Driving

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Albania is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Major roads in Albania are often in poor repair, but they are improving slowly. Driving at night outside the main urban areas is particularly dangerous and should be avoided. During the winter months, travelers may encounter dangerous snow and ice conditions on the roads through the mountains in Northern Albania.

Buses travel between most major cities, but they may be unreliable and uncomfortable. Many travelers looking for public transport use privately owned vans, which function as an alternate system of bus routes and operate almost wholly without schedules or set fares. Please note that some of these privately owned vans may not have official permission to operate a bus service and may not adhere to accepted safety and maintenance standards, so you should use caution. There are no commercial domestic flights and the few rail links are in very poor condition.

According to the Albanian Ministry of Health, traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death, and accident victims are the main users of hospital emergency services. Road traffic injuries are a national public health and development problem in Albania and their magnitude is rising at alarming levels. Traffic related accidents in Albania are higher than in other Eastern and Central European countries.

For additional general information about road safety, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs webpage “Driving and Road Safety Abroad.”

International Driving Permit (IDP)

When driving in Albania a U.S. citizen can use a valid international driver’s permit issued in the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Tirana cannot issue, renew or extend the validity of an IDP. The American Automobile Association (AAA) issues International driver’s permits in the United States. For more information, please visit the AAA website.

Note: An International driver’s license/permit can only be used for one year. If you wish to drive in Albania for more than one year you must apply for an Albanian driver’s license.

Renew Your U.S. Driver’s License

To learn about getting or renewing your driver’s license, registering your car, or accessing other motor vehicle services, please visit the U.S. Government webpage “Renew Your Driver’s License and Other Motor Vehicle Services.”