Getting a ride in Italy

Getting a ride in Italy

by Stripes Europe Staff
Stripes Europe

Getting your license and driving in Italy can be intimidating. Here is everything you need to know to get you on your way!


•   Ship your vehicle six to eight weeks before you PCS to ensure it gets there soon after your arrival to Italy.

•   Decide between selling your other vehicles, keeping them in storage or leaving them with a friend or family member.

•   A max of three vehicles are allowed per active duty member along with their dependents during their tour in Italy.

•   Shipping a vehicle that is not paid for (i.e. still making payments) must obtain permission to take overseas with paperwork from the lienholder, authorizing the vehicle to be shipped to your new duty location.


Call your installation’s specific office for driver’s testing. Be sure to ask about test days and times—each installation varies.

What to bring to get your AFI/SETAF license:

    4 U.S. driver’s license that does not expire before your DEROS

4 PCS orders/DOCPERS MFR (contractors)/Logistical Support Letter (DoD civilians)


You have the option to buy a new or used car from dealers and private sellers in Italy. There is no tax when buying a vehicle from another military member.

Keep in mind

•   Any vehicle that doesn’t have U.S. specifications (specs) cannot be shipped out due to authorization.

•   Used automatic transmission vehicles may be more difficult to find.

•   Get approval through a bona fide financial institution if financing a vehicle.


If you want to ride a motorcycle while in Italy, you must have a motorcycle classification on your U.S. license, have an AFI/SETAF license, attend a motorcycle safety course and be at least 18 years old. Motorcyclists can only operate a motorcycle of 35 kW or less.


Each vehicle is required to be inspected annually. Ensure that your vehicle always has the required equipment at all times, not just for its annual inspection.

Required equipment for inspection:

• Vehicle registration

• First-aid kit, warning triangle and reflective vest

• During winter: winter or all-season tires designated with a snowflake or “M+S” (Mud+Snow) symbol


Contact your installation’s specific office for vehicle registration hours of operation.

What to bring to register your vehicle:

• POV Registration application

• AFI/SETAF driver’s license

• U.S. license

• Military ID

• Shipping document

• Proof of ownership

• PCS orders/DOCPERS MFR (contractors)/Logistical support letter (DoD civilians)

• Funds to cover the registration fee and applicable road tax for a second vehicle to include motorcycles.

• Automobile insurance

Note: It’s always best to call your installation’s vehicle registration office ahead of time to ensure you’re bringing all necessary documents.


NATO Forces Fuel Card

•   NATO Forces Fuel Card allows you to pay for fuel at the current tax-free price.

•   The vehicle’s engine size, engine base, horsepower and fuel requirement determines the ration amount.

•   After visiting Pass and Registration to obtain fuel card paperwork, visit your local AAFES to start the registration. Download and fill out forms beforehand to save time.

•   The card is accepted only at ENI and AGIP stations.

•   To use the card, swipe or insert the card and enter your secure PIN code.

•   Fuel transactions will be billed to the payment method provided during registration.

•   You will receive a bi-weekly invoice as well as a monthly statement.

Where to get gas

•   There are no gas stations on any U.S. military installation in Italy.

•   Only two Italian gas stations will take your NATO Fuel Card: AGIP and ENI.

To pump fuel

•   ”Benzina” - Unleaded gas

•   ”Gasolio” - Diesel

•   “Fai dat Te” - Self-service station

•   ”Servito” - Full-service station

•   Blue pump - Diesel+

•   Green pump - Super unleaded gas (95 Octane)

•   Yellow pump - Super-S (98) or Super+ (100)



Winter driving

From Nov. 15 to Apr. 15, you must have winter tires (M&S/All Weather) installed or have snow chains in your vehicle. Road conditions and requirements vary throughout Italy. Contact your base Safety Office for specific rules.



Many countries will not recognize a U.S. or AFI/SETAF license. You will need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) at least four weeks before traveling outside of Italy. You can apply by mail or in person at AAA or the AATA, which are the two agencies authorized by the State Department to issue IDPs.

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