Foreign and exchange driving licences in the UK

We are often asked if you can drive in Great Britain with a foreign driving licence and for how long.

If you have an EU (or EEA) licence you can drive in Great Britain until you’re 70, or for three years after becoming resident here, whichever is longer. After that, you need an exchange licence. (If you got your EU licence by exchanging a non-EU or a non-designated licence, you can drive in Great Britain for only twelve months).

For any other licence, you can drive here for up to twelve months after becoming resident. If your licence was issued in a designated country, for example Switzerland, you can exchange it for a UK licence provided you do so within five years of becoming resident.

Once the twelve months have expired, you will need to obtain a provisional licence and take a driving test (practical and theory). There is nothing to prevent you obtaining a provisional licence within the first year after becoming resident. You can then make arrangements to take a test before the twelve months expire. This ensures continuity, because you can drive on your foreign licence in the meantime. However, once the twelve months have expired, you must obtain a UK provisional licence and comply with the usual conditions of that licence.

If you need further advice about this or any other motoring issue, we are happy to help. Please contact Richard Silver.


Richard Silver CTA Call us on 0808 231 3908