Early Details on Gran Turismo Sport’s FIA Digital Licensing Requirements

fia digital license

One of the more curious announcements to come from Polyphony Digital’s partnership with the FIA is the “digital license” – a new type of racing license sanctioned by the FIA and local governing bodies of motorsport in countries around the world.

Although “racing licenses” are not difficult to obtain, they are required to go racing in any FIA-sanctioned event, and the FIA Online Championship in Gran Turismo Sport will be no exception.


Photo by Julian Hunt.
Photo by Julian Hunt.

While speaking with Kazunori Yamauchi recently, we had a chance to clarify some details on exactly what the qualifications for the FIA Digital License will be and how players will be able to obtain it.

Kazunori emphasized these details are not finalized, as discussions with the FIA are ongoing, but they still help give us an idea of what to expect. With that said, here are the tentative conditions for obtaining an FIA Digital License:

  • Completion of GT Sport’s “Racing Etiquette Mode”, which includes guides and tests on the following:
    • Signals
    • Flags
    • Safety Car protocols
    • Cautions
    • Proper driving conduct and etiquette
  • Acheive “silver” or better results in all of GT Sport’s “Campaign Mode” events
  • Maintain a certain level of Driver Class and Sportsmanship Points

In addition to these requirements, drivers may be required to pay a licensing fee to the governing body of motorsport in their country. “We [Gran Turismo] won’t be taking any money for it, but to the FIA or your local automobile club, you may need to pay an annual fee, which is normal for any racing license,” Kazunori said.

fia participating countries early 2016

Of course, the subject of participating countries is still an area of concern. Major territories like the United States, Canada, Germany, France, and Japan have yet to be confirmed, although Kazunori re-assured us they are working hard to bring more local governing bodies into the program. “It’s a concern of all automobile organizations around the world – to increase the number of people involved in motorsports – so this is a program that supports that idea.”

See more articles on .

Comments (75)

  1. infamousphil

    First things first. A PS4 is not in my forseeable future. I won’t spend the monies that l did for the PS3. It was costly and the wifey curses me every time l turn it on. We are down to one telley in the house wnd she’d rather fall asleep on the couch earching for content on Hulu, Netflix and YouTube than listen to me play GT or GTA V. The baby voiced fowl mouth hooligans on GTA V make the both of us kringe and send our youngins scurying to their rooms. We only have internet because our 1st born is on her way to university.

    Second and more to the subject. I hope the FIA licensing would only be nessesary for entry into FIA sanctioned (?) competition. Because on the slim chance of affording all things GT7 (i dont do abbreviated GT), l won’t be happy having to wear the sap cap whist trying to keep up with an all conquering special car that’s only obtainable through pre-order or limited time specials. I missed out on the McLaren F1 LM in GT5. But 6 summarily redeemed PD by having all vehicles available whilst adding the 1995 le Mans 24hr winning car to the roster. That was super cool of them to do so.

    I think it would better serve all parties if they were to use FIA exclusive material then have that material available for use in FIA events only. Also, hopefully they’ll introduce real consequence to hap hazard skullthuggery game play. Heavy collisions should result in a disabled vehicle. Appropriate flag marshalling until the mess is cleaned up. And if more than one vehicle is involved, it should be reviewed by authorized personnel and appropriate pentalies handed out, including suspension and license revocation.

  2. CarBastard

    When Belize gets in and your country doesn’t you know the local automotive club/federation is f***ing stupid.

    I hate the Federacion Colombiana de Automovilismo Deportivo so much…

  3. Octopuss_911

    That are super exciting news! Hope Germany will also participate in give away the license! That would be for sure a nice achievement to complete GTSport with platinum and earn the real license. Wow!

  4. SolidRacer

    As I said many months ago all this premium gt sport stuff will be limited to small amount of people… I still wait for more than 10 years for a simple country flag selection, I live in Europe and am forced to hide my real identity behind wrong country flag in fake psn account, since half of the world can’t even register there… So many games offer in game country flag selection but gt never… Why so? All this commercialized stuff for gt sport license and favorite manufacturer or country representation are nothing for most people.. We need gt 4 with gt6 options and all cars with gt sport physics.. That’s it.. For great success I mean.. This far I’m only getting more mad at Pd and Sony for limiting and forgetting rest of the world…

    1. SolidRacer

      Thanks Pd for all these limitations and making the game even more locked and small.. in gt sports 2 we could take out all cars and make it a “the real walking track simulator”… ;) seriously not funny, tired online to be misunderstood, how about those people who live in UK but are Australians or German.. They would love to change they’re country flag.. But no now it’s even worse, most people can’t even participate normally… it could be so easy..

    2. Octopuss_911

      Do you understand what you read? They are still in development stadium of the game, have too negotiate with more country’s to participate… What is your problem here? There are a lot of good drivers in Germany you and they no complain that Germany is not in the inner circle… Calm down and wait some more month till release!

  5. Samus

    Seems a lot of people are misunderstanding things here. Everyone will be able to earn the license for use in game, at no cost. The fee would only be if you were going to head to your real life local track, with your GT license, and want to go racing.

    1. Neomone

      You sure? It doesn’t read like that. It seems that you potentially need to pay to get the license at all, and you need the license to get into the FIA online championship.

      Which potentially locks a bunch of countries out of competing at all, and puts an extra cost on it for those who are in participating countries. If this is the cost that FIA sponsorship comes at, it’s not worth it.

    2. Pfei

      Samus, you are correct. The FIA license has nothing to do with the permissions to race in-game. It is an optional fee that you pay at your local FIA-approved sanctioning body if you want to have a real-life FIA license.

      It is obvious that this statement is what is causing confusion:

      “Although “racing licenses” are not difficult to obtain, they are required to go racing in any FIA-sanctioned event, and the FIA Online Championship in Gran Turismo Sport will be no exception.”

      I can imagine that the FIA Online Championship will only be for a select few. There is no way PD is going to add functionality that taps into every automobile club in the world just to see if someone has paid their yearly dues.

      I believe that quote is actually incorrect. If you earn FIA status in-game, why would PD care if you are paying for your real-life license or not?

    3. Samus

      Yes I’m sure. The fee goes to your local body to cover insurance costs, any paper tests you may have to take, that sort of thing. It’s the same fee you would have to pay if you just rocked up to a circuit and applied for a racing license.

      There is no reason you would have to pay to enter races in a video game, there are no costs involved over any other game.

  6. reni1214

    is this game doing to be focused on FIA GT3? If so I might just wait for GT7 to come out. The Idea is great and all but GT3 is just not my thing…

    1. Octopuss_911

      I can’t read it anymore… What GT7? Do you not following the news? This is GT7, waist your time with more waiting time…

  7. VBR

    So, let’s get this straight; I pay my ISP for internet access. Then I need to pay PD for a copy of the game. Then I’m gonna need to pay Sony to access the game’s multiplayer. Then I’m gonna probably need to pay the FIA for a license to play the video game that I’ve already paid PD for. Welcome to GTS Rape My Wallet Edition!

  8. JohnyPiston

    This is a great development especially the licensing fee. You can already see from the comments that much of the riff-raff will not be joining.

    1. ConnorWolf

      If they’re not interested in getting an FIA license, fine, just play the game like a normal person :P

  9. Oyashiro-sama

    This sound like a stupid April’s fool joke… -_-

    Seriously. Is this even for real?

    Let me get this straight. We pay for the PS4. We pay for the game. We pay for the Internet. We pay for the electric company. We pay for the PSN. (We may have to pay for the DLC). And still, we will have to pay to enter a stupid online championship? Forget it.

    Also, those European countries… I may need to update my map, because last time I checked it… oh forget it, what I meant to say was: the amount of flags is too damn low. But again, I couldn’t care less if my country is not on the program, as I certainly will not pay a cent more. Or better yet, bye bye GTS altogether. At least I won’t send a fortune to get the ps4+game+…….. this is the last drop.

    1. Samus

      You won’t pay to enter the championships online. You’ll just need to pay a fee if you want to make use of the license at your real life motorsport centre.

  10. MockngBrd

    In addition to these requirements, drivers may be required to pay a licensing fee to the governing body of motorsport in their country.


  11. dylanlikes88

    A little worried that the country of Rwanda is featured but not yet the United States. Fingers crossed…

  12. liv4hardstyle

    I hope this is implemented properly. Especially looking at things like the sportsmanship points. I don’t want to be penalised and lose my license because someone breaked early too many times forcing me to collide with them. Let’s see.

    P.s is it breaked or broke? Not sure about that one.

    1. JacoJa

      I’m pretty sure it’s braked. :)

      I’m loving this whole race licence requirement though. It makes be hopeful that only the more serious, courteous sim drivers will be taking part.

    2. ConnorWolf

      You’ll need to get used to following closely behind unpredictable drivers, there are tricks to doing it well and positioning yourself to take advantage of mistakes.

    3. Johnnypenso

      It’s already known that it’s a no fault system for penalties so yes, you will be penalized if you make contact for any reason. To some degree you have to change the way you drive. I’ve raced with driver ratings and you drive more cautiously until you determine the competence of the drivers around you. Super cautious on the first few corners until everything gets sorted. No more trying to simply floor it when cars ahead of you are spinning and you aren’t sure if you’re going to make it through. You have to drive more like real life. Slow down, make sure the road is clear, proceed with caution to avoid, hopefully, mechanical damage and the driver rating hit.

  13. Cote Dazur

    Very interesting development, I would not mind having a E license as I really enjoy my SIM racing, feels to me like a bridge between the real and the virtual racing.

    1. Cote Dazur

      Yes, there is that, LOL, plus now that I am on the dark side, you know which SIM I would not mind if they had something like this, that is if Canada is part of it, maybe I should tweet Justin, lol

  14. GTPMcBride

    Somebody mentioned Brexit? Would just like to say UK has not actually left European Union yet, untill it’s passed in House Of Parliament an many other places it is nothing more than a poll, so swiftly moving on to GTS, i am liking the FIA License thing but i am more intrested in who will be monitoring these lobby’s an the tools used an the driving settings, we should not allow any assist’s unless abs if “the car has it IRL” also Heavy Damage which would create less overly opportunistic dive bombs.

    1. Johnnypenso

      I think the FIA events will come with a completely fixed setup and you won’t be able to change a thing except for your car setup. Tires, driver aids etc. will likely all be set before you enter the lobby.

    2. Johnnypenso

      That’s the rub isn’t it?…lol. One would assume they’d be sim level assists and reasonable rubber but you never know.

  15. Tenacious D

    I find it amusing that everything which comes down the pike is a reason for a number of people to complain. We have only known about this aspect of GT Sport for many weeks now if not months. And people act like they just now heard the news? Maybe they thought it cost a nickel and came with a race car…

    I find this aspect of GT Sport to be so notable and such a singular achievement of Kazunori’s work in this game, that I think I’m going to apply for one of these when i becomes available in the States. It would be quite the trophy, and who knows? When my boat comes in, I may well follow in Paul Newman’s footsteps and try my hand at being a race car driver.

  16. ribloGT

    To drive Vision GT cars you will require the Vision Licence too and to fdrive on fantasy tracks you will need the fantasy licence too… :P
    GTS it’s a total joke and i cannot believe that FIA is involved in this pathetic thing… :(
    The good old times when FIA endorsed real masterpieces of the racing simulations like GTR and GTR2 (all including real cars and real tracks only)…

    1. Tenacious D

      A few million of us are going to love this “pathetic joke,” so enjoy your 15 minutes of self satisfaction.

    2. Pfei

      I bet that the official FIA-sanctioned events will be a very small part of the game. Probably only the best of us will be racing in them regularly with good results. The game’s focus will be online racing PvP and via official servers. I doubt that the FIA license and the FIA events are anything more than a bonus integration into what was already conceived long ago as a motor racing eSports title.

    3. Johnnypenso

      The official servers are only for the FIA events. All the rest of the online racing is P2P. And I think you’re wrong about the sanctioned events being a small part of the game, I think the vast majority of people will be racing in the sanctioned nightly and weekend events. They’ll be driver rated for one so the racing will be both clearner and closer, and two, they’ll be on dedicated servers so the connection issues will be minimal relative to typical P2P lobbies. I think open lobbies will be dominated by drift, drag, cruise with a smattering of circuit racing here and there.

    4. Pfei

      Johnny, you may be right, but maybe I should clarify a bit. I was specifically referring to FIA-sanctioned events, not general online races that would count on your sportsmanship score, etc… For sure our stats, if going for a FIA license, are going to come from every race except maybe those on a private P2P room. But I was more specifically referring to the FIA events. As you stated, if there is only one event every weekend (which I admit, is still a hellava lot), I am sure we will all be racing much more outside the FIA umbrella rather than under it, even though that may mean that what we do outside of these sanctioned events still counts on our progress towards the FIA license.

      I was mainly trying to explain to ribloGT that, at least I believe, that 90% of the racing going on is going to be outside the FIA official sanctioned events, and that his mentions of all those licenses is just plain ridiculous. This game is shaping up to be the Warhawk of console racing games. Warhawk had official servers, if I remember there were about 24 of them. However, private servers were in the hundreds at any given time. The private servers counted towards your stats, just as the official servers did. The difference was that the official servers had their own strict rules, and also allowed a greater number of players to participate.

      So I am seeing this as:

      Official Servers – periodic FIA events leading up to some kind of championship – limited time available and, therefore, limited gameplay time (like, only once!) – ranked & counts towards your progress

      P2P Ranked Servers – race your ass off as long as you like – unlimited in the sense that as long as you don’t fall asleep at the wheel there will always be races to join – ranked & counts towards your progress

      P2P Non-Ranked & Private Servers – race your ass off as long as you like – unlimited in the sense that as long as you don’t fall asleep at the wheel there will always be races to join – NOT ranked & DOESN’T count towards your progress

      This is exactly how Warhawk worked (minus the goal of a championship).

      I was not trying to say that the FIA stuff will not be important, just that none of us will be spending the bulk of our time in them, for obvious reasons.

      Please do correct me if I am wrong on the prevalence of official FIA events, as I have not been lurking in the GT forums lately. Too busy with Project CARS, DiRT Rally, work, family… not necessarily in that order LOL

  17. RodolphoPNeto

    I should stop reading GTS news as it gets further away from me every time i do. Literally, since that licence is not available here. Even if it did, i wouldn’t pay for it (are you kdding me?) It’s pretty sad, used to be my favorite franchise…

    1. ConnorWolf

      Not sure why the option of earning a real FIA license if your region recognizes it is a negative.

  18. celtiscorpion73

    The only way I would pay for something like this is if they would allow those who participate in getting the license to actually have sanctioned events in their areas, allowing them to drive real cars. Bait the hook like that and I might just bite.

    1. Octopuss_911

      Yeah sure, and how expensive should this license be? Driving real racing cars for several 1000€/$/¥ and waisting then in the first round? Pfff you kidding.

  19. Pfei

    Fingers crossed for Automóvil Club Argentina (ACA). We host WRC, WTCC, Moto GP, Formula E races as well as the Dakar (non-FIA), so I am sure Argentina is on the radar.

    I’m American, and in GT5 I was restricted to North American region of the Academy because of my US PSN account. Argentine accounts weren’t even available back then. I’ve been living here for fifteen years, and am hoping I can compete in the South American region, due to my address and because basically this is home, plus I live a block and a half from the ACA. I would really hate to have to open an Argentine sub-account just for this game. I wonder if, this time around, the system will still lock you into your PSN account region or if it will identify regions by IP address. Hoping for the latter, as I am a big trophy whore, and I have a feeling GT Sport will have a Warhawk-esque trophy list (800 hours to platinum).

  20. zdenko

    Ah yeah right. Pay for a digital license to drive a virtual item. Not interested.
    I can see CAMS in Australia charging for this.
    Or at least the same price as the cheapest local license ($30). I guess you do have to pay people a processing fee to keep them employed.
    Current FIA International licenses through CAM’s vary from $1445 to $1820 for full size cars.

    I gather there will be a minimum age restriction as well which would probably vary from country to country.

    Sounds messy to me.

    1. ScotteDawg

      I’m pretty sure it will be free here. Being a country known for giving a fair go (unless you’re a LNP voter), I can’t see CAMS charging GT Sport players – and there WILL be a lot – just for playing the game!

    2. ConnorWolf

      Pretty sure you will not need to pay for the license to use GT Sport, just if you want it to be recognized by certain regions.

    3. Octopuss_911

      I didn’t read like that…! Where does it say you have to pay for participating one in some events?

  21. Scuderia Paul

    I really need to brush up on my geography since I never realised Rwanda, Lebanon, UAE, Ethiopia and Azerbaijan are part of Europe. Dear oh dear.

    1. LogiForce

      You and me both I guess. Or maybe we still live in the golden age and still have our colonies? Which would truly mean that Britain won’t be effected at all by the Brexit.

      Nah, I think we got our geography correct. Else we’d have to live in an entirely different world than PD does, who still are in the golden ages if we’d have to believe the chart.

    2. Johnnypenso

      On a more serious note, IIRC they earlier sorted the world into three regions and one of those regions was Europe/Africa. I think the country groupings are correct from their standpoint, it’s the heading of simply “Europe” that’s incorrect.

    3. Griffith500

      Ah, Europa, that famous Phoenician princess. Who’d have thought her abduction by Zeus into Minoa would lead to such a profound cultural and technological legacy. Of course, the myth is likely an allegory to the “West’s” debt to the “East” in that regard…

      Naturally, that extends to the Caucasus, Egypt, Anatolia etc. as well as Mesopotamia. If Europa herself wasn’t European, none of “Europe” can be. ;)

  22. G_Bertinato

    “drivers may be required to pay a licensing fee to the governing body of motorsport in their country” oh no, nope, no way, i can already feel this thing will not be cheap (at least in my country)

  23. Gf2k2

    They should really work on their geography skills. While Turkey might be up for debate none of the following countries is a part of Europe, neither politically nor geographically.

    Ethiopia, UAE, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Rwanda.

    It’s like saying Brazil is a part of North America

    1. Baron Blitz Red

      Naveek Darkroom… why are you surprised? We weren’t on the list for 2015 either, among many other countries of course.

    1. dylansan

      Lucky, since you managed to get the first comment, you’ll be immortalized in history as a hero.

    2. damadmoneyman

      @dylansan in my own world i will sleep a little happier today…its a great feeling..a semi high

Comments on this post are now closed.

About the Author