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How To Exchange Your Foreign Driving Licence For A UK Driving Licence

If you’re looking to exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK driving licence, you might be a bit confused by the sheer volume of rules and regulations involved. The process can vary depending on where your original licence was issued and whether you’re officially a resident of Great Britain. If you do fit the bill, however, you might be able to exchange your foreign licence right away—meaning no additional tests!

In this guide, we’ll look at whether you’re eligible to exchange your foreign driving licence to a UK driving licence and what the actual exchange process entails. We’ll also offer up some additional advice for foreign licence holders looking to drive in the UK. Let’s take a look below, shall we?


Can I exchange my foreign driving licence for a UK driving licence?

For starters, before we can get into the nitty gritty of what the licence exchange process entails, we first need to look at whether you’re actually eligible to exchange your foreign driving licence. Your eligibility will hinge on your answer to this question: are you a resident of Great Britain? According to GOV.UK, you’re a resident if you have a permanent address in Great Britain that you’ve lived in for at least 185 days. If you are a resident, then you can proceed with our guide and look at how you’d go about exchanging your licence below.

Not classed as a resident of Great Britain? Then you won’t be able to exchange your foreign driving licence. Before you swear off Great Britain for good, however, you may still be able to drive here for up to a year on your foreign licence.

We’re going to look at how the rules for exchanging your foreign driving licence will vary depending on where your licence was issued in the section below.


Eligibility for exchanging to a UK driving licence

You can check your entitlement for exchanging your foreign licence for a UK driving licence on GOV.UK. In just a few questions you’ll know exactly if you’ll be able to exchange your foreign driving licence.

A D1 provisional driving licence application form

Countries in the EU or EEA

If your licence was issued from a country in the EU or EEA, then you’re officially allowed to drive in the UK on your original licence until you’re 70 and your licence expires. If you’re aged 68 or over when you officially become a resident in Great Britain, you’ll be allowed to drive for 3 years. Once this time has passed, you will need to exchange your licence.

Whilst you are allowed to drive in Great Britain on your original licence, you can still exchange your foreign licence for a UK one at any time if you so wish.

If the EU/EFTA licence that you currently hold was exchanged for a licence from a non-EU country then you’ll only be able to use it for 12 months.

Designated countries

The UK has driving licence agreements with a variety of ‘designated countries’. If you hold a driving licence from one of the countries below, you’ll be allowed to exchange it for a UK driving licence without taking any further tests.

Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

If you hold a driving licence from a designated country, you’ll be allowed to drive in Great Britain for up to 12 months. Once this time has passed, you will have to exchange your licence. You’ve got 5 years from the day you became a resident to exchange your licence—as long as it’s still valid.

Residents of Northern Ireland

If you’re a resident of Northern Ireland, you’re in luck—the rules couldn’t be any easier for exchanging your licence for a UK driving licence. As long as your licence was issued on or after 1 January 1976, you’ll be able to exchange it. And the best part? You won’t have to pay a penny for it!

Residents of Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man

Any residents from Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man will be able to exchange their licence if it was issued on or after 1 April 1991. Unlike residents of Northern Ireland, however, you’ll have to pay the standard exchange fee. You will also have to provide a medical report (D4) filled in by a doctor.

All other countries

If you don’t belong to any of the above countries, then you won’t be able to exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK one. That doesn’t mean you should give up on driving in the UK, however! You’re still allowed to drive for up to 12 months on your foreign licence. According to the DVLA, you’re allowed to drive vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes—with up to eight passenger seats—as long as your licence remains valid within the 12 month period. If you want to continue driving in the UK once this year is up, you’ll have to take a theory and practical test to get your hands on a UK driving licence.

Need to book a theory and practical test? Get PassMeFast to fast-track them for you. We even offer shorter intensive courses if you’re looking to iron out any bad habits you might have picked up!

Vocational licence holders

If you’re looking to exchange a vocational licence for a UK driving licence, then you’ll need to fill in an application for a lorry or bus (D2). If your vocational licence was issued in an EC/EEA country, you’ll also have to provide a D4 form if you’re 45 or over.

Please note: when you exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK driving licence, it will not be returned to you. By sending off your licence, you’re surrendering it to the DVLA willingly.

Additional rules for exchanging your foreign driving licence

Checklist

Whilst we’d love to tell you that’s all there is to it, the process for exchanging your foreign driving licence isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. There are a few more niggly rules that could cause a couple of bumps in your journey towards getting a UK driving licence, as you can see below…

If you’re a licence holder from a designated country, your licence needs to be valid at the time it’s received by the DVLA. If you’re from any EU/EEA country, however, you’ll be able to exchange your licence even if its validity has expired.
Canadian licence holders will have to provide evidence that they passed the driving test in a manual car, as Canadian licences don’t show whether the test was passed in manual or automatic transmission.
New Zealand licence holders will also have to provide proof that they passed in a manual car, otherwise they won’t be able to drive a manual car in the UK.
Japanese licence holders must send off their licence with an accompanying translation. This is available for a fee from the Consulate General of Japan at 101-104 Piccadilly, London, W1V 9FN or 2 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 7HW.
South Korean licence holders must also send off  their licence with an accompanying translation. This is available for a fee from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, 60 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ.
Faroe Island and South Korean licence holders won’t be able to transfer entitlement to ride motorcycles from their current foreign licence to a UK one. This means you’ll have to take a theory and motorcycle practical test in the UK.
South African licence holders won’t be able to exchange their licence if it’s a ‘book of life’ ID instead of the newer credit card style licence.

How to exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK driving licence

Now that you’re sure you’re actually eligible to exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK one, we’re going to look at what that process entails. Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward. To start, you’ll need to head on over to GOV.UK and send off for your application pack. You’ll receive this by post to your UK address. Most applicants will only need to send off for order form D1. Others will need more than one form, however: if you’re a resident of Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, for example, you’ll need D4 as well.

Once you’ve received your application form(s), you’re one step closer to the finishing line! All that’s left is for you to provide the following documents in your application:

  • A completed application form D1 (and any other required forms)
  • Your passport, a travel document or national identity card
  • A passport-sized colour photo
  • Your current driver’s licence (remember, you won’t get this back)
  • A certified translation of your current licence if you’re from Japan or South Korea
  • A fee of £43 paid by cheque or postal order

You need to send off your application to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BT. Once that’s sorted, you’ll receive your UK driving licence in approximately three weeks. The DVLA will send your original licence to the foreign issuing authorities.

If the foreign licence that you’re exchanging is for automatic transmission, your UK driving licence will be the same. If you want to drive a manual car, you’ll have to pass an additional driving test.

Additional advice for foreign licence holders looking to drive in the UK

Woman driving a red car

Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code

If you’re taking to the roads in the UK then it’s a good idea to read up on the Highway Code. No matter how confident you are with your driving, you need to be sure that you’re familiar with the rules of the road in the UK. The Highway Code is a set of rules and guidelines that are in place to keep all road users safe. As such, it’s a must-read for anyone on the road. You can start reading it right now on GOV.UK. Want to test your knowledge? Take a few Highway Code quizzes!

Understand your UK driving licence codes

When you receive your UK driving licence, you should make sure you know exactly what rules and restrictions are in place for the vehicle you drive. You can find this information on the reverse side of your licence. If you turn your card around, you’ll find a table of vehicles and codes. This will tell you what vehicles you are and aren’t allowed to drive. It will also contain additional conditions that you must follow when driving in the UK. Find out more in our guide to driving licence codes.

Sort out your car insurance

If you’re driving in the UK, whether on a foreign licence or your new UK driving licence, you’ll need to make sure the vehicle you’re driving is insured. It is illegal to drive in the UK without insurance. The minimum insurance you need is third party cover, though it might not be your cheapest option. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your car insurance, you might want to look at: what to check for when you’re buying car insurance or our guide to black box (telematics) insurance.

Take a refresher course

If you’re not entirely confident with driving on the roads in the UK, there’s an easy, sure-fire way to boost your confidence: a quick refresher course. As the name suggests, these courses are for people who just need a few hours or so to iron out their bad habits and get to grips with the more advanced aspects of driving. PassMeFast has three refresher courses to choose from—5 hours, 10 hours or 15 hours—depending on how much guidance you need with an experienced ADI. To book in, give us a call on 0333 123 4949 or book online.


FAQs

① How do I find out if I’m eligible to exchange my foreign driving licence?

You can find out if you’re eligible to exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK one by using GOV.UK’s licence exchange entitlement tool.

② Does the 12 month period restart if I leave the UK and come back?

If you’re a visitor  to the UK, then yes, your 12 months would start again once you came back to the UK. If, however, you’ve since become a resident of the UK, then this 12 month period does not restart.

③ Will I be able to drive a manual car if my original licence is for automatic transmission?

Nope. If your original licence says that you passed your driving test in an automatic car, then you will only be able to drive automatic cars. If you’re that keen to drive a manual car in the UK, you’ll have to take an additional test.

④ How long will it take for the DVLA to send me my UK driving licence?

The DVLA states that it will take around three weeks for you to receive your licence once you’ve sent them your application pack. Bear in mind that this is an estimate—it might take longer if they need to do additional checks.

⑤ What are the minimum age requirements for driving in the UK?

In order to drive a car or motorcycle in the UK, drivers need to be at least 17 years old. If you’re looking to drive a lorry or bus, you need to be at least 21 years old.

⑥ I need to take a driving test, how do I book one?

If you’re required to take a driving test in order to get your hands on a UK driving licence, it’s as simple as heading on over to GOV.UK to book your test. Bear in mind, however, that driving test waiting times can be long. If time is of the essence, you can get a fast-track practical test with PassMeFast.

⑦ Can I import my vehicle to the UK?

Looking to bring a vehicle into the UK permanently? You’ll have to: inform HMRC, pay VAT and duty, get vehicle approval and register and tax the vehicle. You’ll also have to insure it before you drive it on UK roads. Only going to be driving in the UK for 6 months or less? You’ll need to look at the rules for temporary imports.

⑧ Do I need insurance if I’m only going to be in the UK for a short time?

Yep! It is illegal to drive on the roads in the UK without car insurance, so we really wouldn’t recommend you pushing your luck without it. Third party cover is the minimum insurance cover legally required. With it only covering damage to other vehicles and property, you might want to look at: third party, fire and theft cover or comprehensive cover.

By Bethany Hall

Whether you’re a learner or a pro driver, Bethany is here to help. From defensive driving to the Highway Code, she’ll tell you everything you need know about driving. If she’s not on the road, you’ll probably find Bethany with her head in a book or binge-watching the latest TV show.

354 Comments

  1. Reply

    Martiens J Bekker

    Hi. Great blog!
    One question. In exchanging a South African drivers licence, do the applicant need to pass theory and practical tests?
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Martiens,

      As South Africa is one of the designated countries, you’ll be able to exchange your existing licence without sitting any further tests. The only stipulation is that you must do so within 5 years of becoming a resident of the UK.

      Hope this clears things up!

      Andy

  2. Reply

    Kay

    i am holding the driving license from designated countries, can i still drive during the application of exchange UK license? thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Kay,

      Once you’ve sent off your application, it should take around three weeks for your new UK driving licence to arrive. During this time, you should still be able to drive. If you’d like to double check that this is indeed the case, however, you could always get in touch with the DVSA.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  3. Reply

    Bruce

    Could you please clarify below:
    Does the 12 month period restart if I leave the UK and come back?
    Yep! If you spent up to 12 months in the UK and left, your 12 months would start again once you came back to the UK. This applies even if you’re only out of the UK for a couple of days!

    i just spoken to DVLA and they said you could drive upto 12 months after becoming resident. Moving out of UK for couple of days and coming back will not reset the clock.

    Could you please clarify, thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Bruce,

      Apologies for the confusion here. This applies only to people who are visiting the UK. They can drive for up to 12 months from when they last entered the UK – when they leave and come back, this 12 month period restarts. If you’re a resident, however, you can only drive for up to 12 months before you have to exchange your licence. I’ve made sure to update this section now to make it a bit clearer.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  4. Reply

    Peter Silarszky

    Question: what starting date would appear on my exchanged, new UK licence?
    For example, if my EU licence made in hungary and valid from 2005, would be the same date on my new UK licence or its would look like I just had pass my tests,have a brand new licence?

    thank you

    Peter
    its important information for car insurance.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Peter,

      I’d assume that the start date on your new exchanged UK licence would appear as though you’d only just passed your test – as you’re only just starting out as a UK driver. To be sure, however, you’ll have to either wait for your new licence to arrive or get in touch with the DVLA for confirmation.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  5. Reply

    Angela Floriana Stanescu

    Hi,if I whant to exchange my drive licence from Albania to UK ?I’m resident for 5 years,thank you!!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Angela,

      You won’t be able to exchange your driving licence for a UK one. You’re allowed to drive in the UK for up to 12 months on your licence. Once this time is up, you will need to take a theory and practical test in order to get a UK driving licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  6. Reply

    Nick

    Hi
    I have an EEA driving licence and would like to change to an UK one.
    One the EEA I have both categories, car and lorry with trailer, there are two separate forms for each category i.e. D1 and D2 and both require photos. Would I not be required to send both forms (excluding D4 as I am under 45 years old) to the same address and would I need to provide photos for both? What would be the cost for the combined application?
    Would my UK replacement licence not include both categories i.e. only a single licence listing all categories?
    Thank you in advance.
    Nick

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Nick,

      Unfortunately, I’m not entirely familiar with the process of exchanging a car and lorry driving licence for a UK one. As you say, the DVLA provide separate forms for both categories. Rather than sending off both forms and paying the £43 fee twice, however, I’d suggest first getting in touch with the DVLA to double-check what the process actually is. You can find relevant contact information here.

