Change EU to UK Driving License

Getting a UK Driving License

Exchanging your license for a British driver’s license — or driving license as it is referred to in the UK — can be quite confusing. There are various regulations which depend largely on your country of origin. In this article, we give a brief introduction to getting a British driver’s license.

The validity of your foreign driver’s license depends on the reason for your stay, as well as the country where it was issued. Tourists can typically use their foreign driver’s license for up to a year while in the UK, however, getting an international driving permit (IDP) might be a good idea for licenses issued in a foreign language.

Driver’s licenses issued in a member state of the EU or EFTA are valid in the UK up until the age of 70.

Permits from the EU/EFTA, the Channel Islands, and a number of designated countries can also simply be exchanged for a British license.

The validity of your driver’s license depends on the country where it was issued as well as the planned duration of your stay. In quite a few cases, your existing license from your home country will remain valid for a limited time, and you’ll be able to legally drive in the UK.

Please note that the following information only applies to Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland, and Wales.

The minimum age for driving cars and motorbikes is 17 years old (16 years old for mopeds). If you want to get a vocational license required for driving buses or trucks, you will need to contact the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) for more information. The same also applies if you have any health issues or medical conditions that might interfere with your driving ability How to Exchange Your Driver’s License for a British Driving License To exchange your license, you must meet the following conditions:

You must be a resident of Great Britain, i.e. have lived for at least 183 days at a permanent address in the country between April 6 and April 5 the following year (the tax year). You also qualify if your only home was in the UK and you spent at least 30 days there in the tax year. Your foreign license must still be valid.
You must be willing to surrender your old license to the DVLA.
If you are from Japan or South Korea, you need to provide a certified translation of your old license. Please contact the Japanese or Korean Embassy in the UK for further information.

If you are eligible and want to exchange your previous driver’s license for a British one, you need to submit the documents listed below to the DVLA by mail (you will find the address on the application form):

A completed application form D1 from the DVLA Your foreign driver’s license
Any other documents you might need (such as ID, proof of a legal change of name, etc.) 43 GBP in licensing fees You should receive your new British driver’s license within three weeks.

Please remember that you are not allowed to exchange an international driving permit.

Also keep in mind that if your foreign license is only for automatic vehicles and you would like a British license that is valid for manual transmissions as well, you will need to pass an additional driving test.

If you’re still unsure if you can use your non-GB driver’s license in Great Britain, you can take this quick and simple test.