UK Nationals Driving Internationally After Brexit

With the Brexit transition coming to an end, UK motorists faced new regulations to abide by when driving in Europe specifically and the world in general. Unlike the facilitated requirements when the UK was part of the European Union, post-Brexit new restrictions and driver insurance requirements.


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A UK Driving License is Still Valid in the EU

The UK government states that UK citizens don’t need an international driving permit to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

However, an individual with a paper driving license issued by the Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man authorities may require an International Driving Permit to drive in EU countries and Norway.

Driving in Ireland as a UK National After Brexit

With the current circumstances of a no-deal Brexit, your UK driving license will not permit or authorize you on the roads even if you are resident in Ireland. Nonetheless, you may exchange your UK driving license for an Irish driving license.

The processing time for a UK exchange application will be at least 17 working days. However, if there is a significant increase in demand, this time frame might increase.

Keep the Following in Mind When Exchanging a UK driving license for an Irish Driving license.

  • Where bus or truck license categories go through the exchange process ( from a UK license to an Irish license), you will need to submit a completed medical report along with the application form.

  • If the driver’s answer were a ‘yes’ to any of the medical queries on the driving license application form, the representative office would ask for a comprehensive medical report to explain the condition.

‘Not for Hire or Reward’

Code 1 (or Code 101 on plastic card licenses) signifies “Not for hire or reward” on ‘old style’ UK licenses (paper licenses, pink and green in color) and only applies to the minibus category (D1 category). Nonetheless, the D1 type on your license is not transferable to an Irish license.

Suppose you have a bus category (D category) or a minibus category (DI category) but do not have these Codes. In that case, you may transfer these categories to your Irish license if you provide a medical report with your application.

In such a circumstance, Ireland and the UK may agree to recognize the UK driving licenses. However, this will inevitably take time to execute since Ireland needs a legal agreement and law.

Spain Legal Terms for UK citizens

For now, a valid UK driving license will guarantee a legal trip, but it won’t be the case for Spain by the mid of 2022. A UK citizen holding a UK driving license will not be able to drive in Spain without an International Driving Permit after April 30, 2022.

Italian Legal Terms for UK Drivers

UK citizens residing in Italy may use their home license to drive in Italy until December 31, 2022, if that license’s issue date falls before January 1, 2022. After that, a UK citizen will require an International Driving Permit to drive, just like Spain.

Driving in Greece after the Brexit

For UK citizens with a valid UK driving license residing in Greece, it was a peaceful ride until the end of 2021—as the Ministry of Transport and Communications advised. From now on, a UK motorists will have to apply for an International Driving Permit or exchange their UK driving license with a Greek Driver’s License.

To do so, a driver will have to submit their eye tests results and all necessary documents to the Directorates of Transport and Communications of the Decentralized Administration where they live (in Greece.

For your application to be successful, you will have to present your valid UK passport and evidence of residency in Greece, usually known as the Biometric Residency Card.

Suppose your Biometric Residency Card is still to be issued. In that case, you can present alternative legalized papers such as:

  • Eu citizens Registration Certificate,

  • EU citizen Permanent Residency Permit,

  • Certificate of Employment,

  • An official document to prove the driver’s economic activities in Greece, etc.

Once all required documents are available, the UK driver should present them to the authorities and wait 50 days to receive their Greek Driving Licence. Once it is ready, the applicant will receive a text to collect it.

Drivers may get their UK driving license by performing another exchange.

Application Checklist

  • Fill out an application form at the local KEP office or the Transport and Communication Office nearby

  • A clear photocopy (both sides) of the motorists driving license

  • An authorized translation of the UK driving license. Usually made by a trusted lawyer or issued by the ministry of foreign affairs

  • A clear copy of the UK valid Passport

  • A receipt of payment of Stamp duty (30 Euros)

  • The results of the motorists’ physical eye examination

  • Two recent photos for the applicant (passport-sized photos)

  • The applicants’ certificate of residency. It should be issued at least 95 days before the submission date.

International Driving Permits for driving Outside the EU

For a UK citizen to move outside their home country and beyond the borders of EU regions, they will need to obtain an International Driving Permit.

The British Government lists all the requirements and eligibility points that applicants need to comply with (to be eligible ) on their website. Once an applicant is a match, they may proceed with their application.

To Be Eligible

  • Applicants should have a legitimate right to be live in Great Britain or Northern Island

  • Applicants should have a full UK driving license that’s valid

  • Applicants should be 18 or over

Different IDPs

Unlike other countries, the UK issues 3 different types of international driving Permits depending on the driver’s destination. The types are listed as follows:

  1. International Driving Permit 1926

  2. International Driving Permit 1949

  3. International Driving Permit 1968

To know which permit you should apply for, an applicant must carefully go through the government website and follow all procedures.

Should a UK Sticker Be Displayed?

All motorists should display the “UK” driving sticker, not called “GB” anymore. When driving either in EU countries or anywhere outside the UK—except for Ireland—a driver must display sticker their UK sticker clearly, regardless of their number plates. Especially in Spain. Malta and Cyprus.

Using an EU Driving license in the UK after Brexit

Fortunately, Brexit didn’t wipe off the right for EU license holders to use it while visiting the UK. So, suppose a motorist holds an EU driving license. In that case, they may drive on the UK lands without needing an International Driving Permit.

Suppose the motorist’s vehicle insurance is granted from an EU country, Serbia, Iceland, Andorra, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland. In that case, they should carry a green insurance card or legal proof to show to authorities when driving on the UK roads.

In other words, if your vehicle’s insurance is not applicable in the UK, you’ll have to present an official document to compensate for that.


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