      Bethany

  7. Reply

    SERGEJUS

    Hi, I sent a D1 form to replace the right to the British address SwanseaSA 6 7JL ,I’m worried that sent to the wrong address, what should I do.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Sergejus,

      That address is listed by the DVLA as their Customer Services Correspondence Team, however, it’s likely that your form will have gotten through to the right department. It can take up to 3 weeks for them to process your application. If you haven’t heard anything after this time, you should get in touch with the DVLA to see whether they’ve received your application. You can find the right contact details here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  8. Reply

    Judas

    hi. how long need to wait to get passport back?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Judas,

      After receiving your UK driving licence, it can take up to 3 weeks for the DVLA to return your identity documents. If your passport isn’t returned after this time, you should get in touch with the DVLA.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  9. Reply

    SERGEJUS

    Thank you very much. Sergejus

  10. Reply

    Sally

    My partner had a New Zealand licence and is looking to exchange it after being resident a year now. It states you have to prove it was taken for a manual car – the NZ licence just has car on it. It was obtained in 1992. How does he prove that. In NZ you cannot obtain a full license without doing a manual test but it doesnt state it on the licence itself. Surely DVLA are aware if the licensing legislation in NZ as a designated country.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Sally,

      I’ve done a bit of research into this and it seems your best bet will be to contact the New Zealand Transport Agency. You should be able to ask for a Letter of Entitlement, which acts as proof of your ability to drive a manual car. Send this off together with your application to the DVLA, and your manual entitlement should then transfer over to your UK licence. Hope this helps!

      Andy

  11. Reply

    Scott Gordon-Hogg

    Hi I’m a British Citizan/Resident. I also hold a South African Passport. I have been driving HGV 1 Trucks for several years in South Africa on a EC / HGV 1 South African Truck Licence. I also have a Profesional Driving Permit.
    I’m planning on moving back to the UK soon. Would I be able to apply for a Job as a HGV1 Lorry driver using my South African licence and also exchange it for a UK HGV1 / Category C+E 0licence?
    Thanks Scoty

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Scott,

      Unfortunately, while it’s possible to exchange South African car licences, you can’t do the same with lorry licences.

      If you wanted to carry on driving lorries in the UK, you’d need to pass tests here to obtain the Driver CPC. You need to get this in order to work as a lorry driver in the UK.

      You can still drive a car for the first 12 months after you became a UK resident.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  12. Reply

    mike

    how do you become a resident? Can you become a resident in less than 185 days? Is there some document you can get to prove it?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Mike,

      As long as you intend to stay in the UK for 185 days or more, you can apply for a driving licence at any time. You needn’t wait until you’ve already been here 185 days.

      You can’t apply for a licence if you don’t have the right to live in the UK for at least 185 days. If, for example, you had a visa which will expire before 185 days have passed, you wouldn’t be eligible to apply for a licence.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  13. Reply

    Jennifer

    Hi Andy

    I have just sent off my application for a full Uk licence in exchange for my EU licence.
    My question is can I be fined for having my Portugues address on my EU licence? I have heard that not having an updated address on your licence you can be fined up £1000.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Jennifer,

      I don’t think there should be an issue in this case. As you would have provided your new UK address when exchanging your licence, the DVLA will be able to contact you, so there should be no problems here.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  14. Reply

    Ela

    Hi

    My dad had Turkish driving licence and he never changed it to UK driving licence, he lives in UK nearly 20 years and he applied for provisional license instead of changing it to UK licence, what can you advise on this?

    thanks

    Ela

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Ela,

      As Turkey isn’t a member of the EU/EEA nor one of the designated countries, you’re only able to drive on a Turkish licence in the UK for up to 12 months. This means your dad can’t exchange his licence for a UK one and will need to take tests in order to get a British licence.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  15. Reply

    Ben

    Hi,

    Thanks for this helpful blog! This is quite a nutshell !!!
    I’m a French UK resident since 2013 and therefore entitled to swap my licence for a UK one.

    I’ve done the official test => https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence

    I got the below result and am quite surprised with the last sentence stating that I’ll need to pass the theory and practical driving tests.
    If I swap my 10+ years licence, surely this is not to do the tests again? Anyone who could confirm?

    *After 12 months you’ll need to apply for a provisional licence and pass the theory and practical driving tests to drive in Great Britain*

    —-

    Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB licence
    Start again
    1Are you:
    a resident of Great Britain?
    Change this answer
    2What kind of driving licence do you have?
    Full car and/or motorcycle
    Change this answer
    3Where did you pass your test?
    Any other country
    Change this answer
    You can drive in Great Britain on your full, valid driving licence for 12 months from when you became resident
    After 12 months you’ll need to apply for a provisional licence and pass the theory and practical driving tests to drive in Great Britain.

    Thanks,
    Ben

  16. Reply

    ben

    Please discard my previous comment.
    I’ve clicked other country rather than EU… :/

    —-

    1Are you:
    a resident of Great Britain?
    Change this answer
    2What kind of driving licence do you have?
    Full car and/or motorcycle
    Change this answer
    3Where did you pass your test?
    European Union or European Economic Area
    Change this answer
    You can drive in Great Britain on your full, valid driving licence
    If you were younger than 67 when you became a resident, you can drive on your EU licence until you’re 70.

    If you were 67 or older when you became a resident, you can drive on your EU licence for 3 years after that point.

    You can exchange your EU licence for a GB licence when you can’t drive on it anymore.

    You can drive in Great Britain for only 12 months if you got your EU licence by exchanging your non-EU licence.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Ben,

      Glad you got that sorted! Yep, you’re able to swap your French licence for a UK one.

      Andy

  17. Reply

    Dan

    Hi,

    Asked around about the following issue, can’t seem to get a clear answer;

    I have an EEA license (from Switzerland, to be precise). Now, in Switzerland there is an initial probation period of 3 years, after which you’ll merely get a new license with no probation period written on it. However, i got turned down at many places because people thought that it was expired, when all that date says is *what my probational period is* (not the expiry date, of which there isn’t one) which ended in August this year. Will it be a problem at the dvla to exchange my license for a UK one? I’m concerned with the fact that they might misunderstand it for the actual validity of my license.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Dan,

      I’ve had a look at the DVSA website, which states:

      “After 12 months you must exchange your licence to keep driving. You can exchange it up to 5 years after becoming resident, if it hasn’t expired.”

      In theory, then, there shouldn’t be an issue in exchanging your licence. However, to avoid any doubt (and if possible!), it may be worth swapping your probationary licence for a full Swiss licence (information on how to do so at ch.ch) before then exchanging it for a UK one. In this instance, contacting the DVSA directly should definitely clear things up.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  18. Reply

    John Taggart

    Hi,
    Does anyone know for a fact what the DVLA do with the exchanged license? Does it go back to the original country? Is it destroyed or kept as record? Does the DVLA do any checks with the foreign country?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi John,

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific information about this. You’d need to ask the DVLA directly about this topic.

      Andy

  19. Reply

    Laura

    I am looking to work in Turkey for a while. After 120 days I have to switch my DL for a turkish one or re enter the country. If I switch it, will I able to switch it back (given that I passed my tests in the UK originally)??

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Laura,

      On the official DVLA tool relating to licence exchange, the form specifies the country where you passed your test. As you originally passed in the UK, this suggests you should be able to get a UK licence back. However, to be on the safe side, I would contact the DVLA directly.

      Andy

  20. Reply

    Jason

    Hi There,

    Can I exchange my licence if it has expired?

    It is a South African licence.

    Many thanks

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Jason,

      I’m afraid that the DVSA states that you can only exchange South African licences that haven’t expired. Your options here would be to renew your South African licence (which can only be done in South Africa) and then exchange it, or to pass your test again here in the UK.

      Andy

  21. Reply

    Gary

    Hi, is it possible to take a motorcycle test in the UK with an EU (Spanish) licence, and once passed would I then have to exchange it for a UK one?
    I would prefer to keep my Spanish licence and add the motorcycle part to it if possible.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Gary,

      According to the DVLA, if you want to take a CBT course with an EU licence, you must either:

      Hope this helps.

      Bethany

  22. Reply

    Hung

    Hello,
    I have got a job and came to the UK from Canada in April 2019 with a driving license (automatic car, valid until 2023). I lived in an address from April to August and moved to another address in the same town. It’s now 8 months since my first arrival and only 4 months since my last address change. I’m not sure I understand “you’re a resident if you have a permanent address in Great Britain that you’ve lived in for at least 185 days”. Does it mean that I have to stay in the exact same address for at least ~6 months or the time just count from my first arrival?
    Thanks,
    Hung

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Hung,

      In this instance, I believe that having lived permanently in the UK for 185 days means you should count as a resident, and therefore should be able to exchange your licence. Contacting the DVLA would help you to clear things up, but I don’t think you should experience any issues.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  23. Reply

    Marcus

    Hi there,

    I have a tricky case. I requested to exchange my expired Canadian DL. I didn’t know it is not possible. I received two letter from DVLA. One with my brand new UK DL, and a second one asking to send a valid Canadian DL. So I ignored the second letter and bought a car and got a fancy insurance policy. DVLA insisted that I responded so I was honest and explained that I couldn’t since I did not get my old license back from them and that I had the UK DL.

    Now DVLA insist that I “MUST” return the UK DL. The Canadian agency does not extend license to non-residence, which makes sense.

    So I do not know what to do other than asking them to acknowledge the mistake and claim for damages.

    Any advice will be helpful.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Marcus,

      Unfortunately, in this situation, it sounds as though you were already warned that you needed to send over a valid Canadian driving licence, and chose to ignore this. As such, now that the DVLA have recognised that your licence was issued in error, they are fully entitled to ask you to return it.

      If you do wish to continue driving in the UK, it’s likely you’d need to take a theory and practical test. If you need any assistance with getting on the road, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Hope this helps,

      Andy

  24. Reply

    Hung

    Thank you for the response, Andy.

  25. Reply

    Marcus

    Thank you, I had two letters saying contradicting things. Why should I have ignored that I have a valid UK Driving License? I am legally entitled to drive with that license. In fact, it was me who pointed out to DVLA that they made one mistake and asked them to clarify which one.

    But I agree, ultimately all I will get is an apology from DVLA and I spending money in lawyers claiming damages caused by their mistake.

    Thanks you all,
    Marcus

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Marcus,

      No worries. Hope you manage to get everything resolved!

      Andy

  26. Reply

    Karen

    Hi, I arrived here in UK Aug 2019 – my situation is my South African license is about to expire end of Jan 2020.. I supposedly visiting back to South Africa this December and renew my DL in there. Unfortunately, had to canceled my ticket because my passport and other documents still in Home Office for my visa application.. Went to Post office and ask what application I must do and no luck and by phoning DVLA don’t help either since you can’t talk to anyone. Please help or advise what should be my next step since I’m dropping and collect my child everyday to school. Thank you.

  27. Reply

    Yordan

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for the effort for putting all this information together. Much appreciated!
    Just wanted to ask, hopefully, you’ll have an idea. I’m about to replace my EU license with a UK one. My concern is that my Bulgarian driving license has expired in May 2019 as it has been issued in May 2009 and it has 10 years of validation. Would this be ok or I need to first renew my license with new Bulgarian one and then send the renewed Bulgarian license for exchange of a UK one?

    Hope you can advise me!

    Many thanks,
    Yordan

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Yordan,

      You should be able to exchange your existing EU licence for a British one even if it has expired. You’ll need to pay the exchange fee of £43 and send off your old licence by post.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  28. Reply

    Mihai

    Hi,

    I am looking to exchange my EU license to a UK one. Where exactly did you find this address: Swansea, SA99 1BT – I’ve been looking everywhere on DVLA’s website and I could only see a few others (SA99 1BN, SA99 1BU), so I am quite confused, I wouldn’t want to send my ID and license to the wrong address.

    Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Mihai,

      The SA99 1BT postcode is specifically for the department of the DVLA which deals with exchanging foreign licences. The other postcodes you listed are for other functions of the agency (such as changing name or address).

