Will UK Driving Licences Be Valid In Europe After Brexit? Spain News

After the reaction to the deal put forward for Brexit by Theresa May, many are wondering what will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit. One topic that is causing confusion is UK driving licences with 40% of motorists unaware of what driving licences they will need in a no-deal Brexit situation.

Currently, in the event of a no-deal, UK motorists may need to apply for one of two international driving permits to be able to drive in EU countries.

Do I Need Two Permits?

International driving permits, also known as IDPs are easy to acquire. They cost less than £6, and you can obtain the permit from your local post office.

However, there are two IDPs available. The right one will depend on the countries you are travelling in. If you do not possess the proper driving permit, then officials may refuse your entry into the country. Furthermore, you may face another form of enforcement action.

IDPs that relate to the 1949 Geneva Convention are only recognised in certain countries; Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus. This type of driving permit is valid for just 12 months.

However, the 1968 Vienna Convention on road traffic offers an IDP that lasts for three years and covers the remaining EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland.

So, if you are driving to Spain through France, you will need both permits to cover driving in both countries. As well as the appropriate international driving permit, you’ll also need to have your UK driving licence too.

Do I Need An IDP?

If Britain leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place (a no-deal Brexit), then it is likely that you will need an IDP from the official start date of Brexit which is 29th March 2019. If the UK reaches an agreement, then this date may be postponed. Furthermore, the UK is continuing to negotiate a deal to prevent the requirement for IDPs.

If this cannot happen across the whole of the EU, then the UK may pursue agreements with individual countries. For example, the UK already has driving licence agreements in place with New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

You can already buy the permits from your local post office for £5.50 each. However, from the 1st February 2019, the government will prepare motorists by providing IDPs.

What About EU Visitors In The UK?

EU citizens visiting the UK will require no additional licence or permit and can enjoy the same arrangement that is currently in place. However, if EU citizens wish to move or stay longer than 12 months in the UK, then the UK will ask the individual to exchange their licence or take a driving test.