UK driving licenses no longer valid in EU after Brexit?


(Paul Flinders) #21

The EU document was, predominantly about hauliers but does contain this paragraph

Emphasis mine but I think that applies to all drivers.

The result would certainly be more “red tape” if we have to apply for IDP’s every 12 months.

The situation is worse for hauliers and, especially, drivers of passenger vehicles as the agreements which let them operate will potentially cease to exist post the withdrawal date.


(Grahame J Pigney) #22

Here is a link to the EU document https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/brexit-notice-to-stakeholders-road-transport.pdf

As can be seen by reading the document it is directed at " road transport operators within the meaning of Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1071/20094 are reminded of legal repercussions, which need to be
considered when the United Kingdom becomes a third country."

The question of private driving licences and vehicle registration is not covered except by mention of the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. The 1949 convention was actually replaced by the 1968 convention, although not all countries have ratified it.


(Paul Flinders) #23

Yes, I quoted the document above - as I said although it mostly pertains to road hauliers the paragraph on driving licences seems (to me, at least) to have more general applicability, I think that the writer of the Guardian piece read it that way as well…

We were already signatories to the 1949 convention - the article suggests we have somewhat hastily signed up to the 1968 convention as well.

I think the Guardian article is a bit strong in its opening sentence - I can’t see that we would need new licences in the UK, but we could be lumbered with needing to get IDPs (which are not licences in their own right as they need the original to be carried as well).

I can’t see that the average driver will be prevented from driving in the EU but I think that having to get an IDP every 12 months (they are only valid for a year), and possibly an insurance “green card” safely qualifies as increased red tape.

The potential problems for commercial drivers, of course, are significantly larger.


(Grahame J Pigney) #24

Under the 1949 and 1968 conventions France recognises UK driving licences.

However those of us that are permanently resident in France will probably need to exchange our UK licence for a French one as per the provisions of the conventions.


(Paul Flinders) #25

Yes, but won’t they still need a translation (AKA IDP)?


(Mark Robbins) #26

Theoretically photocard/EU driving licences in the UK will be invalid too.


(Sue Young) #27

But then wouldn’t EU driving licences be invalid in the UK? So why would it happen-nobody wins.


(Mandy Davies) #28

Anna answered a very similar point that you raised a few days on this same thread. Just scroll up a bit and you will find it.


(Grahame J Pigney) #29

We never needed transalations prior to the EU driving licences, even when using the British maroon ones.


(Jacky O'Callaghan) #30

Here is a reply I got from Guy Verhofstadt on this issue:

Dear Jacky,

Thank you for writing to me again and for sharing your concerns.

I fully understand your uncertainty but hopefully I can alleviate your concerns, at least in relation to the recognition of driving licences. The reports you read in the media are based on a presentation from the European Commission which takes the basic starting point that the UK becomes a third country after the Brexit date. The consequence is that the UK exits the internal market for road transport and that the current EU-law based rights, obligations and benefits cease to apply. Among those benefits is the mutual recognition of driving licenses.

However, as also pointed out by the European Commission in the presentation, the UK ratified the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, which implies that UK driving licenses will still be recognized in countries that are party to this agreement. This includes almost all EU Member States, except for Germany, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In addition, when the UK ratifies and transposes the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic into national law in the future, those missing Member States would also be covered.

As you can see, in this particular case there are fall back positions secured by international law that can protect the recognition of UK driving licenses in the EU Member States. However, you are absolutely right in saying that citizens should not be negatively affected by this and the European Parliament will fight for them to make sure they do not become the victims of this process.

Best regards,
Guy Verhofstadt


(Poppy Jones) #31

Hopefully this response that will put this particular scaremongering to rest.


(Paul Flinders) #32

The response was clear enough.

However there was never much danger, not did the artical actually claim, that there would be no recognition of normal UK driving licences - just that there might be additional paperwork and, despite its clarity, Mr Verhofstadt reply did not rule out, for example, having to carry an official translation (which is all an IDP is, really).

Still an area to keep an eye on methinks.


(Terry Williams) #33

Back in 1963 I took my French driving licence to the police in Carlisle and asked if I could drive in the UK and for how long. They said there was no problem and I could use it until it expired, which meant for ever. So I happily drove around, hired cars etc with only a French licence until I got round to passing the UK test.

So clearly there was an accord back then, long before the UK joined the Common Market, and this would presumably come back into effect post Brexit.