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  29. Reply

    Mooki

    Hi

    I forgot to send my ID photo with my Application to exchange my South African license to British one.

    Abviously it’s going to get declined does it mean I loose the money and will I be able to apply again?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Mooki,

      Your best bet is to wait for a response from the DVLA. They might simply ask you to send them your ID photo. Alternatively, your application might be rejected and you’ll have to apply again. If you don’t get a response within a couple of weeks, I’d suggest getting in touch with the DVLA directly.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  30. Reply

    Tshepo Mooki

    Thank very much.
    They’ve asked me to send my ID photo.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Tshepo,

      That’s great! Glad to have helped.

      Bethany

  31. Reply

    Roxana

    Hi Bethany,
    I am in the process of exchanging my EU driving licence with an UK one. I have sent them all docs but haven’t yet received my UK driving licence. I would like to buy a car in the meantime. One of the questions that I had I believe it was already answered above, I am okay to drive even though I do not hold any driving licence at the moment, right? Secondly, I would need to be insured to pick up the car at the moment of purchase, but I don’t have the licence details yet. A work colleague mentioned something about a temporary insurance, daily or a couple of days, but said it costs up to £100. Do I have any other better options?
    Many thanks,
    Roxana

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Roxana,

      Yes, you are legally allowed to drive whilst waiting for your UK driving licence to arrive. If you’re pulled over and asked to provide your licence, you will have to explain the situation, of course. If you’re reluctant to pay for temporary insurance, your best bet is to simply wait for your UK driving licence to arrive – it shouldn’t take too long. Once your licence arrives, you can then look into sorting out your insurance. I’d recommend heading over to our driving insurance section for help with this.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  32. Reply

    David

    Hi! My girlfriend is looking to exchange her Australia driving licence to drive in the UK. She has been her for just over a year, but her licence expired about a month ago. What would she need to do to be able to drive here?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi David,

      The DVLA will only accept a valid Australian driving licence, not an expired one. I’d suggest getting in touch with the DVLA directly (you can find contact information here) to find out what your next course of action should be. They might advise your girlfriend to renew her driving licence, or take the UK theory and practical tests instead.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  33. Reply

    bobo

    Hi, my husband has been living in the UK since three months ago. He is holding the driving license from designated countries- Hong Kong. I noticed that one of the requirements that he needs to lives in the UK at least 185 days before exchange. Now, he wants to exchange his non GB driving licence to GB even though he only lives in the UK three months. I am wondering that will he get back his original driving licence if not approved by DVSA?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Bobo,

      As your husband has only lived in the UK for 3 months, his application will not be approved by the DVLA. If he applies anyway, the DVLA will reject his application and send his documents back to him. As your husband can still legally drive in the UK for up to 12 months, he might as well wait until he reaches 185 days.

      Hope this helps,
      Bethany

  34. Reply

    Cristina

    Hi, I am filing the paperwork to change my EU licence to a UK driving licence, however, I have seen a car I am keen on buying but have the following question. Should I insure this on my current European Licence? If so, will anything change when I get my British Licence (I have been advised insurance tends to be more expensive with a non-british driving licence but I am not sure if it affects in anything else)? Or should I just wait to get a car when the new licence arrives so that I can just get the insurance with the British Licence?

    Sorry for so many questions! Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Cristina,

      Not to worry! I’d recommend waiting for your UK licence to arrive before sorting out your car insurance. As you’ve mentioned, getting insurance on an EU licence can lead to you paying higher insurance premiums. Additionally, if you sort out insurance on your EU licence, you would have to contact your insurer to update your details with your new UK licence once it arrives.

      It would probably save you time, effort and money to simply wait for your new licence to arrive. You’re looking at a 3 week wait once you’ve sent off your application.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  35. Reply

    Amie

    Hi,
    I’m exchanging my Australian drivers licence for a UK one, however I have a UK passport that was issued to me from Australia before I moved to the UK. I know it says on the form I could use my passport number and don’t need to send the physical passport, but there’s a little note on the info brochure that says if the UK licence was issued outside of the UK (eg. Embassy or consulate) then they won’t be able to verify it with HM Passport Office. I don’t fully understand this.
    Would you recommend still sending my UK passport to be on the safe side? Does anyone have experience of this?
    Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Amie,

      As your UK passport was issued to you from Australia, the DVLA won’t be able to verify it with the HM Passport Office. This means that you will have to provide other identification documents listed in Part B of section 5 on the D1 application form. The DVLA will accept the following current documents:

      • a passport or travel document
      • a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or
      • an EU/EEA National Identity Card (with the exception of ID cards issued by the Swedish Post Office).

      If you have one to hand, I’d advise sending them your Australian passport instead. If you are sending one of the above documents, you have to provide a recent photo of yourself. This does not need to be signed.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  36. Reply

    Ana

    Hi
    I am a bit confused , busy with the exchange forms and they are asking for a person that is mot your family and have a full UK licence to sign as well. How I am going to get that we are new in UK and dont know anyone else apart from my brother in law.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Ana,

      According to the DVLA’s guide to filling in your application for a driving licence, there are a few scenarios in which you wouldn’t have to get someone to sign for you. The DVLA will accept the following current documents from you:

      • a passport or travel document
      • a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or
      • an EU/EEA National Identity Card (with the exception of ID cards issued by the Swedish Post Office).

      If you are sending the DVLA one of the above documents, then you need to provide a recent photo of yourself. This photo does not need to be signed and you don’t need to have the section ‘Signing a photo to verify identity’ filled in by someone suitable.

      If the above doesn’t apply to you, or you’re still struggling with your application, I’d suggest getting in touch with the DVLA. You can find their contact information here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  37. Reply

    Deanne

    I have an Australian licence that will expire in July 2020. I’d like to renew my Australian Licence first and then use the soon to expire Licence to send to the DVLA. Is there any requirement on the remaining validity of the licence provided to the DVLA?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Deanne,

      As long as your driving licence is still valid when the DVLA receives it, then you should have no problem with doing so.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  38. Reply

    j neves

    Hi There,

    Can I exchange my licence if it has expired the revalidation date when i was 50 years old ?
    Meanwhile the Driving Licence is still valid until 27/04/2028
    It is a Portuguese licence.
    Down there you must revalidate the licence every 10 years, and you just got 4 years to do, after that you must take the Driving Licence tests and drive again.
    Do you think this is a issue here?
    cheers

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi j neves,

      As long as your driving licence is still valid when you send it off to the DVLA, you should be fine.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  39. Reply

    Dany

    Hi
    I moved to the UK in December 2018. I made an application to exchange my Zimbabwean licence disk for a UK one in November 2019. I filled in the D1 form and attached everything they wanted- the £43 postal order, my licence etc. I got a letter back and it saying the DVLA is
    ‘unable to process your application as we are not able to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted. Due to security reasons we are unable to return your documents to you’
    I literally submitted everything they wanted. Everything is legit and the DVLA guy who’s name is addressed on the letter is constantly ‘not on his desk’ whenever i call the DVLA for an enquiry on this. I was wondering what sort of recourse i have for this? It’s quite bad for me. I literally lost a job offer i had because one of the requirements was a UK licence.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Dany,

      I’m sorry to hear that. Unfortunately this isn’t something we can directly help with. Your best bet is to try and get in touch with the DVLA in general, as opposed to the person mentioned on your letter. You can find relevant contact information for the DVLA here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  40. Reply

    ED NICOLL

    hi, I originally past my UK driving test 25 year ago when I was with the Army.I held a UK licence for 2 years. I lived in Uk until 2001 before moving to France. I then had a French licence. I moved back to UK in March 2019. I now have a UK registered car with UK insurance. I am a UK resident & passport holder.? I need to have a UK licence for work. I will still go abroad in Europe occasionally & drive. How do i go about transfering my current French licence to a UK one? WIll I need to do a practical & theory test? Thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Ed,

      You’re allowed to drive in Great Britain until you’re 70. If you’re 68 or over when you become a resident, you can drive for 3 years. If you’d like to exchange your licence, simply order form D1 from the DVLA. You’ll then need to send the form, a £43 fee and relevant documentation to the DVLA. You’ll then receive your new UK licence within 3 weeks. You can find all the information you need to know in the DVLA’s guide to filling in your application for a UK driving licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  41. Reply

    Geri

    Hi, my gusband has EU driving licence with cat C+E, he wants to exchange it with UK licence, but we are not sure if he needs to pass any test or just need to send it by post.
    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Geri,

      The process is pretty simple! Simply follow the steps from GOV.UK here. Your husband will have to register his details with the DVLA and then exchange his licence. The fee will be £43, and he will need to order form D2 and get a doctor to fill in a D4 form. Once you send off the relevant forms and documents, your husband should receive his new licence within 3 weeks.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  42. Reply

    Alan Jewson

    Hi,
    I may have missed the answer sorry.

    I am British-born citizen and now a UK resident and eligible for a UK driving licence which I am now going to apply for.
    I currently hold a full (all classes) South African licence which I know will be replaced but can I RETAIN this actual licence for use if in South Africa on business or must I surrender it.

    I am 71 years will need take another driving test now to confirm my competency/eligibility

    Thanks in advance

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Alan,

      It’s no problem! Once you send off your driving licence to the DVLA to exchange for a UK one, you will not get it back.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  43. Reply

    Tamour

    Hi,

    I have a 10 year uae driving licence and have moved to the UK for the last year on a residence visa. I have read on the UAE website that the uae driving license can be converted in the UK and the Dubai RTA also confirmed this. Since coming to the UK the UK DVLA have said they don’t have an exchange agreement with the UAE.
    I have forwarded the email from RTA to the DVLA but they dont agree so the dubai road and transport authority have informed me to contact the again dvla Please can you help me to getting my uae driving license exchanged for the UK licence

    Thanks
    Tamour

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Tamour,

      Unfortunately, we don’t have anything to do with the actual process of exchanging foreign driving licences for UK ones. The best thing you can do is try to get back in touch with the DVLA to see if they can explain the situation. You can find contact information here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  44. Reply

    Adam

    Hi,
    I understand that I have up to 5 years to exchange my drivers licence for a UK one. I am an Australian citizen who has been residing in the UK for 6 years.

    Because I have missed the 5 year exchange window, what do I now need to do to get a UK license?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Adam,

      As the 5 year period is now up, you won’t be able to simply exchange your licence. Instead, you’ll have to apply for a provisional licence. Then, you will need to pass a theory and practical test in order to get your hands on a UK driving licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  45. Reply

    Roger

    Hi,
    In exchange for a UK driving licence, could a valid international driving licence (from a ‘designated country’) be accepted?
    Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Roger,

      If you hold a driving licence from a designated country then you have 5 years from the day you became a resident to exchange it for a UK one (as long as it’s still valid).

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  46. Reply

    Suvendu

    Hi,
    I have UAE (United Arab Emirates) Driving License for driving car, Can I exchange my driving license with UK one.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Suvendu,

      As listed above, the United Arab Emirates is not one of the designated countries. This means that you’ll need to pass theory and practical tests in the UK in order to drive here for longer than 12 months. If you’re interested in getting a licence in the UK, take a look at our driving courses and prices.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  47. Reply

    Fernando

    Hi ..i have an Angolan license..can i exchange to Uk

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Fernando,

      As listed above, Angola is not one of the designated countries. This means that you’ll need to pass theory and practical tests in the UK in order to drive here for longer than 12 months. If you’re interested in getting a licence in the UK, take a look at our driving courses and prices.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  48. Reply

    John Turner

    Hi, l originally passed my test in the uk and held a uk driving licence since 1975, just over a y18 months ago l applied and got a Spanish driving licence, now l would like to get my UK licence back, is this a straight forward process?lm a uk citizen, would l just fill in a D1 also what is the fee.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi John,

      Yes, it should be a straightforward process. In order to exchange your licence, you’ll need to order form D1. You’ll need to send the form, any relevant documents and a fee of £43 to the address on the form. You’ll also need to send off your Spanish driving licence. You should then receive your new licence within 3 weeks.

      Unfortunately, due to coronavirus, you cannot currently order application packs or forms online from the DVLA. This means that you’ll have to wait until services are back up and running to exchange your licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  49. Reply

    merve

    Hi there,

    I moved to UK nearly a year ago. I am allowed to use my Turkish driving license for a year. It will expire in June. I can not apply for a British driving license because of the corona. So can I still drive my car after June?

    Thanks,
    Merve

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Merve,

      Hi Ela,

      As Turkey isn’t a member of the EU/EEA nor one of the designated countries, you’re only able to drive on a Turkish licence in the UK for up to 12 months. Once this time is up, you will not be allowed to drive your car. You will need to take a theory and practical test in order to get a British licence. Unless you’re a key worker, however, you will need to wait until tests are back up and running in order to book one.

      Hope this helps.

