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Electronic Iceland ​

  • Electronic services and electronic communication solutions are common in Iceland.
  • All institutions and companies have a website with key information. ​
  • You can send email messages and/or enquiries through an online chat.​
  • Filling out forms online and sending documents as scanned documents via email is also common. "Electronic signatures" are also used. ​
  • Institutions also put personal information and replies to individuals on secure pages on their websites. The pages are called "My Pages". ​
  • Iceland has strict laws on the protection and transfer of personal data that everyone must comply with, both public institutions and companies. ​

Banking services in Iceland are highly electronic

  • Everyone has online banking through their bank and can view all transactions on their accounts, can transfer money, pay bills and view their pay slips. ​
  • You can pay with your debit and credit cards through a smartphone.​
  • You can use the electronic banking system through the banks' websites or banking apps. ​

Healthcare services are also electronic (in addition to traditional services)

  • On you can send a request to your health care clinic for prescription renewals, to make an appointment/phone interview with a doctor and ask for a blood test or a doctor's certificate. ​
  • You can always book an appointment at the health clinic and see a doctor or nurse (see part 4 on Health).

Electronic certificates

  • Electronic certificates are used through a smartphone.​
  • You can apply for electronic certificates at your bank or at Auðkenni (Holtagarðar, 2.hæð, 104 Reykjavík).;
  • Then you need to go to the bank or Auðkenni. ​
  • You will need to bring a valid passport, have an Icelandic phone number and an Icelandic ID number (kennitala). ​
  • It's important to become computer literate/be able to use the internet on a smartphone as soon as possible in Iceland. It simplifies and streamlines your life. ​
  • It is also important to have your own email address. ​

​Transportation - Bus​

  • Iceland doesn't have trains or a subway system. ​
  • People travel by car, bus, bicycle or walking. ​
  • It is also possible to fly between some places domestically.​
  • The bus system is accessible on
  • There you can see the route network, find out which bus to take and purchase a single trip or various types of passes. ​
  • It is also possible to pay with money, but the driver does not give change. ​

 Transportation – cars

  • Car ownership is common among the general public in Iceland. Cars can be purchased at car dealerships, from car dealers and through various online media. ​
  • All cars in use must be insured with an insurance company. ​
  • Seatbelts must be used according to law in Iceland. ​
  • Children must use car seats appropriate for their weight and age according to law. ​
  • In winter, the road conditions are often bad and the streets icy. Cars must have winter tires (or all-season tires). With summer tires, they get stuck and can't move forward. ​
  • There are also studded tires, but you can't drive on them in summer, only in winter. They are mainly used when driving in the countryside in heavy snow. ​

 Driving Lessons and Driving Licences

  • According to traffic laws, it is prohibited to operate a car or motorcycle without a valid driving licence. ​
  • District Commissioners issue driving licences. See rules: ​
  • In order to obtain an Icelandic driving licence, which is based on foreign driving licenses, you must demonstrate a valid driving licence in your home country and present a residence certificate from the National Registry of Iceland. (​
  • The driving test age is 17 years in Iceland. You can start driving lessons at 16 years old. Driving lessons are both practical with a driving instructor and theoretical at a driving school. An interpreter may be used during the written driving test.

 Icelandic Lessons

  • Lifelong learning centers, language schools and aid organisations offer Icelandic language courses. ​
  • You can choose between morning or evening classes. ​
  • Courses at schools are not free of charge but it is often possible to get a reimbursement from your union (according to each union's rules) or a grant from the Directorate of Labour or the social services in your municipality for those who are entitled to them. ​
  • The Icelandic Lutheran Mission offers free Icelandic courses in Reykjavík, and other religious organisations and aid organisations do so as well. ​

 Learning Icelandic

  • It is important to learn Icelandic - as well as everyone can. ​
  • You can learn and practice Icelandic in many ways, in stints with breaks in between. Most people take courses, but it also helps to: ​
    • Use free content online and language apps on your phone.​
    • Use grocery store apps to look at products, prices and offers.​
    • Use electronic materials for children, read children's books and listen to stories and watch children's programs.​
    • Listen to music in Icelandic.​
    • Read and listen to light material on social media and news media.​
    • Look at signs and labels in stores, outside of buildings and on signs.​
    • Watch content with Icelandic subtitles and watch content in Icelandic. ​
    • Label items in your home with their Icelandic name - that way you'll see the words every day.​
    • Watch, listen, write, read and revise and add a little something every day.​
    • Use Icelandic (even if you know English) whenever you get the chance, e.g., in stores and don't be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. ​

 Self-confidence and Functional Activity

  • It is important to build self-confidence and let your voice be heard in society by taking the first step and ​
    • start using the language, e.g., just buying a cup of coffee in a gas station or ice cream in an ice cream shop and saying good morning. ​
    • taking the initiative to talk to people and get to know people ​
    • trying to make a friend that speaks to you in Icelandic​
    • going to new places​
    • trying new things
  • You can increase your participation in society by, for example:
    • taking part in aid activities, social activities, leisure activities, sports or religious communities​
    • taking advantage of the Red Cross' immigrant services​
    • taking part in your children's parent's activities and discussions in parent groups or various other groups on social media​
    • asking questions and seeking assistance, e.g., from teachers, neighbors or your children's classmates' parents ​


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