Taking a lorry abroad

You need a valid passport, the correct driving licence and must comply with rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph use.


All vehicle drivers, passengers and any crew members must have a valid passport.

UK drivers need at least 6 months on a UK passport to travel to the EU. Drivers might need to renew their passport before they travel.


UK drivers will be able to continue to operate in the EU without the need for a visa, providing they do not spend more than 90 days in the EU within any 180-day period.

You do not need a visa for entry into the EU if you hold an EU passport, but you may need a visa if you’re travelling beyond the EU. You should check the entry requirements for the country you plan to travel to.

Drivers’ hours and tachographs

You must comply with the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph if you’re driving a goods vehicle within the EU.

However, working time rules vary and there are certain tachograph exemptions.

Read DVSA’s guide to drivers’ hours rules for goods vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales and Europe.

International driving permit (IDP)

You do not need an IDP to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein if you have a photocard driving licence issued in the UK.

You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have either:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

Check if you need an IDP for the country you’re travelling to.

You still need to carry your driving licence at all times - an IDP is not a replacement.

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

You must carry your Driver CPC card if you drive a lorry to or through EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and you work for a UK haulage company.

If you work for an EU haulage company, check with the company or the relevant organisation what you must carry to prove your driver qualification.

Carrying goods

You’ll need to check the rules on cabotage if you’re using your lorry to transport goods within the EU.

Further information

You can find more detailed information on: