International road haulage: HGV driver documents
Check which documents you need to carry if you're the driver or a passenger in a lorry or other heavy goods vehicle (HGV) that crosses international borders.
You must carry certain documents with you if you drive or travel as a passenger in a commercial vehicle carrying goods between countries. These include:
- a valid UK driving licence
- an international driving permit (IDP) if you need one for the countries you’re travelling in
- a valid Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card
- a valid passport
- healthcare documents
There’s separate guidance about the HGV and trailer documents you need, and the rules about taking food and drink into EU countries for your own use.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
Check the foreign travel advice for any COVID-19 requirements for the countries you’re travelling to.
You do not need to take any COVID-19 travel tests to enter the UK. This applies whether you’re vaccinated or not.
Driving licences and international driving permits
You will need to carry your UK driving licence with you. You must have the right category of licence for the vehicle you’re driving.
You do not need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:
- a paper driving licence
- a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
Check with the embassy of the country you will be driving in.
You will not need an IDP to drive in Ireland if you have a UK driving licence.
Driver CPC for lorry drivers
You need a Driver CPC qualification to drive a lorry professionally in the UK, the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
You must carry your Driver CPC card (sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’) with you.
If you work for a UK company and have a UK Driver CPC card
You can still use your UK Driver CPC card to drive to or through EU countries for all international journeys that UK companies are allowed to make.
If you work for an EU company and have a UK Driver CPC card
Your UK Driver CPC card may no longer be recognised in EU countries.
Check with the relevant organisation in the country where you live and work to find out what you need to do.
Drivers’ hours documents and tachographs
If you drive a goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes on international journeys you must follow the rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph use.
You must have:
- tachograph charts and any legally required manual records for the current day and the previous 28 calendar days
- the driver’s digital smart card, if you have one
You must record annual leave or sick leave by either:
- using a tachograph’s manual inputs
- making a manual record of it on an analogue record sheet or on digital printout paper
This has replaced using an ‘attestation form’ to record this information.
Vehicle and trailer insurance and green cards
You must have suitable motor insurance cover when you drive abroad.
In some countries, you will need to carry a ‘green card’ as proof of the insurance cover.
Where you need green cards
You need a green card to drive in:
You do not need a green card to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.
You will need to carry more than one green card if:
- you have fleet or multi-car insurance - you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
- your vehicle is towing a trailer - you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer or caravan (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)
- you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey
You must carry a physical copy of your green card when driving abroad. Electronic versions of green cards are not acceptable.
Make sure your employer has got green cards
Make sure your employer either:
- contacts their vehicle insurance provider at least 6 weeks before you travel to get a copy
- prints green cards their insurance providers electronically send to them (this does not need to be printed on green paper)
When you will have to show your green cards
You will need to show green cards if you’re involved in an accident.
You may need to show green cards at police checks and at the border when:
- you enter the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
- move between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
This will depend on the border authorities of each country.
Find out more about vehicle insurance.
If you’re involved in a road accident
Contact your insurance provider if you’re involved in a road accident in the EU.
Any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurance provider of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway where the accident happened. You might have to make your claim in the local language.
You will not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.
Get legal advice if you need more information about this.
You must have a valid passport - even if you’re a passenger or crew member.
Check the expiry date and the entry rules of the countries on your route.
On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
You can work in the EU without a visa if do not spend more than 90 days in the EU within any 180-day period.
Check the ‘entry requirements’ section for the countries you’re planning to visit.
You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.
A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the EU country.
You can continue to use an EHIC. If you apply for a card now, you’ll get a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of an EHIC.
GHICs and most UK EHICs will not cover you in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. If you’re visiting those countries, make sure you have travel insurance with health cover.
Leave photocopies of all medical, insurance and legal documents as back-up with family or friends in case you need copies outside of your company’s normal business hours.
Find out about buying travel insurance with the right cover.
Last updated 18 March 2022 + show all updates
Updated the coronavirus (COVID-19) testing guidance as you no longer need to take COVID-19 tests to enter the UK.
Updated the 'Drivers’ hours documents and tachographs' section as drivers who have been sick or taken time off in the 28 days before their journey no longer need to carry an attestation form. They must now record annual leave or sick leave using a tachograph’s manual inputs or by making a manual record of it on an analogue record sheet or on digital printout paper.
Updated the 'Vehicle and trailer insurance and green cards' section, as green cards are no longer needed to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.
You no longer need a Kent Access Permit (KAP) to enter Kent.
Updated the section on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to link through to a list of countries which require negative test results before you enter them.
Updated the section on international driving permits (IDPs) to confirm that you will usually not need one to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzlerland. Updated the Driver CPC section to make it clear you can still use your UK Driver CPC card in the EU if you're employed by a UK company. Updated the healthcare section to confirm that UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still accepted in EU countries, and there will be different rules for people travelling to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Added a section on carrying green cards to prove you have vehicle and trailer insurance. Added a section on coronavirus (COVID-19) test results for journeys from England to France. Added a section on checking your HGV is ready to cross the border and getting a Kent Access Permit.