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ex-pats may have to retake driving test

Hard Brexit could mean a driving test for some ex-pats

Up to half a million ex-pats living in France and Spain may have to take new driving tests in those countries if there is no EU exit deal

14 January 2019

While the UK is a member of the EU, UK driving licences are directly exchangeable for EU and EEA country licences.

But from 29 March 2019, in the event that there is no EU exit deal:

Hiring a car abroad

However, If drivers are currently using a UK driving licence and live in an EU or EEA country, from 29 March 2019 they cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) to guarantee that their UK licence will be recognised in that country.

If they wish to continue to drive, they should exchange their UK licence for a local licence, where this option exists.

International Driving Permits (IDP)

Again following a no-deal Brexit, drivers who currently drive straight off the ferry and into Europe could be stopped and turned back at the port if they don’t have the relevant International Driving Permit, the Government warns in just-published gov.uk advice on IDPs. Drivers intending to drive in both France and Spain would need two different IDPs.

In another change, and irrespective of the way Brexit goes:

Currently drivers can apply by post to obtain IDPs from the AA but the Government has ordered this service to be stopped at the end of January.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “ Thousands of ex-pats, many of them elderly, will not relish the prospect of having to re-take their driving test in a different country and different language if there is no deal.

ex-pats, many of them elderly, will not relish the prospect of having to re-take their driving test in a different country and different language if there is no deal
Edmund King, AA president

“Drivers without the appropriate IDP(s) could also be turned back at the ports. Currently they could obtain an IDP from the AA shop at the Eurotunnel port but that won’t be allowed after the end of this month.

"It really does seem a backward step that drivers will no longer be able to apply for IDPs in the post. Unless these Brexit driving issues are sorted out soon many UK drivers living in Europe may well need to start practising for a new driving test.” 

Unless these Brexit driving issues are sorted out soon many UK drivers living in Europe may well need to start practising for a new driving test
Edmund King, AA president

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