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Can I Drive In The UK On My License From Another Country?

So, you've just moved to the UK and you want to drive. But can you use your current license if it’s from another country? Or do you need to get a UK driving license? We've got the answers you need.

Can I drive in the UK on a foreign license?

Generally, if you have a driving license from another country, you can drive in the UK for up to 12 months after moving here.

After 12 months, you’ll need to get a UK driving license. But, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you’re from the EEA or EU. 

I've got an EEA or EU driving license in the UK. How does that work?

Great news. You can keep driving in the UK using your EEA or EU license until you’re 70 years old. No driving test required!

When you turn 70, you’ll need to exchange your license for a UK driving license like all UK residents. Don’t worry, there’s still no driving test needed!

What if my driving license is from a country outside of the EU? 

You can still drive on your license for up to 12 months after you arrive in the UK. But you will need to get a UK driving license after that. 

There are some special rules that make getting UK driving licenses easier for UK newcomers, depending on what country your current license is from:

  • Licenses from designated countries
    Good news! If your license is from a designated country, you can exchange it for a UK one without taking a driving test. Scroll down to find out how. 

    Designated countries are: Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Island, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of North Macedonia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe.
  • Licenses from Guernsey, Jersey and Northern Ireland
    Got a license from one of these countries? Things are easy for you. Simply exchange your current driving license for a UK one and you’re done. No driving test needed. Just follow our easy steps below. 
  • Licenses from other countries
    If your license is not from the EU, EEA, one of the designated countries, Guernsey, Jersey, or Northern Ireland, you’ll need to take a driving test to get a UK driving license. You can find out more about that here

Still unsure? Use this government tool to work out whether you can drive in the UK on your current international license. 

How do I exchange my driving license for a UK one?  

Firstly, you need to make sure you’re a UK resident before you apply for your UK license. A UK resident is someone who has a UK address and is living here permanently (or intends to live here permanently), which means at least 183 days a year.

If you’re a UK resident, you can swap your current license for a UK one by following these easy steps:

  • Check what forms you need to fill in using the government’s online tool, here
  • Order the DVLA application forms, here
  • Send off the forms with all the relevant documents. 
  • Pay the fee - don’t worry, it’s not too expensive!

Once your new UK driving license arrives in the post, you can go and explore the UK’s roads. 

But before you head off, make sure you have car insurance. It’s a legal requirement over here!

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Our car insurance is designed for people who’ve moved to the UK. That means you can:

✅ Drive on a licence from any country for up to 12 months 

✅ Get a price based on all your driving experience - in any country

✅ Get extra discounts for your claim-free driving history - in any country

Get a quote today.