Driving Licenses in the EU after Brexit

Be Prepared! Travelling in the EU after Brexit.

The Government has confirmed that if there is no deal with the EU then mutual recognition of driving licences between the UK and EU may end. This would mean that UK drivers wishing to drive in the EU after 29 March 2019 would need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). An International Driving Permit is a permit that allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence alone is not sufficient. It is basically an official, multi-language translation of your driving licence. You could be fined (or worse) for relying on just an IDP – so, you must carry your UK licence too. You can apply for an IDP 3 months before you travel, however, a permit cannot be backdated.

IDPs are valid for 1 to 3 years depending on the type required for your destination country. Whilst your IDP is valid it can be used in as many countries as you wish providing you have the correct version. You can purchase as many permits as required, as you may need more than one permit if you are travelling or driving through more than one country. You should check the requirements for each country.

  • A 1949 Convention IDP (Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta, Cyprus), or

  • A 1968 Convention IDP (all other EU countries, Norway and Switzerland)

  • A 1926 Convention IDP (Liechtenstein)

  • Ireland has ratified the 1949 Convention but doesn’t require foreign drivers to carry an IDP, so you won’t need an IDP to drive in Ireland after 29 March 2019.

Find out if you may need an IDP using the Post Office’s IDP Country Checker.

Find your nearest IDP issuing Post Office, and despite there being around 2,500 branches, the nearest issuing Post offices to Derby seem to be Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester and Coventry! Refer to:

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit (Where’s My Nearest Branch)

Number Plates and National Identifiers

Under international conventions, GB is the distinguishing sign to display on UK-registered vehicles when driving outside of the UK, including in the EU and the EEA. You will not need a GB sticker to drive outside the UK if you replace a Euro-plate with a number plate that features the GB sign without the EU flag.

You can display the distinguishing sign as either a GB sticker or a GB sign on your number plate.

From 29 March 2019, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you may need a GB sticker even if your vehicle has a Euro-plate (a number plate displaying both the EU flag and a GB sign).

All things considered, a staycation may be a better option!

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