The Brexit transition period ended at the start of 2021, and new rules are here for British and EU citizens alike. Here in our Driving After Brexit series, we're examining what the political changes will mean for everyday motorists. In this article, we'll cover the impact on EU citizens living in the UK.
First up, we're going to concentrate on those who already have a car or motorcycle licence from another EU or EEA country. This group of motorists are able to drive on their existing licence until the age of 70. Those who become a resident aged 68 or over, meanwhile, can drive for three years. Depending on your medical situation, you may need to pass additional tests to continue driving after this age.
Given the current harmonisation of rules, it's logical to wonder whether this state of affairs is continuing after Brexit. Fortunately, we have good news on this front. At present, the government is planning no change to the current acceptance of EU and EEA driving licences.
Similarly, drivers who wish to exchange their EU or EEA licence for a British one will be able to do so as is currently possible. This involves ordering form D1 from the DVLA and paying a fee of £43. For most drivers, however, this won't be necessary. It is only compulsory to exchange your licence when you hit the age of 70, or after three years if over 68. Please note, however, that if you choose to apply for a UK licence, you would need to give up your current EU licence.
So, when it comes to cars and motorbikes, things are straightforward. Things can get more tricky, however, when it comes to other types of vehicle…
Image source: Tama66 (via Pixabay)
Next, we'll examine the situation when it comes to lorry, bus and minibus licences, or ‘vocational licences’. We'll start with the good news: as with car and motorcycle licences, Brexit hasn't resulted in any major changes here. However, the existing rules are more complex than those pertaining to smaller vehicles. So, buckle up!
Lorry licence rules differ by age. Those under 45 will be able to drive until they hit the age of 45, or for 5 years after becoming a UK resident—whichever is longer. After this point, they must then exchange their licence by sending form D2 to the DVLA.
If you're between 45 and 65, you can drive on your licence until you're 66, or for 5 years after becoming a UK resident—whichever is shorter. Then, you'll need to exchange your licence. Finally, if you're 66 or over, you'll need to exchange their licence immediately. If you're 45 or over, you'll need to get your doctor to fill out form D4 as proof that you're medically fit to drive. You must then send this to the DVLA together with form D2.
If you don't already have a licence, then the answer is simple: get one! These are the steps you'll need to follow:
This includes the 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Different rules apply to other European countries:
The government has committed to accepting all EU and EEA licences indefinitely, regardless of any withdrawal agreement. While it is possible that a future government could change these rules, this looks highly unlikely at present.
Drivers will not need an IDP to continue driving in the UK after Brexit. All you will need to carry is your EU/EEA driving licence. You must, however, ensure that you have suitable insurance cover in the UK. For advice, visit our article covering what to check for when you're buying car insurance.
The exact rules that apply to you will vary depending on the country in which you passed your test. If you passed your test in one of the designated countries, you should be able to exchange your licence for a UK one without further tests. Those who passed in another country, however, will likely need to apply for a UK provisional licence and pass both theory and practical tests after 12 months.
The rules set forth in this article apply equally to those who are currently resident in the UK and those who become UK residents in the future.
Unfortunately, this isn't possible. If you apply for a UK licence, you would be expected to give up any other licence you hold.