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Guidance: Driving in the EU: UK licence holders living in the EU

Driving licence exchange and rules for driving in EU countries.

Guidance: Driving in the EU: UK licence holders living in the EU

Published: 03 August 2021
By Chris Haycock



UK and EU driving licences

If you live in the EU, you will not be able to renew your driving licence in the UK.

Consider exchanging your UK driving licence for an EU licence as soon as possible in line with specific advice for your country of residence.

If your UK licence is lost, stolen or expired, you may not be able to exchange it for an EU licence. You may have to apply for an EU licence and retake your driving test. Please check with the licensing authority in your country of residence if your licence is lost, stolen or expired.

Check the driving advice for the country you live in.

Austria

If you intend to drive in Austria you must exchange your UK licence for an Austrian licence within 6 months of becoming resident in Austria. You can exchange your valid UK licence without taking a test.

After 6 months you can no longer use your UK licence to drive in Austria, but can still exchange it for an Austrian one, for as long as it is valid. This also applies to driving licences from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Driving in Austria.

Belgium

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Driving in Belgium.

Bulgaria

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Driving in Bulgaria.

Croatia

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Croatia.

Cyprus

You can exchange your licence without taking a test. You must exchange your UK licence within 6 months of becoming a resident in Cyprus.

If you became resident in Cyprus before 31 December 2020, you must exchange your licence by 7 July 2021.

If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Driving in Cyprus.

Czech Republic

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in the Czech Republic.

Denmark

If your UK or Gibraltar licence was issued before 1 January 2021, you can exchange your licence without having to take a test. You need to do this within 180 days of taking up residency in Denmark, or by 30 June 2021, whichever is later.

If your UK or Gibraltar licence was issued on or after 1 January 2021, you can only exchange a Category B licence without having to take a test. You must do this within 180 days of taking up residency in Denmark.

If your licence was issued in Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you can only exchange a Category B licence without having to take a test. You must do this within 180 days of taking up residency in Denmark.

Driving in Denmark.

Estonia

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Estonia.

Finland

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test for licence categories A1, A2, A or B. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Finland.

France

This guidance also applies to driving licences from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

If your UK driving licence was issued before 1 January 2021

Your licence is recognised in France for as long as it is valid. Paper licences are usually valid until you are 70. For plastic photocard licences, the expiry date is on the front.

If your UK licence has expired, or has less than 6 months’ validity remaining, you must exchange it for a French licence. You do not need to take a driving test.

You can only exchange your licence if it is due to expire within 6 months. If you do not have a valid reason to request an exchange, your application will not be processed.

If your UK driving licence was issued on or after 1 January 2021

Your licence will be recognised for 1 year from the date of issue of your residency permit (carte de séjour). If you intend to stay in France for longer than 1 year, you must exchange your UK licence for a French licence during this initial 1-year period. You do not need to take a driving test.

Driving in France.

Germany

You must exchange your UK driving licence for a German one within 6 months of moving there. You will not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence. Your local Bürgeramt can tell you where to exchange your licence.

Living in Germany before 1 January 2021

If you were living in Germany before 1 January 2021, you must exchange your driving licence for a German one to continue to drive in Germany. You will not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Germany.

Greece

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test from 1 February 2021. A medical – physical and eye – examination will be required.

Driving in Greece.

Hungary

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Hungary.

Iceland

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Iceland.

Ireland

UK and Northern Ireland licence holders’ resident in the Republic of Ireland must exchange their driving licence for an Irish licence. UK and Northern Ireland licences aren’t legal for driving in Ireland. However, they can be exchanged without the need to take a driving or theory test.

Driving in Ireland.

Italy

You will need to take a test to exchange your licence. If you have been resident in Italy for more than 12 months then you can continue to use your valid UK licence until 31 December 2021. If you are resident in Italy after 1 January 2021 your valid UK licence will be recognised for 12 months from the date you became resident.

Driving in Italy.

Latvia

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.


Highways England news licensed and reproduced under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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