I know that the driving law in several countries in Europe require headlights on during daytime, some of them only in winter.
But where can I find which countries have such a requirement?

Just to clarify: I'm looking to identify all such countries. I don't want everybody to add an answer with a single country.

  • Austria requires also to turn on the headlights always.
    – user100050
    Jul 11, 2019 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


Required under certain conditions:

Outside populated areas: Italy, Hungary and Romania

Indicated roads only: Portugal

Motorcycles only: Belgium, France, Spain


Germany, Spain, France

Required at all times:

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland (from 2014)

Note that all vehicles sold in EU since 2011 are required to have DRLs installed as per European Union Directive 2008/89/EC.


  • What does DRL mean?
    – Bernhard
    Mar 5, 2013 at 12:53
  • @Bernhard: Daytime running lights -- see question title update and the Wikipedia link in my post. Mar 5, 2013 at 12:55
  • Also, newer motorcycles in India is coming with lights on always. Jul 11, 2019 at 4:41

In France :

Headlights always were required for motorcycles.

About cars, the law recently changed. New production cars must be equipped with so-called "day lights" that are often white LED strips around the real headlight bulbs. But older cars hare not forced to turn the daylights on all the time; this would be an issue since many cars with LCD dashboards have the display dimmed when the headlights are on, thus making it harder to read on a sunny day.


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