      Bethany

  50. Reply

    Stuart Marshall

    My daughter holds a South African drivers licence. She arrived in the UK on 2 May 2019. She completed the forms and submitted her application to DVLA before COVID 19 lock down, early March 2020. She has not yet received a replacement UK licence. Technically her 12 months on the old licence is up on 2 May 2020. The DVLA website info is not 100% clear. It just states that once this time (12 months) has passed you will have to exchange your licence and then goes on to stipulate that you have 5 years to do so as long as its valid.
    I will copy in the DVLA paragraphs below.

    My question is, is she entitled to continue driving after 2 May 2020 as she has applied for a UK drivers licence?

    DVLA website info:
    Designated countries
    The UK has driving licence agreements with a variety of ‘designated countries’. If you hold a driving licence from one of the countries below, you’ll be allowed to exchange it for a UK driving licence without taking any further tests.

    Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

    If you hold a driving licence from a designated country, you’ll be allowed to drive in Great Britain for up to 12 months. Once this time has passed, you will have to exchange your licence. You’ve got 5 years from the day you became a resident to exchange your licence—as long as it’s still valid.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Stuart,

      Your daughter will have to wait for her UK licence to arrive in order to continue driving. Due to COVID-19, the DVLA are overrun with work, so it may take them some time to get around to sending off her licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  51. Reply

    Vishal

    Hi,
    Thank you for such an informative blog !.

    I am UK resident for the past 7 months, have moved here after living in Germany for 6 years. I currently have an EU license (Cars) from Germany for which I passed the theory and practical driving test in Germany. In Germany by law one is supposed to under go a minimum number of driving lessons through a driving school before they can appear for the test, this number is halved if one can prove that they already have a drivers license of any other country (which is what I did by submitting my Indian license) . I am confused as I am not sure if my EU license is considered an exchange license or a complete EU license since I passed the tests in EU ? Is there a way to check this on the license itself ?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Vishal,

      As you passed your tests in the EU, you hold a full EU driving licence. This means that you can drive in Great Britain until you’re 70. After this time you will have to exchange your licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  52. Reply

    jamal

    Hi I sent my eu driving licence to exchange it im waiting for it but I have a problem now its taking long time and my insurance company will cancel my account cuz they need my new UK number of licence pls there’s any chance of having the number while waiting for my licence to come through thank u

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Jamal,

      Unfortunately, as far as we’re aware, there’s no way of getting the number of your licence before it arrives. The only thing you can do is wait for your new UK licence to show up. Perhaps you could speak with your insurance company to see if you can come to some kind of arrangement.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  53. Reply

    Kim

    Hello I just want to ask if I can change my drivers license from my issued Spanish EU Licence acquired by an agreement between non EU country ( Dominican Republic ) to a UK Drivers License since I am living the UK now for 5 years

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Kim,

      Unfortunately, in this instance, you wouldn’t be eligible to exchange your licence. That’s because the UK doesn’t have any licence exchange agreements with the Dominican Republic. To get a UK licence, you’ll need to apply for a provisional driving licence and pass the theory and practical tests.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  54. Reply

    humayoun khaliq

    can i change my united arab Emirates driving license in to uk .. if not plzzz give me the some information how i drive in the uk

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Humayoun,

      As we’ve discussed in the article, the United Arab Emirates is not one of the designated countries. This means that if you want to drive in the UK for longer than 12 months, you will have to pass the theory and practical tests. If you’re interested in getting a licence in the UK, check out our driving courses and prices.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  55. Reply

    Anastasia

    Hello.
    Could You please tell me – I have just sent my EU Licence and ID card to exchange my licence on UK. DVLA is working now? Because Post office couldn’t tell me if DVLA services are working now or no. And if they don’t work – when they start?
    Thank You in advance.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Anastasia,

      The DVLA have warned applicants that it’s taking a bit longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus, especially if you’re not a critical worker. If you’ve sent off all of the correct forms and relevant documents, then there shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll just have to wait a bit longer to get your new UK licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  56. Reply

    mohd ali

    hi I have an expired driving license from dubai would I still be able to exchange it for a British license without going through the process?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Mohd,

      The UK has no licence exchange agreement with the United Arab Emirates at present. To obtain a British driving licence, you’ll need to take theory and practical tests in the UK.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  57. Reply

    Stefan Nikolov

    Hello there,
    I live in UK from 2007.I have Bulgarian driving licence. Couple months ago I bought my first car here in UK.
    Can i exchange my Bulgarian(European) driving licence for UK one and if i apply will i have problems,that I haven’t done that during my first 5 years here in UK.
    Thank you in advance!
    Kind regards,
    Stefan

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Stefan,

      You should be able to exchange your Bulgarian licence for a British one at any time. There shouldn’t be any problems exchanging this.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  58. Reply

    Crescens

    Hi,
    I arrived in UK in April 2019 on a Tier 5 exchange visa, which was renewed on April 2020. It’s now May 2020. Can I still use my Australian license? i.e. when did my residency start? April 2019 or 183 days later? I’ve also went on a brief holiday to Belgium in Feb 2020, does that reset the 12 months?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Crescens,

      Your residency will have started when you moved to the UK – i.e., April 2019. As you’re a UK resident, your trip to Belgium won’t have reset this period. You should exchange your Australian licence for a British licence to continue driving in the UK.

      Hope this helps,

      Andy

  59. Reply

    Monika Lamb

    Hi,

    I have a polish driving licence that has expired, can I still exchange it for a UK licence?

    Monika

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Monika,

      Yes, you can exchange an expired Polish licence for a British licence as long as you’re a UK resident.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  60. Reply

    Rosemary Egan

    Hi,
    My husband (essential worker) and myself applied on 7.5.2020 and I can see the DVLA have received both applications. However, that is where it stops. I have phoned 03001232408 but just get an answering machine. I cannot track it on line as I didn’t keep our drivers licence nos – I know a bit stupid. Is there any other way I am able to make contact with them?

    Please advise.
    Thanks
    Rosemary and
    Rob Egan

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Rosemary,

      Given the current situation, the DVLA are operating with reduced staff, and are currently only answering urgent queries from critical workers. As your husband is a critical worker, he should be able to contact them using this online form.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  61. Reply

    Rob

    Hi,
    I am considering converting my Australian license, and had a couple of questions:

    1) How long is the UK license valid for? Is it the same expiration of the Australian one I am converting, or a set date?
    2) What would the procedure be when I eventually return to Australia. Will I convert my UK one back and get a fresh Australian license, or can I have the original card returned?

    I’m asking because I recently renewed my Australian License for the maximum 10 years, and am wondering if its worthwhile converting it for the little bit of driving I want to do here over the next year or two.

    Many thanks for running this blog!

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Rob,

      To my knowledge, when you exchange your licence, the new UK one should be valid for 10 years.

      The DVSA won’t return your original Australian licence when you leave the country – so you’d need to exchange your UK licence in Australia.

      If you’ve only recently become a UK resident, do note that you’re allowed to drive on your Australian licence for a year before you’d be required to exchange it.

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog, and I hope this helps!

      Andy

  62. Reply

    Conrad Sarvari

    Good Morning Guys

    Thanks for an excellent blog.

    I have a few questions please??
    My wife came over from South Africa (I am an EU citizen) and we sent all her documents to the home office for her residency, which she received. In the time her documents were at Home Office her SA license card expired (October 2019) and she received her documents and residency card November 2019. We then got a letter from the SA Licensing Department (December 2019) stating her license is valid it is only the card that expired. We sent all these documents, including the expired license card, letter from SA authorities, passport, residency card and a letter explaining why the card is expired to DVLA (phoned them first, and they said it is fine) but they sent it back saying the credit card style license expired, she has to do all the tests over. How can we have this swapped for an UK license or is she doomed in doing everything all over again. We need her license urgently.

    Thanks Guys, keep up the good work

    Conrad

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Conrad,

      The DVSA states that you can only exchange a South African licence as long as it hasn’t expired. Your wife has two options here. She can either renew her South African licence (which can only be done in South Africa) and then exchange it. Or, she can pass her test again here in the UK.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  63. Reply

    Heather

    I am a dual citizen of UK and canada and i would like to have my canadian licence as well as i go back to canada for work. Is it possible to have both?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Heather,

      As far as I’m aware, it’s impossible to have both driving licences at once. Depending on the province in Canada, you can drive with a UK licence for up to six months, as long as you’re visiting as a tourist. If you’re becoming a resident, you’ll need to exchange your UK licence for a Canadian one. Once you’re back in the UK, you can drive for up to 12 months with your Canadian licence. If you’re staying any longer in the UK, you’ll need to exchange your Canadian licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  64. Reply

    Luke

    Hi,

    I originaly came to the UK for 5 months and then went back to Australia. I have now come back to the UK and have a permanent residence which I will stay in for over 185 days.

    Will my twelve months be from the date I originaly entered the UK or will I be able to drive for 12 months from the second time I entered the UK?

    Thanks,

    Luke

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Luke,

      If you were just visiting the UK on your first trip, then the 12 months would start again. If you became a resident during these 5 months, then the 12 month period does not restart.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  65. Reply

    Marc

    Hi there,
    I applied for a foreign driving license exchange: Irish license to UK license.
    However, with COVID-19, the DVLA are not processing any postal applications. Therefore, I don’t have my Irish license and as of yet, don’t have my UK license.

    I’m about to buy a new car
    Can I test drive it?
    Can I insure it?

    Thank you,
    Marc

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Mark,

      As far as I’m aware you cannot test drive or insure a car without a valid driving licence. Even if you had other valid ID on you, there’s no proof that you’re legally allowed to drive. Unfortunately, it seems like you’ll have to wait for your new licence to arrive.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  66. Reply

    Josh

    Hi Andy – this is very useful blog and comments

    I have an IOM license and became a UK resident more than 12 months ago. What happens if I do not exchange my Isle of Man license after 12 months?

    Many thanks !

    Josh

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Josh,

      If you have an Isle of Man licence, you can exchange it automatically as long as it was issued on or after 1 April 1991. You will have to send off for order form D1, pay a fee of £43 and send any other relevant documents. Due to COVID-19, however, you will not be able to order application forms online. We’re not sure how long this will be in place, so you will have to wait and see.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  67. Reply

    Wayne

    If I want to exchange my South African lorry license (EC) to a GB lorry license what category do I select on the application form? And will it be a first provisional entitlement or additional provisional entitlement?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Wayne,

      Unfortunately, while it’s possible to exchange South African car licences, you can’t do the same with a lorry licence. If you want to drive lorries in the UK, you will need to pass tests here to get the Driver CPC. This is needed in order to work as a lorry driver in the UK.

      You will still be able to drive a car for the first 12 months after you became a UK resident, however.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  68. Reply

    Rosie

    Hello,
    Some advice please: I have a NZ licence that I want to exchange and will very soon have been living in the UK for 5 years. I’ve been holding off sending the application in (because DVLA have asked not to send in paper applications since March I believe) but will my exchange be rejected if I wait until paper applications restart because that will undoubtedly be over the 5 year limit? Or will they exercise some discretion? It seems like a big risk to hope for them to be pragmatic as I really don’t want to have to start from scratch!
    Also, what is your view on sending in exchange application now with my passport that expired in April with a covering letter explaining I can courier my current passport within 24 hours on request? I want to avoid my passport sitting in a mail room unopened for many months (as seems to be the case for many people who sent in ID as far back as March) because I also have a Visa extension application underway but again because of Covid I don’t know when I will need it for my biometrics appointment (currently no appointments are able to be booked) I can’t risk my passport being stuck in Swansea for months with the Home Office possibly requiring my passport in the meantime…
    Any advice appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Rosie

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Rosie,

      Unfortunately, there’s no way we can be certain what the DVLA will decide once lockdown has been lifted. They may very well offer a slight extension for your application, but they could also reject it. It’s very much the same for your passport – I think it’s unlikely that they’d accept an expired one and allow you to courier your current one (this would slow down the application process).

      As we have no way of knowing until the DVLA starts accepting applications, you’ll have to wait. Once everything’s back up and running, I’d suggest getting in touch with the DVLA directly to explain your situation. They’ll be able to advise you on your next course of action.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  69. Reply

    Mike Matthews

    Hi there, I moved to the UK in July last year and am needing to exchange my South African license. Any idea when he D1 forms will be available again or any other way I can obtain them?

    Many thanks
    Mike

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Mike,

      Unfortunately, we have no idea when the D1 forms will be available again. As such, you won’t be able to exchange your South African licence until applications are back up and running. The best thing you can do is keep checking in on the DVLA website for any updates or changes.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  70. Reply

    Josh

    Hi Bethany / Mike

    I managed to get D1 forms at my Local post office – you might want to try that … might be lucky …

    I am still not sure how long it would take for the form to be processed …

    Good luck

    Josh

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for the tip! We really appreciate the help!

      Bethany

  71. Reply

    Mauvin

    Hi.. I’m holding a UAE driving licence can I exchange my UAE driving licence to UK driving licence.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Mauvin,

      As we’ve mentioned, the United Arab Emirates is not one of the designated countries. This means that you can’t simply exchange your licence for a UK one. Instead, you’ll have to pass the theory and practical tests. If you’re interested in getting your licence, take a look at our driving courses and prices.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  72. Reply

    William

    Hi,
    I have a confusing situation. I am a dual citizen. I am from New Zealand and have a New Zealand drivers licence but I am living in the UK as a Dutch citizen. I’ve now lived in London for over 12 months and am preparing to exchange my licence. In my application to exchange my licence, do I send in my New Zealand passport in as proof of ID which aligns with my drivers licence, or my Dutch passport which is how I’m legally living here?.. Thanks!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi William,

      Given that you’re using your Dutch passport to live in the UK, I imagine that would be the one you’d send to the DVLA. As I’m not 100% sure, however, I’d recommend getting in touch with the DVLA directly (you can find contact information here) just to be on the safe side.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  73. Reply

    Carlos Monteiro

    I had Portuguese license with A1 category on it, I did exchange to UK one but not showing A1 category, only AM and A, this is normal or they made a mistake?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Carlos,

      According to the GOV.UK, if you have Category A on your licence, you’re also allowed to drive motorbikes in categories A1 and A2.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  74. Reply

    Gergo

    Hello,

    Could you give me some advice please?
    I have lived in the UK 2009-2017, I was a lorry driver at that time with a GB driving licence. I moved back to Hungary in 2017 and my GB licence has expired at october of 2019. So I changed it to a Hungarian licence (on the Hungarian licence present my former GB driving licence number(codes)). May of 2020 I came back to the UK for work as a lorry driver. I intend to stay here. I sent my licence to DVLA with a D9 form (application to register a non-GB driving licence). I was not sure, could I changed it for a UK licence straight away or not? Should I wait for 185 days as the dvla d2 form says? I find difficult to find a lorry driver job with non GB licence, is that sure ‘Confirmation of Registration Document’ (D91) from DVLA will solve the problem? Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Gergo,

      If you intend to stay in the UK, you can exchange your foreign driving licence for a UK one straight away. You don’t have to wait for 185 days. To find out what steps you need to take, simply fill out this GOV.UK form.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  75. Reply

    Kate

    Hi, thanks for all your info! I originally passed my test in the US and converted my license in Greece. So I currently hold a Greek license converted from US. Would I be able to convert this to the UK one?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Kate,

      Yes, you can exchange your Greek licence for a UK one. To do so, you’ll need to fill out order form D1. Due to COVID-19, you won’t be able to order this online. You might, however, be able to get one from your local post office. Once you’ve filled out the form, send it off with the £43 fee and any other relevant documents.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  76. Reply

    Mahmoud

    Hello thank you for providing all this information. Could you ask for 2 questions
    1- can a Dubai driving license be converted to a UK one?
    2- the second is my theory test expired and coz of COVID-19 I couldn’t book my practical test, are they offering extension to the validity?
    Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Mahmoud,

      Unfortunately, you will not be able to exchange a Dubai driving licence for a UK one. The UK has no licence exchange agreement with the United Arab Emirates. If you want to obtain a British driving licence, you’ll need to take theory and practical tests in the UK. The DVLA are not offering an extension for theory tests at present, so you’ll have to take another one once you’re able.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  77. Reply

    Daniel Bender

    Hallo PASSMEFAST-Staff,
    first, Thank you for the great work your’re doing here. Very helpful.

    I would like to know how long does it take to get my former German-EU-Licence exchanged to a UK-Licecnce? I send my old licence to the DVLA at the 12th May (DVLA-Website quotes 3 weeks) and still havent heard or seen anything about my UK-Licence.
    I do not have an application number either. How can I get information about this issue?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for the kind feedback! We appreciate it! Unfortunately, the DVLA have a heavy workload at the moment due to COVID-19. They’re operating with reduced staff and are prioritising critical workers. As such, your application might be on the back burner for the time being. That being said, you can get in touch with the DVLA here. Bear in mind, however, that there might be some delay in them getting back to you.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  78. Reply

    norena

    Hello, I have a nz lorry licence. Can I exchange it for a UK car license?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Norena,

      If your NZ licence allows you to drive cars, you should be able to convert this to a UK car licence. However, if it only covers lorries, you won’t be able to convert it. To be able to get a UK lorry licence, you’ll need to pass theory and practical tests in the UK.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  79. Reply

    Mona

    Hi, does your licence from the original country be invalid once you convert to UK licence? Likewise, if you convert your British license (eg to Malaysia licence), does your UK licence become invalid?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Mona,

      If you’re looking to exchange a foreign licence for a UK one, you’ll have to send off your original licence to the DVLA. They will then keep this licence and send you your new UK one. You will not be able to get your original licence back. So, in a sense, it does become invalid. If you changed your mind and then wanted a licence from your original country, you’d have to exchange your UK one to do so (if you’re able to do so).

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  80. Reply

    Thame

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the blog. One quick question, do you have an idea how DVLA treats this particular scenario: Passed test in EU (Germany) – Migrated to Canada and exchanged licence – Now moved to UK to join family and need to exchange again. Does DVLA consider where I passed the test and how do they do that? I’ve been checking the internet for this particular scenario but haven’t found one. Thanks in advance.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Thame,

      The DVLA only take into account where your current licence was issued. In this case, you’re holding a Canadian licence, which means you can exchange it for a UK one without a problem. To do so, you’ll need to fill out order form D1. Due to COVID-19, you won’t be able to order this online. You might, however, be able to get one from your local post office. Once you’ve filled out the form, send it off with the £43 fee and any other relevant documents.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  81. Reply

    Cita

    Hi there, am I allowed to exchange my namibian license?
    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Cita,

      Unfortunately, Namibia isn’t one of the designated countries with which the UK has licence exchange agreements. To get a UK driving licence, you’ll need to pass theory and practical tests in the UK.

      Hope this helps,

      Andy

  82. Reply

    Peter Pullen

    My granddaughter who is a British Citizen, but lived with her mother in South Africa until last month – passed her driving test there in February 2020 and was issued a paper temporary drivers license pending issue of card licences, but covid prevented that and their licence office is still closed. She has now moved to the UK and is now a British resident and wants to convert her licence to a UK one. The problem is no card licence and the paper temporary one is only valid for 6 months. Can this still be done and are there Post Office assisted means in Exeter?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Peter,

      If your granddaughter has a letter of entitlement to a South African driving licence, she should be able to convert her licence to a UK one. If she doesn’t, she’ll either have to replace her licence in South Africa so that she can exchange it, or take the driving test in the UK.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  83. Reply

    Indika

    Hi,
    I have a Sri Lankan license that I know I can drive only for 1 year in the UK since becoming a resident. My driving practical which was scheduled last March was postponed due to the lockdown. Now it’s been 1 year since I became a residence and I am stuck as I am not sure whether there have been any extensions given as it was due to the coronavirus lockdown that I was not able to get the UK driving license within one year since my arrival.
    Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Indika,

      Unfortunately, the DVLA haven’t announced any extensions for foreign licence holders who haven’t been able to take their driving test due to lockdown. You’ll receive an email from the DVSA once driving tests restart, at which time you’ll be able to choose a date and time for your new test. You can find more information about this here. Alternatively, you can contact the DVLA online here, or ask them a question on Twitter.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  84. Reply

    Luke

    Hi,
    In terms of information security, what does the DVLA do with our original license? Do they hold it / destroy it / send it back to country of origin?
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Luke,

      Once the DVLA has your original licence, they’ll send it over to the foreign issuing authority of the country of origin.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  85. Reply

    TClem

    Hello, I received a D1 form in the post before COVID-19 and am planning on sending the application in to exchange my Canadian license. However I see above that someone said they’re not currently processing postal applications? Is this true?

    Also, (just in case!) does anyone know if there have been any recent success stories with exchanging a Canadian license for a UK manual license? This whole thing just makes no sense so wondering if they’re accepting things like proof of insurance on manual vehicles.
    (Technically I could drive here for 12 months in a manual vehicle all I want, but then as soon as 12 months is up, I’m no longer allowed?)

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi TClem,

      The DVLA have said that paper applications will take longer to process as they have to be dealt with in person on site, where they’re working with reduced numbers. If you intend to send your application, you should be aware that you’ll likely have to wait weeks for a response, if not longer.

      As a Canadian licence holder, you are allowed to drive in the UK without exchanging your licence for 12 months after becoming a resident. Once that time has passed, however, you’ll need to exchange your licence. Again, given the current pandemic, it might be a while until your application gets processed.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  86. Reply

    Paul

    Hi team,

    Thanks for the insightful Q&A. I’m in a similar situation to one of your previous readers, whereby I am a South African and have been in the UK on a Tier 2 Visa since Jun ’14 and am now on indefinite leave to remain. From reading the other responses, it sounds like the opportunity to exchnage my SA drivers licenses to a UK one is now over and I’d need to take the theory and practical tests? Please can you confirm this?

    I have a couple questions / clarifications:
    1. When does DVLA consider me to be a resident (i.e. when would my five years be up)?
    2. What are the costs for each of the theory and practical tests?
    3. Do I have to get a provisional license prior to being eligible for the theory and practical tests?

    Any clarification on the above would be much appreciated.
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Paul,

      The DVLA are still processing paper applications, however, it’s taking them a lot longer due to them having less staff on site. If you were to get your hands on a D1 form from your local post office, you could still send off your application to exchange your licence. That being said, you’ll be waiting weeks, or potentially longer, for a reply.

      You’re considered a resident from the moment in which you intend to stay in the UK for 185 days or more. Since you’ve been in the UK on a Visa since June 2014, your five years probably began then.

      The theory test costs £23 and the driving test costs £62. You will need to apply for a provisional licence before you can take either test. Unless you’re a key worker, you won’t actually be able to take either test until they officially restart. You can find more information about this here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  87. Reply

    Matt

    Hi Team,

    I am an Australian citizen, with a full Australian licence. I got married in the UK July 2014 and was on a Partner visa Leave to Remain. As a large majority of my work is in Australia, I did not spend 185 days in a calendar or rolling year in the UK till 2017 (naturally causing issues when I got my permanent residency in 2019).
    Now I am trying to work out if my chance to exchange licence has past.
    – when would DLVA consider me to have been resident?

    I have a hunch it might be too late, but any input or advice would be welcome.
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Matt,

      According to the DVLA, “To be normally resident you must usually live in the United Kingdom for 185 days in each calendar year”. As you only spent 185+ days in the UK from 2017, it sounds like you might still be eligible to exchange your Australian licence for a UK one. Of course, it’s likely that you’ll have to provide evidence to prove this. You could try to send off your application, however, given the long wait times, it’s probably best to email the DVLA first to make sure you’re eligible.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  88. Reply

    Ryan C

    Hi,
    I am wondering if i can exchange my licence which i am holding an Australian probationary licence P2 and wanna change it to UK licence ?

    Thanks for your help.

    Ryan C

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Ryan,

      Yes, you can exchange a P2 licence for a UK one, as long as you’re a resident of the UK. You can find more information about the exchange process here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  89. Reply

    Arnas

    Hello,
    I have EU car driving license, and now I get a provisional (learner) motorcycle license.
    Before I get the provisional motorcycle license Compulsory basic training (CBT), I has got the D91 form.
    So can I use D91 form to change my EU driver license to UK driver license?
    Or I still have to send my driving license with D1 form?

    I hope you understand my question 🙂

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Arnas,

      Before you can take a CBT course, you must either exchange your EU car driving licence for a UK one, or register your licence with the DVLA. If you register your EU licence, you’ll have to eventually exchange it for a UK one once you’ve passed the motorcycle theory and practical tests.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  90. Reply

    Chi

    Hi Bethany and Andy,

    This is a very informative site, keep up the great work!

    I need clarification on the statement below in respect to a driver with a valid license from a non-designated country.

    “You can drive in Great Britain on your full valid driving license for 12 months from when you became resident”

    Kindly take into account that even on the government website, being a UK resident is defined as; having a permanent address in Great Britain that you’ve lived in for at least 185 days” (circa 6 months). Also, most categories for obtaining a UK driver’s license indicate you can only apply for a UK driver’s license after being in the UK for 6 months, which I assume is once you could be classed as a resident in the UK.

    So, I ask again what does the statement above mean?

    that you can drive with a foreign driver’s license (from a non- designated country) up to 12 months after you become resident. A total of 18 months? 6 months to become resident and the additional 12 months afterwards? ( anytime under 6 months could be seen as a visitor and visitor rules apply).

    Or is it just 12 months from when you started leaving in the UK, then why does the statement not just say from the day you moved to the UK, instead of when you became resident.

    Than you for any help you can offer.

    Regards,
    Chi

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Chi,

      Thanks for the lovely feedback!

      I can definitely understand your confusion here. I’ll try to clear things up for you!

