Guidance

Driving in Europe: UK licence holders living in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

Driving licence exchange and rules for drivers living in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

UK and European driving licences

If you move to an EU country or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you will not be able to renew your driving licence in the UK.

Consider exchanging your UK driving licence for a local licence as soon as possible in line with specific advice for your country of residence.

If your UK licence is lost, stolen or expired, you will not be able to exchange it for a local licence in the country where you are living. You will have to apply for a local licence and may have to retake your driving test. Please check with the licensing authority in your country of residence if your licence is lost, stolen or expired.

Check the driving advice for the country you live in.

Austria

If you intend to drive in Austria you must exchange your UK licence for an Austrian licence within 6 months of becoming resident in Austria. You can exchange your valid UK licence without taking a test.

After 6 months you can no longer use your UK licence to drive in Austria, but can still exchange it for an Austrian one, for as long as it is valid. This also applies to driving licences from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Driving in Austria.

Belgium

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence from Jersey, Guernsey or Gibraltar, you may need to take a test. See which Gibraltar licences can be exchanged without taking a test.

Driving in Belgium.

Bulgaria

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence from the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Driving in Bulgaria.

Croatia

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Croatia.

Cyprus

You can exchange your licence without taking a test. You must exchange your UK licence within 6 months of becoming a resident in Cyprus.

If you became resident in Cyprus before 31 December 2020, you must exchange your licence by 7 July 2021.

If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Driving in Cyprus.

Czech Republic

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in the Czech Republic.

Denmark

If your UK or Gibraltar licence was issued before 1 January 2021, you can exchange your licence without having to take a test. You need to do this within 180 days of taking up residency in Denmark, or by 30 June 2021, whichever is later.

If your UK or Gibraltar licence was issued on or after 1 January 2021, you can only exchange a Category B licence without having to take a test. You must do this within 180 days of taking up residency in Denmark.

If your licence was issued in Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you can only exchange a Category B licence without having to take a test. You must do this within 180 days of taking up residency in Denmark.

Driving in Denmark.

Estonia

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Estonia.

Finland

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test for licence categories A1, A2, A or B. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Finland.

France

This guidance also applies to driving licences from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

If your UK driving licence was first issued before 1 January 2021

Your licence is recognised in France for as long as it is valid. Paper licences are usually valid until you are 70. For plastic photocard licences, the expiry date is on the front.

If your UK licence has expired, or has less than 6 months’ validity remaining, you must exchange it for a French licence. You do not need to take a driving test.

You can only exchange your licence if it is due to expire within 6 months. If you do not have a valid reason to request an exchange, your application will not be processed.

If your UK driving licence was first issued on or after 1 January 2021

Your licence will be recognised for 1 year from the date of issue of your residency permit (carte de séjour). If you intend to stay in France for longer than 1 year, you must exchange your UK licence for a French licence during this initial 1-year period. You do not need to take a driving test.

Driving in France.

Germany

You must exchange your UK driving licence for a German one within 6 months of moving there. You will not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence. Your local Bürgeramt can tell you where to exchange your licence.

Living in Germany before 1 January 2021

If you were living in Germany before 1 January 2021, you must exchange your driving licence for a German one to continue to drive in Germany. You will not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Germany.

Greece

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test from 1 February 2021. A medical – physical and eye – examination will be required.

Driving in Greece.

Hungary

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Hungary.

Iceland

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Iceland.

Ireland

UK and Northern Ireland licence holders’ resident in the Republic of Ireland must exchange their driving licence for an Irish licence. UK and Northern Ireland licences aren’t legal for driving in Ireland. However, they can be exchanged without the need to take a driving or theory test.

Driving in Ireland.

Italy

You will need to take a test to exchange your licence. If you have been resident in Italy for more than 12 months then you can continue to use your valid UK licence until 31 December 2021. If you are resident in Italy after 1 January 2021 your valid UK licence will be recognised for 12 months from the date you became resident.

Driving in Italy.

Latvia

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Latvia.

Liechtenstein

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Liechtenstein.

Lithuania

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test if you obtained the licence before 1 January 2021. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Lithuania.

Luxembourg

You can convert your licence without having to take a test. You must convert your licence within 1 year of becoming a resident in Luxembourg.

If you became resident in Luxembourg before 31 December 2020, you must convert your licence by 31 December 2021.

Driving in Luxembourg.

Malta

You can use your UK driving licence for up to 12 months from the date you last entered Malta, or from 1 January 2021, whichever is later. To obtain a Maltese licence, you must currently take a driving test in Malta.

The UK government is in continued discussions with the Maltese government on the right to exchange a UK licence for a local licence without the need for a driving test. Licence exchange applications are on hold until an understanding is reached.

If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man you may need to take a test.

Driving in Malta.

The Netherlands

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

However, in some cases, you may need to provide a certificate of health that could involve a medical examination.

If you became resident in The Netherlands before 31 January 2020, you must exchange your UK licence by 1 May 2021. If you exchange by this date, you do not need to provide a health certificate. Your UK licence will no longer be valid to drive on Dutch roads after 1 May 2021.

If you became resident in The Netherlands between 31 January 2020 and 13 June 2020, your UK licence is no longer valid to drive on Dutch roads. You must not drive until you have exchanged it for a Dutch licence.

If you became resident in The Netherlands between 13 June 2020 and 15 February 2021, you must exchange your UK licence by 1 October 2021. Your UK licence must have been valid on 14 December 2020 to benefit from this extended validity.

If you became resident in The Netherlands after 15 February 2021, you must exchange your licence within 185 days of becoming a resident.

Driving in the Netherlands.

Norway

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Norway.

Poland

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible.

Driving in Poland.

Portugal

You can continue to use your valid UK licence in Portugal until 31 December 2021. If you are resident in Portugal, you should exchange your UK driving licence by 31 December 2021.

If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you should exchange your licence within 90 days of registering for residence. You can exchange categories AM, A1, A2, B1, B and BE without having to take a test.

Driving in Portugal.

Romania

Most drivers can exchange their licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence issued by the Isle of Man, you will need to take a test to exchange your licence.

Driving in Romania.

Slovakia

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. You must exchange your UK licence for a Slovak one within 60 days of completing 185 days of residence.

Driving in Slovakia.

Slovenia

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test until 31 December 2021, or within one year of becoming resident, whichever is longer.

Driving in Slovenia.

Spain (including Balearic and Canary Isles)

You can continue to use your licence until 31 December 2021. You may need to take a test if you want to exchange your licence. If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test to drive in Spain.

Driving in Spain.

Sweden

You can continue to use your licence until 1 July 2021. After this, you will be able to exchange your UK licence without taking a test.

Driving in Sweden.

Switzerland

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test. Consider doing this as soon as possible. If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need to take a test.

Driving in Switzerland.

Rules for driving in Europe

You must check the rules for driving and living in different European countries and follow any local laws.

Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 26 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. UK driving licence holders in Spain can continue to drive on their UK licence until 31 December 2021.

  2. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.

  3. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Malta.

  4. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Austria.

  5. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Germany.

  6. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in France and Spain.

  7. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Italy.

  8. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Cyprus, Denmark and Luxembourg.

  9. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Austria.

  10. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in The Netherlands.

  11. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Portugal.

  12. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Sweden.

  13. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in Portugal.

  14. Updated guidance for UK driving licence holders living in the EU. Also updated rules for driving in Denmark and Germany.

  15. First published.