You need your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence to drive abroad.
You can use:
- a photocard licence
- a valid paper-only licence issued before 31 March 2000, if you still have one
You might also need an International Driving Permit in some non-EU countries.
If you’re hiring a car, the hire company may ask for a check code so they can view your driving record.
Driving in the Republic of Ireland
You can drive in the Republic of Ireland if you have either:
- a UK driving licence
- a foreign driving licence, but you usually live in the UK
If you’re banned (disqualified) from driving while in the Republic of Ireland, you might also be banned from driving in the UK.
Driving in Europe
You can use your Great Britain (GB) or Northern Ireland driving licence in all EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland.
If you’re caught breaking the law, for example by a speed camera, the authorities can get the vehicle’s registered keeper’s details from DVLA.
For rules in other European countries check with a motoring organisation like the AA or the RAC.
Driving outside the EU/EEA
You may need an International Driving Permit to drive outside the EU/EEA.
Check first with the AA.
Getting an International Driving Permit
You can get an International Driving Permit directly from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office.
International Driving Permits cost £5.50 and you must:
- be a GB or Northern Ireland resident
- have passed your driving test
- be 18 or over
Advice on driving in specific countries
The AA and the RAC have advice on driving in specific countries, including information on compulsory equipment.
Get a local licence if you move abroad
If you move abroad, check with the driving licence authorities there to find out how to get a local driving licence.
In some countries you can exchange your UK licence without taking another driving test.
Moving to another EU country
If you move to another EU country, exchange your UK driving licence for one issued by that country.
If you come back to visit the UK after exchanging your licence, you can drive here for up to 12 months on your new licence.
You’ll be able to swap it back if you move back to the UK.
Exchanging your licence after Brexit
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, you will not be able to exchange your driving licence without taking another driving test.
Apply to exchange your driving licence as soon as you can to make sure you get one before 29 March 2019.