Exceptions to category B age requirements

The minimum age requirement for category B driving licence is normally 18. You can obtain a category B driving licence already at the age of 17 if you have an age exception permit issued by Traficom or if you are studying a professional driver training course which includes obtaining the right to drive lorries or buses.

BACKLOG OF APPLICATIONS FOR AGE EXCEPTION PERMITS

At present, there are approximately 4800 applications waiting to be processed. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. We are currently processing applications that have arrived at end of August (Updated 29.11.2021).

Enquiries do not speed up processing. If you sent your application around or after the date above, we kindly ask you not to contact us yet about the status of your application. Answering enquiries only leads to further delays.

We will contact you, if we need additional information to process your application. If not, you will receive the decision by post. You can see the issued permit in Traficom’s e-Services (External link), where you can log in using your online banking codes or a mobile certificate. If you have sent your application to Traficom before the date mentioned above and suspect that we have not received it, you may ask about the status of your application by contacting Traficom’s customer service at asiakaspalvelu@traficom.fi (External link).

Applying for an age exemption permit 

A young person can apply for an age exemption permit four months before turning 17 years old. The permit can be issued at the earliest three months before the age requirement is met, but a young person cannot complete the Finnish driving examination before turning 17. However, all mandatory driver instruction can be completed at the age of 16, before the issuing of an age exemption permit. The driver instruction does not expire. 

Submit your application online via Traficom’s e-Services.

Age exception permit issued by Traficom

With an age exception permit issued by Traficom, a driving licence may already be obtained at the age of 17 if there are special reasons for this. The issuing of the permit is always based on Traficom’s discretion in accordance with the requirements listed below.

Special reasons for the issuing of the permit include long distances or the lack of public transport connections that regularly impede travel to and from 

  • school,  
  • work,  
  • training taking place at the workplace or  
  • regular, goal-oriented hobby activities. 

Additionally, an age exception permit can be issued based on health-related reasons that hinder or prevent regular travel.

Reasonable travel distance or travel time

The travel must exceed one of the following limits defined for reasonable travel distance or travel time: 

  • the travel time is at least one hour each way using public transport services; or 
  • the travel distance is at least five kilometres on foot each way when public transport services are not available; or 
  • the travel time is at least 1 h 30 min each way due to long public transport service intervals.

The travel time or distance is calculated based on the one-way route shown on a journey planner, map service or other similar publicly accessible service using default settings. If the travel time using public transport services is less than one hour, but the departure interval is long, the time spent waiting for a suitable public transport departure (such as the time between school ending and the first possible departure) can be included in the travel time. In this case, reasonable travel time is defined as less than 1 h 30 min each way.  

The permit is granted based primarily on an assessment of the young person’s personal needs for transport or a driving licence. In addition to personal travel needs, an age exception permit applicant can also have some other special need for a driving licence, such as 

  1. an essential need to travel based on unforeseen family changes 
  1. a need to travel in order to secure family income and for taking care of crucial tasks. 

You can see the issued permit in Traficom’s e-Services https://www.traficom.fi/en/services/transport-matters-my-e-services (External link), where you can log in using your online banking codes or a mobile certificate. You will receive the actual exception permit decision by post to your home address. 

After the permit is granted, a 17-year-old may take the theory examination in category B, and, after having received the permit decision, the driving test. Drivers must always have the permit decision with them until they are 18, also when taking the driving test, and they must show it the police, where necessary. In order to be able to take the driving examination, they must apply for the driving licence permit separately. It is possible to apply for a driving licence permit https://ajokortti-info.fi/en/getting-driving-licence/driving-licence-permit (External link) for category B at the earliest when you are 16.

Both a negative and a positive decision is subject to a fee charged in accordance with the decree on fees charged by Traficom (100 €, and 110 € from 1 January 2021). The applicant will receive an invoice once the decision has been made. If the decision is lost or destroyed, you can ask Traficom to send you a copy of the decision by contacting ajo-oikeudet@traficom.fi .

It is not allowed to drive in Åland, Sweden or Estonia with an age exception permit. The validity of a driving licence for a 17-year-old in these regions has been checked with the local authorities. For other countries, the validity of a driving licence must be checked with local authorities in those countries.