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Brexit: Brits Living in the EU need EU Driving License

The UK government has urged any British Citizens living in the EU to apply for a driving license in the country where they live. Whilst there are many (an understatement of mammoth proportions as of today) uncertainties around what Britain’s relationship with the EU will look like after the 29th March 2019, contingency planning from both government, business and individuals should not be ignored. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, British citizens living in the EU will no longer be able to legally drive on the basis of carrying a British driving license. Unless the European Commission agree to permit Brits to continue to drive on their British driving licences, they would have 2 choices;
  1. Apply for an International Driving License
  2. Apply for a driving license in their country of residence (in the EU)
brits living in europe new driving license

At present, EU citizens can apply for a driving license in the country in which they live and have their British driving licence transferred, usually without the need to sit an exam. However that is likely to change when the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019. Even with a deal, there is no confirmation that a UK driving license will be accepted in the EU and without a recognised EU member state driving license, UK drivers may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) when driving in Europe.

It is estimated that 1.2 million Brits live in Europe, all of whom are potentially at risk of forfeiting their right to obtaining a driving license in the correct country without the need to sit test. As some driving license applications can take weeks to process, Brits are encouraged to submit their applications asap. Should they not have been granted a driving license in their country of residence by the 29th March 2019 when the UK officially leaves the EU, their British license would be invalid and they would require an international driving permit to continue to drive legally.
british citizens living in europe

How Many Brits Live in Europe and Where do the Live?

EU Country
Brits (000's)

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Phil Partridge
Posted: January 17, 2019 by Phil Partridge
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Sunday, February 4, 2024
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