Follow up. from March......
Latest info re changing from a valid UK driving licence to a Greek licence.
As procedures change all the time, here is the 'current' up to date info and prices for anyone interested in doing the same. Note if you are considering changing your licence, as is also a legal requirement if you live here, do it before you reach 65 as the cost is less than we paid. This has been our experience, being both 65 and over, going through all the motions involved. With everything now in place, are awaiting our Greek licences to be issued, which could take a month.
Directions to the appropriate government building are as follows. Coming from Chania towards Souda, after the traffic lights which are close to the main Police Station, at the next set of traffic lights, turn right. [ there are signs for Hospital and ΣΥΝΚΑ supermarket ] There are an immediate choice of 2 roads, take the left hand road as is direct. Carry on a short distance and on your right is a big blue sign written in Greek, Δ/ΝΣΗ ΜΕΤΑΦΟΡΩΝ & ΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΩΝ, above blue dump bins and in front of 2 large buildings. Turn right here and into the free car park. Go then to Building A, which was on your right as you drove in and go to the door marked ΔΙΠΛΩΜΑTA. [Diplomas] The person at the desk will direct you to the appropriate office. Here you will meet 2 very pleasant and helpful English speaking Greek ladies. The next time you go and will know which office it is, you can access this corridoor and office from the back of this building up a metal ramp.
Here are the steps in order.
Documents each will need to take for this initial visit to the Souda office are Passport, Valid Driving Licence, Tax Number [ΑΦΜ] and Residence Permit, which needs to have been issued 185 days before applying for the licence. We took copies of all, but they will also copy them for you.
Some details are taken and a form to sign. The next step is their contacting the DVLA in the UK to check your record, that you are not banned from driving etc. This was supposed to take around 15 days, but took almost twice that time as seems the DVLA was being slow. When finally they received confirmation, the office rang us to go back to inform us of the next steps.
There is another paper to sign. We were then given a list of the only Pathologists and Ophthalmologists you can choose from, to go for a driving licence medical and eye test.
But before visiting the Pathologist and Ophthalmologist, you need photos taken, as they each need a photo to attach to the relevent form. Ask specifically for photos for a driving licence, as are larger than passport photos. So in all we each had to have 3 photos taken, one for each medical report and one for the Souda office for the Greek licence. Photo cost of 7.50 e's pp.
The Pathologist and Ophthalmologist will also need to see your Driving Licence and IKA book. Or are assuming other proof of medical insurance if you have no IKA, or are under 65. Was not relevent to us and did not think to ask at the time, so suggest you simply ask at a KEP office.
We then had to go to a KEP office, taking Passport, Driving Licence and Tax Number to obtain 'e Παραβολo' forms to pay the necessary fees at the bank. The KEP service is free.
We then had to go to a National Bank only and each pay a total [ incl bank commission] of 102.50 e's.
Obtaining all this documentation and with Pathologists and Ophthamologists appointments previously arranged and the procedures completed , did it all in one busy morning.
Was then back yet again to the Souda office with all this documentation they needed and so are now awaiting issuance of new Greek driving licences. When ready, say they will ring us and we take our current licences with us and exchange them for Greek ones.
We have EU photocard driving licences and have not to date been asked for them to be translated.
Greek licence renewal. The licence has to be renewed every 3 years. Asked about procedure for our records, as in before it expires, when to apply, assuming we need the medical tests and new photos re-done, but was told with things ever changing, to contact the office a month before the licences run out for current procedure.
As from this Sept and new rules, were told that when reaching 74, a driving test has to be taken.
When reaching 80 there is an additional psychiatrist's report needed.
To sum up, as we all know, nothing is ever simple here. Involved a lot of running around, time and cost. Can see the sense though, esp as people get older, in having medical reports before licences are issued/re-issued.