      You’re officially classed as a resident of the UK if you intend to stay for more than 185 days and you have the right to live in the UK. You don’t have to wait 185 days to become a resident, as long as you intend to stay for that period of time. The 12 month period in which you can drive in the UK on a foreign licence begins the moment you become a resident (aka, the day you moved to the UK and intended to stay on a long term basis).

      Hope this clears things up for you!

      Bethany

  91. Reply

    vlad

    Hello, as i`am a resident in uk (over 185 days) i didn`t change my drving licence yet, but i`ll do it after my car insurance will expire. My question is: when i will change it, i know i`ll recevice cat A as “bonus”, will i be forced to do a CBT/mock test or something to drive a moto or i can buy and drive it right away? I`ll be limited on kw power as A2 (max 35kw)?`(ofcourse i`ll go to a moto driveing school to learn how to drive, but i`m trying not to learn all questions again just for moto…)

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Vlad,

      Yes, if you want to drive Category A1, A2 or A motorcycles, you will need to complete additional tests. It usually starts with the CBT, and is then followed with a theory and practical test. You can find more information about this in our guide to what vehicles can you drive with your licence, and at GOV.UK.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  92. Reply

    Igor

    Hi Couple of questions please:

    I sent my application to exchange EU driving licence after more than 185 days ( 2 years to be precise) – will DVLA fine me for taking longer to do this and if so how much?

    It has now been 5 weeks since I sent the application but haven’t received any response so far. Understand COVID is making this whole process last much longer but do we even have any estimates as to how long this takes?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Igor,

      You’re allowed to drive in the UK on an EU licence until you’re 70. Or, if you’re 68 or over when you become resident, you can drive for 3 years. This means you can exchange your licence any time before you reach the relevant age listed.

      Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how long it will take the DVLA to sort through your application and send you your new licence. With their heavy workload, they’re mostly prioritising critical workers at the moment. You can get in touch with them here, or ask them a question on Twitter.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  93. Reply

    Ethan Trueman

    Hey,
    I recently moved to the UK and my South African Licence Expired before I could exchange to a UK licence, Will they be able to exchange an expired South African licence or will I have to retake my drivers test?
    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Ethan,

      Unfortunately, the DVLA will not be able to accept an expired licence. So yes, you will have to take the theory and practical tests before you can get a UK licence. Before you can take the tests, you will need to apply for your provisional licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  94. Reply

    Gurinder

    hey i have Dubai licence how can exchange uk licence

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Gurinder,

      The UK doesn’t have a licence exchange agreement with the United Arab Emirates at present. If you want a UK driving licence, you’ll need to take theory and practical tests in the UK.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  95. Reply

    Alex

    hello Bethany I want to ask some questions Before I have a Spanish licence I exchanged it to uk licence but I regretted doing that because I come back my country and I exchanged my uk licence to Spanish licence but my all uk licence informations and licence number on the website,it shows” you have full driving licence”how that happens Now I have 2 eu licence on the systems I did not understand to this situation I just want to 1 eu licence spanish licence how I cancel uk driving licence

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Alex,

      Since you exchanged your UK licence to a Spanish one, you no longer have a UK licence. As such, there’s nothing to cancel. If you wanted a UK licence again, you’d need to exchange your Spanish licence once more. The information on the system must be outdated, or is simply telling you your licence history.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  96. Reply

    Holly

    Hi
    I want to keep my NZ licence as well as I will still be visiting there regularly and need to be able to drive. I’m a dual citizen so also need it for bank/ID things there. Do you know if this is possible or once swapped we don’t get to keep the original?

    I got to have both when I was living in the UAE so can’t see why not here.
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Holly,

      Once you exchange your foreign licence for a UK one, the DVLA will take your original licence and send it over to the foreign issuing authority of the country of origin. You don’t get to keep it. If you changed your mind and then wanted a licence from your original country, you’d have to exchange your UK one to do so.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  97. Reply

    Deon Tjiurikouye Kazeimo

    Hi my question is am I allowed to change my foreign driving licence if I’m an asylum seeker with an ongoing application and I’m a Namibian citizen with the driving licence issued in south Africa which is one of the designated countries.
    Thank you looking forward to hear from you please!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Deon,

      You’re only allowed to exchange a foreign driving licence for a UK one if you’re a resident. Once you’ve been officially granted asylum and are allowed to stay in the UK for at least 185 days, then you will be able to exchange your South African licence for a UK one.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  98. Reply

    Spencer

    I understand you said other documents required besides the drivers licence and the D1 FORM are passport or travel document or national ID. My question is If I am from Zimbabwe can I attach:
    1) My Zimbabwe national ID card (in place my in place of my passport)

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Spencer,

      The DVLA only accept EU or EEA national identity cards. As such, you’ll need to either send a current and valid foreign passport, a travel document or a visa that proves you have permission to live in the UK. You can find more information about this here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  99. Reply

    Spencer

    Thanks Bethany

    Further to my question, since Britain is leaving EU by 31st Dec 2020 will it be permissible to attach my EU Republic of Ireland national id

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Spencer,

      As long as you attach one of the following items for identification, your application should be fine: a passport or travel document, a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or an EU/EEA National Identity Card (with the exception of ID cards issued by the Swedish Post Office).

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  100. Reply

    Eva

    Hi Bethany,
    my Spanish Driving Licence expires in October 2020, I can see in your post that you can even exchange it for the British one although it is expired, is this still the case? I am a bit worry that it will not be the case anymore after Brexit… Also, “Order DVLA forms:
    You cannot currently order application packs or forms online because of coronavirus (COVID-19)” from the GOV.UK. Do you know if there is any other way to get the application pack please?
    Many thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Eva,

      The current rules for exchanging foreign licences to UK ones will remain in place until 31st December. After this time, there may be changes. Regarding the application packs, some drivers have been able to get their relevant forms from their local post office.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  101. Reply

    Lucas Costa

    Hello, so just changed my license for the U. K. one and someone told me that now I need to take a CBT TEST? my license is full. car and motorcycle, AM/A/B1/B

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Lucas,

      If your UK driving licence has a category A entitlement then you are legally allowed to drive motorcycles in the UK. You can find out more about what vehicles you can drive on a UK licence here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  102. Reply

    Bilel

    I want to convert my Tunisian driving license what should I do?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Bilel,

      You won’t be able to convert your Tunisian driving licence to a UK one. Instead, you’ll have to apply for a provisional licence, then take the theory and practical tests in the UK.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  103. Reply

    Spencer

    Hie Bethany
    The rules which you said will change after 31st December are they pertaining to EU to UK licence exchange? What about non- EU countries with licence exchange agreement with UK. I believe those wont be affected?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Spencer,

      Yes, I was referring to EU to UK driving licence exchange agreements. Licence agreements with non-EU countries will not be affected.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  104. Reply

    John O Donoghue

    Hi

    i have a irish driving licence that has a four month extension due to covid, i am living in UK longer than 185 days and i am wondering if i can change it to a UK licence only issue is i have misplaced it so would i still be able to apply for it?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi John,

      As far as I’m aware, you can still exchange your licence as long as you are able to submit an original letter of entitlement/driver statement from the relevant licensing authority. You’ll also need to indicate on the application form that you have lost your licence. If you can’t do this, you should apply for a new licence. If you’d like more information, I’d recommend getting in touch with the DVLA directly here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  105. Reply

    Shephard

    I got a place for studying a four year degree in UK and my visa has just come out. I have a Zimbabwean licence but I want to convert it into a British one bcz the Zimbabwean one will only be valid for one year in UK. When i come to UK September 2020 can I send my D1 form together with my licence & visa to DVLA for exchange?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Shephard,

      Yes, that’s right! As Zimbabwe is one of the designated countries the UK has an agreement with, you will be able to exchange your licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  106. Reply

    MANUEL DE BRITO

    BETHANY HALL
    Hi there,
    Can I exchange my Driving Licence, it is a S A D C licence issued in Angola to the U.K. one’s.
    Many thanks
    MANUEL DE BRITO

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Manuel,

      As mentioned above, Angola is not one of the designated countries. As such, you’ll need to pass the theory and practical tests in the UK in order to drive here for longer than 12 months. If you’re interested in getting a licence in the UK, take a look at our driving courses and prices.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  107. Reply

    Michael

    Hi Bethnay,

    I have sent a D9 form to register my EU licence with the DVLA so I can take the CBT test. Do you know whether I will get something tangible back from the DVLA that shows I am now registered or to prove to CBT training centres that I am permitted to take the course?

    In addition to the above, I also applied for a UK provisional licence.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Michael,

      Once your EU licence has been registered with the DVLA, you can simply book your CBT course directly with a motorcycle training school. The training school will likely ask you to share your driving licence information with them before you start the course. You can find this information online here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  108. Reply

    Michael burke

    Thanks for the reply. I was more specifically wondering do the DVLA send me a UK driving license number once registered?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Michael,

      The DVLA will send you a registration document. You will then be able to book a CBT training course using the information in this document, alongside your original driving licence.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  109. Reply

    Michael burke

    Thank you!

  110. Reply

    F El Ayeb

    Thanks for all of the useful questions and the answers that follow.

    I am confused, is there an extension period for a foreign license during covid? Can i drive with my foreign license as i await my provisional? i applied 1 week before my 12 months were up.

    Please help

    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi F El Ayeb,

      The government haven’t announced any extensions for foreign licences. If your 12 months are up, you’ll have to wait for your provisional to arrive. Bear in mind as well that if you’re a provisional licence holder, you’ll need to be supervised while driving until you pass the practical test. You can also get in touch with the DVLA here if you have any more questions.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  111. Reply

    David Cooke

    Hi, what if my Canadian driver’s license expires after sending it to the DVLA to be exchanged for a GB license? It expires while at the DVLA. For example, send it today (July 31) and it expires on August 4th.
    Thanks.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi David,

      The DVLA specifically state that the process will usually take up to 3 weeks. As such, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’ve got enough time between sending off your licence and the date it expires. I’d recommend getting in touch with the DVLA directly here just to be sure. They should be able to give you further advice on the matter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  112. Reply

    Xhuljana

    Hi, my husband just applied to exchange his Eu driving licence for uk one, and he had to send his original documents as well, like passport. We havent received his documents back yet, will they send it back when they send the driving licence? we tried to call them for information but the line is always busy.
    thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Xhuljana,

      The DVLA should send your husband’s documents back at the same time as his new driving licence. It may take longer than usual, however, due to the DVLA’s backlog of applications. They’re running things on a slight delay due to the pandemic, so don’t be too surprised if you don’t hear back from them for a few weeks.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  113. Reply

    David Cooke

    Hi Bethany, I actually got through to the DVLA this morning. I had a couple of questions and this is what I was told.
    What if my license is about to expire or expires while at the DVLA? “The foreign license must arrive at the DVLA before it expires.”
    Can I still drive after my license has been sent to be exchanged? “Yes, you can drive as long as you’re entitled to drive. For us, we can drive until our 12 months of residency is up. After 12 months we have to wait until we receive our GB licenses before we can drive again. For the person who’s license is expiring, they can drive until it expires or the 12 months of residency is up; whatever comes first.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi David,

      I’m glad that the DVLA were able to help you. Thanks for sharing this!

      Bethany

  114. Reply

    Sarah-Lynne

    Hi, I am a UK resident but have a Jersey driving licence (I’ve lived in the UK for 5 years now). We have just purchased our first car and I understand I would need to get a UK licence within 1 year of driving in the UK. I’ve tried to download the correct forms D1 and D4 but it says on gov.uk that ‘You cannot currently order application packs or forms online because of coronavirus (COVID-19)’ – how else do I apply for a UK licence? Many thanks, Sarah-Lynne

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Sarah-Lynne,

      Some drivers have been able to get their D1 and D4 forms at their local Post Office. Have a look at your local branch to see if they’ve got any available. If not, you might have to wait until they’re available online again.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  115. Reply

    Kate

    I am in the process of exchanging my South African driver’s license. I know I have to send off my original license but am I still able to drive while I am waiting for my GB license?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Kate,

      Yes, you are still allowed to drive whilst waiting for your UK licence – as long as your South African licence was still valid when you sent it to the DVLA.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  116. Reply

    Emil

    Hi.
    So I’ve sent D1 form along side with my non GB driving license and national ID to exchange it. That was bit more than 8 weeks ago and still no answer. I will need my driving license in around 3 weeks from now. Any idea how long it may take and if i can contact dvla not by phone as it seems impossible at the moment.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Emil,

      Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing how much longer it will be. You’re not the only driver in this position at this time. The DVLA have a major backlog of applications to work through at the moment. You can, however, contact the DVLA here by webchat or by email. If that doesn’t work, you might want to try getting in touch over Twitter. Their customer service team there seem to reply to questions regularly.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  117. Reply

    Phillip

    Hi. Brilliant blog!
    A question… I am filling in my D1 form to exchange my South African (SA) license to a British one. My SA license expires in December 2020. Will my UK license I get back (if I am successful) honor that expiry date as well? I assume then I will need to renew my British License in December this year? If not, will it also be valid for 10 years?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Philip,

      Once you receive your new UK licence, it will last 10 years. Once this time is up, you will have to renew it.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  118. Reply

    Bright

    There is a section on the D1 FORM with a heading : CONFIRMING YOUR IDENTITY. Below this heading there are four boxes one has to tick i.e.
    1 PASSPORT
    2 EEU National ID Card
    3 Evidence of SRP Retirement Pension
    4 Your UK birth or Adoption Certificate
    5 Travel Document
    My question now is if I want to exchange my Zimbabwe car licence can I attach my Visa on its own in place of my passport along with my original licence and D1 form. if I attach the visa I have to tick in the box Travel Document or else its mandatory that the visa must accompany my passport? But a visa is a travel document isn’t it? I am regularly using my passport thats why I want to send my visa in place of passport.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Bright,

      Your visa counts as a travel document, so you’ll be able to send that instead of your passport.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  119. Reply

    Eve

    HI I Hold Polish driving licence want exchange for Northern Ireland is there a Fee?how much and what way i have to pay if i send via post(everything else closed during Covid)? and what paperwork i have to attach to my dl1 application?Im in Uk/NI 20 years

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Eve,

      To exchange your licence for a Northern Ireland driving licence, you’ll need to pay a fee of £62.50. This will need to be in the form of a cheque or postal order made payable to ‘DVA’. You’ll need to complete a D1 form, which is available from the main Post Office branches. You’ll also need to include paperwork confirming your identity, a passport style colour photo and suitable proof of residency.

