Guidance

Driving in the EU after Brexit: driving licence exchange

The rules for exchanging UK driving licences will change when the UK leaves the EU. Check what you need to do to drive when you live in an EU country.

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UK licence holders who live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland

If you live and drive in an EU or EEA country you should exchange your UK driving licence for a licence in the country where you live.

Licence exchange arrangements may stop in some EU and EEA countries if there is a no-deal Brexit. To be able to continue driving you may have to re-take your driving test in the EU or EEA country where you live.

Some countries will continue the licence exchange arrangement after Brexit.

Austria

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Belgium

To transfer category A2 and specific national categories, you will need to take a driving test to exchange your driving licence.

You can transfer all other driving licence categories without retaking a driving test.

Bulgaria

If you are lawfully resident in Bulgaria on the day the UK leaves the EU, you will have to re-register with the Bulgarian authorities by 31 December 2020. You will be able to drive with your UK licence for up to 1 year from the date of issue of your new residence permit. This applies to both UK photocard and paper licences.

You will not be required to pass a driving test to exchange your licence for full categories. However, you will need to provide:

  • a medical certificate (for categories C1, C, D1 and D you will also need a psychological assessment)
  • a declaration of habitual residence
  • a copy of a certificate for completed secondary education

If you want to transfer categories marked with codes 101 to 122 from your UK driving licence to a Bulgarian driving licence, you will have to take a driving test for those categories and undergo an additional medical examination.

Croatia

UK driving licences will be valid for up to 1 year from the day the UK leaves the EU. After that, you will have to exchange your licence for a Croatian driving licence. You will also have to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.

If you apply to exchange your licence before the UK leaves the EU, you will be able to replace your licence without a certificate of medical fitness to drive.

Cyprus

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Czech Republic

You can exchange a UK photocard driving licence, but not a UK paper driving licence, without taking a test:

  • if you register as a resident before the UK leaves the EU you have 1 year from the date that the UK leaves the EU to exchange
  • if you register as a resident after the UK leaves the EU you have 3 months to exchange

Denmark

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Estonia

You can exchange either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident in Estonia.

Finland

Group 2 and BE licence holders will need to take a driving test to exchange.

All other UK licence holders will have 2 years to exchange, either from the date the UK leaves the EU or the date of registering as a resident in Finland.

France

France will recognise your UK licence if you are resident on the day the UK leaves the EU.

If you become resident after Brexit you will have 1 year to exchange your licence.

Germany

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Greece

You will still be able to use your UK driving licence to drive in Greece.

Hungary

You can exchange either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident in Hungary.

Iceland

You will be able to drive on a UK licence for at least 1 year after the UK leaves the EU. You will also be able to exchange your UK licence for an Icelandic one without taking a driving test for at least a year after exit day.

Ireland

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Italy

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Latvia

You can exchange either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident in Latvia.

Liechtenstein

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Lithuania

You do not need to retake your driving test to exchange your UK licence if you acquired your right to drive in the UK before exit day. If you acquired your right to drive in the UK after exit day, you will have to retake your driving test to exchange your UK licence.

Luxembourg

Motorcycle and car licence holders will have 1 year from the date the UK leaves the EU or the date of registering as a resident in Luxembourg to exchange.

If you have a UK HGV or bus and coach licence you will need to take a driving test in Luxembourg to exchange.

Malta

You can exchange either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence without taking a test within 1 year of registering as a resident in Malta.

Netherlands

If you register as a resident in the Netherlands before the UK leaves the EU you have 15 months from the date that the UK leaves the EU to exchange, and you won’t have to retake your driving test.

If you register as a resident in the Netherlands after the date the UK leaves the EU you must retake your driving test within 185 days to obtain a Dutch driving licence.

Norway

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Poland

You can exchange a UK photocard driving licence, but not a UK paper driving licence, without taking a test within 6 months of registering as a resident in Poland.

Portugal

You can exchange either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence without taking a test:

  • if you register as a resident before the UK leaves the EU, as long as you exchange before 31 December 2020
  • if you register as a resident after the UK leaves the EU, as long as you exchange within 90 days of becoming a resident

Romania

You will need to take a medical examination before you can exchange a UK driving licence without taking a test. This will need to happen within 185 days of the UK leaving the EU.

Slovakia

You can exchange either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence without taking a test in Slovakia.

Slovenia

UK driving licences will continue to be recognised in Slovenia after Brexit.

You can also exchange a valid UK driving licence, without taking a test, within 1 year of registering as a resident in Slovenia. If you are unable to exchange your UK licence, you may continue to use it until it expires.

Spain

You can exchange a valid UK driving licence without taking a test within 9 months of the date that the UK leaves the EU. After this 9 month period you will need to take a test in order to exchange your licence.

Sweden

You should exchange your driving licence before the UK leaves the EU.

Switzerland

You will be able to drive on a UK driving licence for up to 12 months after the UK leaves the EU. After that you will have to exchange your licence.

UK nationals returning to live in the UK

If you exchange your UK driving licence, you will be able to regain your UK licence when you return to live in the UK, provided you passed your driving test in the UK or a designated country.

UK licence holders visiting the EU, EEA or Switzerland

You do not need to exchange your UK driving licence to drive when visiting EU or EEA countries. Instead you will need an international driving permit (IDP) as well as your UK driving licence to drive when visiting some EU and EEA countries.

EU drivers who live in the UK after Brexit

If you are an EU citizen living in the UK you can drive on your EU or EEA car or motorcycle driving licence until you are 70. If you are 68 or over when you become resident, you can drive for 3 years. After this time, you must apply for a UK driving licence. You cannot drive if your licence expires.

Different restrictions apply for holders of EU and EEA lorry or bus licences who are (or become) UK residents.

If you passed your driving test in the EU or EEA, the UK will continue to exchange your driving licence after Brexit.

If you hold an EU driving licence but you passed your test outside the EU or EEA there are restrictions on driving licence exchange. You may need to take a driving test to get a UK licence.

See also

This guidance expands on the driving technical notice published in September 2018.

Published 22 July 2019
Last updated 8 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Licence exchange information updated for all countries.
  2. First published.