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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Driving in other countries on a GB licence

If you intend driving when visiting or moving to another country, it's important that you understand what is required of you. As a visitor to another country you'll need your Great Britain (GB) driving licence. An international driving permit is also required in certain countries.

Before you go

Make sure:

  • the details on your driving licence are up to date
  • you take your driving licence with you

Visiting another country

You may use your GB licence for driving in other European Community/European Economic Area [EC/EEA] member states. However, you should note that while the minimum age for driving a car in GB is 17 individual member states may apply their own age restrictions for entitlements.

The member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Check with a motoring organisation if you want to drive in a non-EC/EEA country. They will advise you whether you need an International Driving Permit.

International driving permit

An international driving permit (IDP) is a formal document issued to visitors to another country which translates details of a driving licence into several languages, enabling foreign authorities to interpret the driving entitlements held, their validity periods and the identity of the holder. They are issued by the Automobile Association (The AA) and Royal Automobile Club (RAC).

To get an IDP, you must be resident in GB, have passed a driving test and be over 18 years of age. The fee for a permit is £5.50.

Any enquiries about IDPs eg 'How to apply?' should be directed to one of the motoring organisations listed above.

Moving to another country

If you move to another country, you should check with the driving licence authorities there for information about driving and exchange of licences. You don't need to notify DVLA of a change of address when moving to live abroad.

Returning to GB

If you return to GB from a non-EC/EEA country and are not in possession of a GB licence, you may:

  • drive for up to 12 months on your foreign licence
  • apply for a duplicate of your GB licence on payment of a fee

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