      Once you’ve completed your application and got the fee sorted out, you’ll need to send it to:
      Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA)
      Driver Licensing
      Castlerock Road
      Waterside
      Coleraine
      BT51 3TB

      You can find more information about this exchange process here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  120. Reply

    Arif

    Hi,
    I have exchanged my Pakistani driving license to Polish (Eu) Driving License now is i am eligible to exchange my polish driving license to UK Driving License.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Arif,

      Now that you have full valid licence from an EU country, you can exchange it to a UK licence. You can find more information about what the process involves here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  121. Reply

    Nikolay

    Hello i whoud like to ask if somebody can give me q valid number that i can call to chek whats going with my license i sended before 3 mounts to change it from Eu to uk and i got only this number 0300 790 6810 on witch nobody is picking up and i dont know what is happening now i bought a car and i needed my old or new doesnt matter ..

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Nikolay,

      The phone number for DVLA Driving Licence Enquiries is 0300 790 6801. The line should be open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, and on Saturdays between 8am and 4pm. You can find additional contact information here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  122. Reply

    Graham

    Hi, I submitted my application to exchange a South African driver’s licence for a UK one on 20 July……I have checked with the Post Office and the pack was delivered to DVLA on 21 July…..I haven’t heard, or received anything back from them yet ? Are you aware of any delays in paper applications being processed ? (e.g. due to Covid 19 and staff shortages, perhaps ?)…..

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Graham,

      It seems as though most drivers looking to exchange their foreign licences are experiencing heavy delays with their applications. The DVLA are working with less staff due to social distancing and currently have a heavy workload. As such, you’ll likely be waiting a while longer.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  123. Reply

    Graham Macro

    My Thai wife’s Thai licence expired on 24th July. We appled for a provisional UK licence just before that date once she had been in the country for 6 months. Due to covid, we are still waiting for the new licence. Is there any way she can continue to drive on the old Thai licence even though it has expired.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Graham,

      Unfortunately, as your wife’s licence has now expired, she should not be driving. You’ll simply have to wait for her provisional UK licence to arrive.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  124. Reply

    Michael burke

    Hi,

    I recently registered my EU licence with the DVLA to get a GB counterpart driver number so I can take the CBT. I received this form yesterday back with my EU licence. I also tried to book my motorbike theory test but it said the GB driver number is not supported – last three characters of the licence are CLH (community licence holder) – any idea why this is?

    I also applied for a UK provisional as I did not want to surrender my EU licence given that the UK has now left the EU. Are you permitted to have an EU licence registered with the DVLA while also applying for a first provisional here? My application is currently with the DVLA and I am waiting for it to be issued.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Michael,

      I’m not that familiar with the process of taking a CBT course, so I’m not sure why you’re unable to book your theory test with your new GB driver number. That being said, the DVLA do state that if you’re registering your EU driving licence, you’ll have to exchange it for a GB licence after you’ve passed your theory and practical test anyway. So, it might just be easier to exchange your licence now, rather than later.

      Given that you’ve already registered your EU licence with the DVLA, you’ll likely encounter some issues with applying for a UK provisional – you’re not supposed to hold both. The easiest solution would probably be to exchange your licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  125. Reply

    Milos

    Hi,

    I have a foreign European non-EU driving license (passed on a manual car), and I passed the UK driving test on an automatic car. Do you know if I could use my foreign driving license to upgrade my UK license, to be able to drive a manual car?

    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Milos,

      The only way you’d be able to “upgrade” your UK licence is if you exchanged your foreign licence. To find out if you can do this, use the DVLA’s question and answer form here. If you’re unable to exchange your licence, you’ll have to instead take the practical test in the UK in order to drive a manual car.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  126. Reply

    Natnael

    Hi
    I would like to ask please.
    I have my own country drive license so I want to exchange to uk drive license but I failed my theory test. Is it possible to exchange?
    Thanks more!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Natnael,

      To find out if you’re eligible to exchange your licence, use the DVLA’s question and answer form here. If you’re not able to exchange your licence, you’ll have to take the theory and practical test in the UK instead.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  127. Reply

    Luiza

    Hello,

    Once you have received your UK provisional licence, your foreign licence is still valid till you pass the test?

    Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Luiza,

      Unless your foreign licence was issued in the EU, you’ll only be able to drive in the UK for 12 months on your foreign licence – regardless of whether or not you’ve passed the test. You can find out more about this with the DVLA’s driving licence exchange tool.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  128. Reply

    Luiza

    Hey!

    Thank you for your answer, but I still have one question.
    If I have the previsional UK driving license in my hands, can I drive with my foreign driving license without the requirements applied for the provisional?
    I can’t find any official information confirming this…

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Luiza,

      As far as I’m aware, during the 12 month period, you won’t be subject to provisional licence conditions, i.e., you won’t have to display L plates or be supervised by a qualified driver. If you don’t pass your test within the 12 month period, however, you won’t be allowed to drive as a full licence holder – meaning that provisional licence conditions will then apply.

      Hope this clear things up!

      Bethany

  129. Reply

    Matthew

    Hi,
    My wife and I have South African Drivers licenses and we have been residents of the U for 12 months. Our driver’s licenses have expired in the time of COVID and it is impossible to renew it with travel restrictions. We need to exchange our licenses for UK licenses, is there any leniency from UK on this as it is a situation that is outside our control. Trying to phone or contact the DVLA or anyone else, is proving to be impossible as well.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Matthew,

      It seems as though all South African driving licences that were due to expire from 26 March up to 31 August 2020 have been extended to 31 January 2021 (see here and here for more information). As such, you should technically be allowed to exchange your licences for UK ones.

      The only way of knowing, however, is to speak to the DVLA directly. If you’re not having any luck with ringing them on 0300 790 6801, you can use their email service. Alternatively, their customer service team have been answering questions on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  130. Reply

    Adil A.

    I will be moving to the UK soon to pursue graduate studies and would most likely stay on for an additional two years after graduation under the new graduate work visa programme starting next summer. My situation is a bit unique: I have a full Canadian provincial driver licence that was obtained on the basis of an exchange agreement with the U.S state in which I had been residing for a few years before immigrating to Canada. It is well established that Canadian licences do not state the type of vehicle in which the test was taken. In my case there would be no way to show that even if the type of transmission was specified because my Canadian license was acquired on the basis of a U.S license, hence no driving or written test was needed. Now….I have a second active full driver licence from my native country where I first learned to drive 23 years ago (Trinidad & Tobago) which I never surrendered in either the U.S or Canada because I was never required to do so. This licence has a similar provision to the U.K which distinguishes whether the driving test was done on an auto or manual transmission (I did it on a manual). Would I then be able to use this as proof to demonstrate that I had been tested on a manual transmission, when seeking to exchange the Canadian license at the time when I’m eligible to do so? I anticipate the answer being “no” since the proof would likely derive from the license I am relying upon for the exchange, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? My Trinidad & Tobago driving experience was used as an experience credit to obtain a fast-tracked full US driving licence (no learner or graduated permit required), which was then used to obtain a Canadian license.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Adil,

      The DVLA says that you can only drive manual vehicles if you can prove that you passed a manual vehicle test. Your Trinidad & Tobago licence does prove that you are qualified to drive a manual car. I’m not sure, however, whether or not the DVLA would take this as official proof. I’d recommend getting in touch with the DVLA directly to ask. You can find contact information here, or, you can ask them a question directly on Twitter instead.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  131. Reply

    Ivor Du Merwe

    Good day

    I need to exchange me South African License to UK as I have been in the country 15 months now.
    As I cant get a D1 form online (Gov.uk), has the rules changed during COVID so that you can still drive after the 12 months until you can order forms online from the DVLA again?

    Thanks
    Ivor

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Ivor,

      Some drivers have been able to get their hands on a D1 form from their local post office. Have a look online to see if your local branch has any available. If not, I’d recommend getting touch with the DVLA directly to explain your situation and figure out what your options are. You can find contact information here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with them over Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  132. Reply

    Graham Shuttleworth

    Hi Bethany,
    Firstly, thank you for a very informative Blog. Just reading this Blog and the answers to some of the letters has enlightened me far better than the UK Gov website has done.
    I have a South African driving license which expires on the 20th January 2024 and have had permanent residence in the UK since December 2018. I also have permanent residence in Malawi and visit Malawi and South Africa for a few months every year. I would like to retain my SA driving license because when driving in Malawi one is stopped by the police almost every day with requests from the police to check if you have a valid driving license. For some reason, the Malawi authorities are not happy if presented with a UK driving license but they do accept a South African driving license because South Africa is part of the Southern African States agreement.
    Hence my dilemma. Once I part with the South African driving license in exchange for a UK driving license it is gone, never to be seen again. Not by me anyway. I need to get a UK driving license because our vehicle insurance costs are astronomical. My partner is British and my car is registered in her name but I am a nominated driver for that vehicle, together with her.
    What advice can you offer?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Graham,

      Thank you for your lovely feedback! Unfortunately, I’m not sure anything can be done about your situation. As far as I’m aware, there’s no way to hold both a South African licence and a UK one. You could get in touch with the DVLA, but I imagine that they’d tell you the same thing. If you’re struggling with high insurance premiums, however, we’ve got plenty of insurance articles with tips on how to drive down the price!

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  133. Reply

    Guillermo J

    Hi there,
    I have had a French driving licence for more than 10 years (an exchange licence) and I passed my test in the UAE 15 years ago.

    I am UK resident and I was wondering whether my FR licence can be exchanged into a UK one and whether it would be simple process

    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Guillermo,

      If you passed your test in the UAE then you’ll have to retake your test in the UK – you can’t simply exchange your licence. You’ll have 12 months to drive on your current licence in the UK, but once that time is up it will no longer be valid.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  134. Reply

    Frankie

    Hi

    I’m Irish and I’ve lived in the UK for 8 years.
    My Irish driver’s licence expired in 2015.
    I need to get a UK driver’s licence, can I exchange my expired Irish licence for a UK one or do I need to renew my Irish licence first and then apply for a UK one.
    To my knowledge I can replace my Irish one up to 10 years after the expiry date of my current one so getting one from Ireland shouldn’t be much of a problem but I’d rather not have to go this roundabout way.

    Any info appreciated
    Bests
    Frankie

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Frankie,

      Yes, you should be able to exchange your expired Irish licence to a UK one without any problems. You can find out what steps you need to take to do this here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  135. Reply

    Berni Doherty

    I am a UK citizen and passed my driving test here in the UK in 1987. I moved to live in the Republic of Ireland in 2011 and changed my licence for an Irish one, as my purse was stolen and my UK licence was in it. I telephoned the DVLA at that time and asked for a replacement to be sent to me but they said they would not do that as I no longer lived in the UK. I was also remarried in 2015 and had to have a name change, and also moved back to the UK and now need an address change. I have my old paper licence with my old name on it. Can you advise me please on what to do next? On reading the above notes, it’s looking as though I will have to retake my test, is this going to be the case?

