
L17 on-road training can also be carried out privately when learning to drive under the supervision of an authorised person (e.g. parent, relative, friend). The rest of the training must take place at a driving school.
Structure of L17 training:
- Driving licence application
- Basic training at a driving school
- Application to carry out on-road training
- Training vehicle set-up
- Supervised on-road training
- Mandatory training at a driving school
- Application for a driving test
- After the practical driving test
There are no age restrictions for participation in L17 training, except for the minimum age for taking the practical driving test (17) and the minimum age for starting training at a driving school (15 years and six months). Nor are there any restrictions as to where the on-road training must take place (i.e. on certain roads or in certain areas). However, they must be within Austria.
According to the information held by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK), the only countries other than Austria that recognise the L17 licence are Germany, England, Northern Ireland and Denmark. This means that before the holder turns 18, they may only drive in Austria and in these four countries. As of the holder’s 18th birthday, they may drive under an L17 licence in Austria and anywhere abroad. Outside of the EEA, however, it may be necessary to carry an English translation of your Austrian licence or an international driving licence (as is the case for all licence holders).
Recognition of the German BF17 certificate in Austria
In Germany, a ‘BF17 certificate’ is issued instead of a full driving licence for new drivers who began training at the age of 17 as part of a supervised driving programme. This allows them to drive when under the age of 18, but only under supervision. When they turn 18, they can apply for a full licence. In Austria, this certificate is recognised up to the holder’s 18th birthday. As a result, holders of this certificate may drive under the same conditions as in Germany (i.e. only when supervised). Once the holder turns 18, they must be in possession of a full licence. The 3-month grace period applicable in Germany for conversion to an EU photocard driving licence is not recognised in Austria.
Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology