EU Driving Laws Post Brexit

Post Brexit – What EU Need to Know

Exchanging a UK Driving Licence after Brexit

With Brexit looming, motorists should be aware that the rules for exchanging UK driving licences will change when the UK leaves the EU. 

UK licence holders who live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland

If you’re a resident in the EU or EEA you should exchange your UK licence for a licence from the country in which you live. If there is a no-deal Brexit then the licence exchange arrangements may cease altogether. To continue driving you will likely have to take your test again in the country in which you live so exchanging sooner rather than later may be a good idea . 

If you live in any of the following countries you should exchange your licence before we leave the EU: Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden

Some countries will continue the licence exchanges post-Brexit and some have more complicated processes than others. 

Belgium

To transfer category A2 and specific national categories, you will need to take a driving test before you can exchange. 

All other licences can be transferred without taking a test.

Bulgaria

If you are lawfully resident in Bulgaria on the day of Brexit, you will need to re-register with the Bulgarian authorities before 31 December 2020.  You will only be able to drive on your UK licence for up to 1 year from the date of issue of your new residence permit. 

There’s no test you need to take but you will be asked to provide:  

  • a medical certificate (for categories C1, C, D1 and D you will also need a psychological assessment)
  • a declaration of residence
  • a copy of a certificate for completed secondary education

Some categories marked with codes 101 to 122 will require additional tests and/or medicals if you want to transfer them from your UK licence to a Bulgarian one. 

Croatia

UK driving licences will be valid for up to 1 year from the day the UK leaves the EU. After that, you have to exchange your licence for a Croatian one. You will also have to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.

But if you apply to exchange before we leave,  no medical fitness certificate is required. 

Czech Republic

If you have a photocard licence (which we expect most of you will by now) then you can without taking a test:

  • if you register as a resident before the UK leaves the EU you have 1 year from the date that the UK leaves the EU to exchange
  • if you register as a resident after the UK leaves the EU you have 3 months to exchange

Estonia

You can exchange your UK licence without a test within 1 year of registering as a resident in Estonia.

Finland

Group 2 and BE licence holders will need to take a driving test to exchange . All others will have 2 years to exchange either from the date we leave the EU or the date they are registered as a resident of Finland. 

France

France will recognise your UK licence if you are resident on the day we leave the EU. After Brexit, you will have 1 year to exchange your licence from the date you become resident. 

Greece

No change here! You will still be able to drive on your UK licence post-Brexit. 

Hungary

You can exchange either your UK licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident

Iceland

After we leave, you have 1 year to drive on your UK licence but can also exchange it without taking a test 

Latvia

You can exchange your UK licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident

Lithuania

If you were able to drive in the UK before Brexit then you won’t need to re-test to exchange your licence to Lithuanian. 

Luxembourg

Motorcycle and car licence holders will have 1 year from the date the UKleaves the EU or the date of registering as a resident in Luxembourg to exchange.

If you have a UK HGV or bus and coach licence you will need to take a driving test in Luxembourg to exchange.

Malta

You can exchange your licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident

Netherlands

If you register as a resident before we leave, you have 15 months from Brexit date to exchange without a test. 

If not, you have 185 days to retake your test to get hold of your Dutch licence. 

Poland

You can exchange a photocard driving licence without taking a test within 6 months of registering as a resident

Portugal

You can exchange without taking a test:

  • if you register as a resident before we leave, as long as you exchange before 31 December 2020
  • if you register as a resident after the UK leaves the EU, as long as you exchange within 90 days of becoming a resident

Romania

You will need to take a medical examination before you can exchange without taking a test. This needs to be within 185 days of us leaving. 

Slovakia

You can exchange without taking a test in Slovakia.

Slovenia

You can still drive in Slovenia on your UK licence post-Brexit but you can also exchange,  without taking a test, within 1 year of registering as a resident. If you can’t exchange your UK licence, you may continue to use it until it expires.

Spain

You can exchange without taking a test within 9 months of the date Brexit. After this period you will need to take a test in order to exchange your licence.

Switzerland

You will be able to drive on a UK driving licence for up to 12 months after the UK leaves the EU. After that you will have to exchange your licence.

UK nationals returning to live in the UK

If you exchanged your UK licence, you will be able to regain it once you return to the UK as long as you passed your test here or in a designated country.

UK licence holders visiting the EU, EEA or Switzerland

You will need an International Driving Permit as well as your UK driving licence to drive when visiting some EU and EEA countries

EU drivers who live in the UK after Brexit

If you are an EU citizen living in the UK you can drive on your EU or EEA licence until you are 70. If you are 68 or over when you become a resident, you can drive for 3 years. After this, you must apply for a UK driving licence. You cannot drive if your licence expires.

Different restrictions apply for holders of EU and EEA lorry or bus licences who are (or become) UK residents.

If you passed your driving test in the EU or EEA, the UK will continue to exchange your driving licence after Brexit.

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