    Hoping you can help,
    Many thanks,
    Berni Doherty

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Berni,

      You can simply exchange your Irish licence for a UK one! Find out what steps you need to take here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  136. Reply

    Sue

    Hi Bethany,
    I am trying to exchange my European driving licence to a UK driving licence.. however, on the website it says “You cannot currently order application packs or forms online because of coronavirus (COVID-19).” And I’ve been a resident for over a year, so I am not supposed to be using my European licence. Not sure what to do. Any ideas? Is it legal to drive since I am unable to exchange my licence?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Sue,

      The application packs currently aren’t available online. Many drivers, however, have been able to find these forms at their local Post Office. Have a look at your local branch to see if they’ve got any available. If not, you might have to wait until they’re available online again.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  137. Reply

    Vincent Oakes

    My friend has a full Polish license and has lived here in the UK for 14 months, how can he get a UK license?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Vincent,

      Your friend can simply exchange his Polish licence for a UK one. All he has to do is follow these steps. Please note that the D1 form is currently unavailable online, so he will have to see if his local Post Office branch has any available.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  138. Reply

    Josh

    Hi
    I am looking to exchange my Hong Kong full license for a UK one. Is the British National Overseas Passport number (issued by the HM Passport Office) able to be used in the Valid UK passport number section as proof of identity.
    And if it does qualify, do I need to submit anything else listed in Proof of identity section 5 Part 5 on the D1 form?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Josh,

      As the number has been issued by the HM Passport Office, it should be fine. You might want to double check with the DVLA just to make sure though. (You can find contact them here or on Twitter.)As far as I’m aware, if you’re providing your passport number, you don’t need to submit any additional documents.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  139. Reply

    David

    Hi,

    Great article, I hope you see this question.

    I am a UK citizen/nationality (was born there). I had a UK driving license 10 years ago but got 6 points on my license during the first 2 years, so I lost my license.

    I then moved to Israel to live for the last 10 years (I have citizenship in Israel too). I passed my Israeli driving license test while I was here.

    I am looking to move back to England in a few months.

    1. Can I drive up to 12 months with my Israeli license, even though my nationality is British?
    2. Can I convert it to UK license, or do I have to do the tests again?

    Thanks.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi David,

      You shouldn’t have any problems driving on your Israeli licence for 12 months. However, as Israel is not amongst the designated countries, you won’t be able to exchange your licence, and you’ll need to take the theory and practical tests again if you want to obtain a UK licence.

      Hope this helps

      Andy

  140. Reply

    Goda

    Hi there

    My EU driving licence has recently been stolen and has also recently expired – what is the process for it to be renewed? I was trying to find information on DVLA website to no avail. I have been a UK resident for 7 years now.

    Many thanks

    Goda

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Goda,

      Your best bet is to get in touch with the DVLA directly. You can find contact information for them here, or ask them on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  141. Reply

    Runet Conceicao

    Hi,
    I exchanged my Portuguese driving license for an UK one. I’m in the process of setting up my insurance but it’s asking for how long I had my driving license for. Does that mean Uk license only or does it count with my previous one too?
    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Runet,

      I’d recommend asking your insurer directly. I’d assume that they’re referring only to your UK licence. The only way of knowing for sure, however, is to speak with them.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  142. Reply

    Veronica Salotti

    Hi guys,

    First of all thanks for this fantastic blog!

    My husband drives here (he’s a deivery) with his EU (we are from Spain) licence.
    Driving here he had two penalties involving loss of points, one almost three years ago and another recently. We are concerned about what will happen when he changes his license at the end of the year. Can you give us some information about it?
    One more…Some procedures, such as residence permits, are extending their deadlines due to the covid. The deadline for the change is still December 31?

    Thanks a lot!
    Veronica

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Veronica,

      Thanks for the lovely feedback! Once your husband exchanges his licence, the penalty points will be carried over onto his new UK licence. As long as the number of points is below 12, he will be fine. Regarding the deadline, we’d recommend exchanging his licence ASAP to avoid the rush that will likely take place at the end of the year.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  143. Reply

    Nick

    I moved to the UK two years ago, still driving on my EU licence at the moment but would like to convert it to a UK one. I passed my driving test in Italy in 1991. Would my converted UK licence include BE, C1, C1E, D1 and D1E, as if I passed the car test in the UK before 1997? Or will it be restricted to “B” only? I have asked this to the DVLA but they didn’t reply.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Nick,

      Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find much information on this matter. It’s not entirely clear whether you would or wouldn’t have these acquired rights. Your best bet is to try asking the DVLA again. You can get in touch with them online here, or, if you’re still having no luck, they are active on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  144. Reply

    Farzad

    Hi,
    I exchanged my New Zealand licnese for Germany one a few years ago. Now I would like to exchange my Germany licnese for UK one. Do I need to proof of testing in NZ with manual car? I look forward to your response.
    Kind regards,
    Farzad

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Farzad,

      As you originally passed your driving test in New Zealand, you will have to provide proof that you passed a manual driving test if you want to drive a manual vehicle. If you get in touch with the New Zealand Transport Agency, they should be able to provide you with the evidence you need to move forward with the exchange.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  145. Reply

    LH

    Hi Bethany,
    Good morning !
    I sent out my ID and oversea (the designated countries) driving license to exchange
    UK driving license on end of Aug, but until now still not yet received
    my ID and UK driving license back from them, really worry.
    Do you know any update information about how long does DVLA take to
    send back ID document and driving license recently ?
    Because I read the reviews about DVLA from other website, so many people
    still waiting even they sent out so many months ago.
    Could you let me know the update situation ?

    Thank you very much !

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Good morning LH!

      Unfortunately, we have no idea what the waiting times are like with the DVLA’s licence exchange process. It appears that many drivers have been waiting weeks, if not months, for their new UK licence. You could try getting in touch with the DVLA online here, or ask them directly on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  146. Reply

    ME

    Hello
    I have a bit of a difficult question.
    I hold Canadian licence but I passed my test in EU more than 5 years ago. I am currently resident of the UK but unfortunately got 6 points on my licence before I exchange it . Will I still be able to exchange it or will I be considered as new driver..

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi ME,

      As far as I’m aware, you shouldn’t have any problems with exchanging your foreign licence. The penalty points on your licence will simply be carried across to your new UK one. If you’d like to double check though, you can contact the DVLA online here, or ask them a question on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  147. Reply

    Kirsty

    Good day,

    I would like to know the following: I am from South Africa, however, I also hold a Northern Ireland passport. when I exchange my South African drivers license for a UK license, which passport would I send in with my form because I use my Irish passport as proof that I have the right to live in the UK… but if I send my South African passport there wont be any proof that I have the write to live in the UK… so which Passport do I send?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Kirsty,

      I assume that you’d be fine with sending the DVLA your South African licence with your Northern Ireland passport. I can’t see why there would be an issue. That being said, it’s probably best that you double check with the DVLA. You can get in touch with them online here, or you can ask them directly on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  148. Reply

    Jacob

    Hi, I live in UK for 3 years and I already applied for a UK citizenship. I also have EU driving license and I would like to get Full UK license. Someone told me that I can do that at post office is that correct???

    Jacob

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Jacob,

      To exchange your licence for a UK one, you will need to order the D1 form from the DVLA and then send it (along with a £43 fee and any additional documents) to the address on the form. Now, this D1 form is no longer available online. Some drivers have been able to find it at their local post office, however. I’d recommend having a look online to see if your local branch have any available. If not, you might have to wait until they’re available online again.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  149. Reply

    LH

    Dear Bethany,

    Thank you very much !

    With best regards,
    LH

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi LH,

      Glad to have helped!

      Bethany

  150. Reply

    Richard

    Hi folks,

    Thanks so much for the time you put into answering questions.
    I have the credit card South African licence, it is expired though, as I have not lived there for 14 years. I have written to the SA authority to issue the “letter” confirming I have a licence.
    Will UK accept the expired credit card licence with the official letter attached?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Richard,

      The DVLA might accept a proof of entitlement letter from the relevant issuing authority in lieu of your expired licence. To be on the safe side, however, I’d double check with them. You can get in touch with them online here, or over Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  151. Reply

    LH

    Dear Bethany,
    Good afternoon !
    Want to update my case.
    I just received my ID from DVLA and they said if no any questions,
    they will send me UK driving license after 2 weeks (At least).

    Thank you !
    LH

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi LH,

      Thanks for the update! That’s great news!

      Bethany

  152. Reply

    Lauren Maxwell

    Hello, I have lost my drivers licence but need to exchange to UK as been living here for over 12 months, can i do this without sending my license in? Or would i need to order a new one from NZ then send it in? Thanks Lauren

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Lauren,

      I do believe that it is possible to exchange your licence, even if you’ve lost it, as long as you’re able to submit an original letter of entitlement from the New Zealand Transport Agency. You’ll need to indicate on your application form that you have lost your licence. If you can’t get this letter, then you’ll have to order a new licence instead.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  153. Reply

    Fay

    Very helpful information – thank you. Do I need to send my actual passport with the application or is just a copy of it sufficient please?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Fay,

      You’ll have to send your actual passport, if that’s what you’re using to prove your identity.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  154. Reply

    Amy

    Hi there,

    I exchanged my New Zealand Drivers licence for a UK automatic-only full licence recently however, my job requires me to be able to drive a manual. Therefore, I am planning to resit my drivers licence test in a manual to exchange my automatic-only licence to a full UK licence. My question is do I need to do a theory test as well, as my original theory test was taken in New Zealand.

    Many thanks,
    Amy

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Amy,

      As you now have a UK automatic licence, you should be able to upgrade it to a manual one simply by taking a driving test. You can find out how to do this here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  155. Reply

    LH

    Dear Bethany,

    Hi !
    Really so surprised and happy that I received my UK driving license yesterday.

    Thanks !
    LH

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi LH,

      That’s great news! Glad to have helped!

      Bethany

  156. Reply

    Niamh gribben

    Hi
    I’ve an irish driving licence but have lost it. Im living in Northern Ireland for years now. Could I apply for British driving license even though I’ve lost my Irish license

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Niamh,

      You should still be able to exchange your licence for a UK one as long as you get a Certificate of Entitlement from the DVA. You can then submit this, along with your application, to the DVLA. Please note, on your application form, you will need to indicate that you have lost your licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  157. Reply

    Jose Vila

    Hi Bethany,

    I have a Spanish drive license that was exchange for Venezuela drive license since 2006, I’m living in UK for 6 years and I’m resident, after Brexit transition period what is the deadline for getting the UK drive license?, I need to pass my exams before Dec 2020? or can I continue driving my EU license, what are my options?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Jose,

      If you’re interested in exchanging your licence, I’d recommend doing it before December. A lot of drivers will be trying to exchange their foreign licences before the deadline, so you’ll want to try and avoid the rush. If you’ve got more questions about this, I’d recommend getting in touch with the DVLA directly. You can contact them online here, or on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  158. Reply

    Petros

    Hi,
    I live in the UK for 3 years now. I am thinking to exchange my driving licence for a British one. My current driving licence is Greek, I know I don’t have to and I can drive legally with my current driving licence here as I do already. However, my driving licence is issued 01/02/1996, if I change it, will the issue date be lost and I will appear as a new driver as this might affect my insurance policy.
    Thank you in advance.
    Kind Regards
    Petros

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Petros,

      If you were to exchange your Greek licence for a UK one, you would end up with a new issue date. Some insurers may, however, accept evidence of your foreign driving experience, e.g., if you have a photocopy of your current licence, or if you’re able to get a Letter of Entitlement from your licensing authority. This may help you avoid the high insurance premiums that new drivers are often lumped with.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  159. Reply

    Megan Shewan

    Hi Bethany. I’m in rather a tizz at the moment. I applied to exchange my valid South African drivers’ licence on 02/09/2020. I completed the form and sent it off, together with my original South African passport, drivers’ licence and a copy of my UK BRP card – as requested. I also included the photograph in the correct section.
    I was under the impression that it would take about 2-3 weeks. I paid for First-class delivery, and I tracked the Royal Mail number to see that the application was received on 03/09/2020 and signed for.
    However, I do not have an Application Reference number which I can use to track my application. I have tried all the numbers given on the receipt I got from the Post Office, but none of these numbers appears to be the correct one (14 digits).
    I’m now really anxious, as I sent away my passport…
    Would you be able to give me any advice – or peace of mind that perhaps, the delay is due to the COVID crisis, and that my application is safe and being processed?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Megan,

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the wait. Due to the pandemic, the DVLA is taking a lot longer to process licence applications. A lot of drivers have been waiting weeks to receive their new licences and get their identity documents back. As you’ve had confirmation that your application was received, you can rest assured that the DVLA is probably just working through its heavy workload to get to your application.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  160. Reply

    Andrea

    Hi bethany i have lost my italian driving licence months ago and i haven’t bothered to report it because since it was expired 8 years ago i thought it wasn’t renewable or exchangeable in uk but after i applied for my provisional one and arrived i decided to call dvla and asked them if it was possible and they said it was is that true? and i was thinking to expedite things go to the head off in person with all the supplemental documentation they already have my details because they sent me the provisional and i already paid once and letter saying it was an error attach provisional to be returned(that’s what they said)

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Andrea,

      As far as I’m aware, the DVLA will allow you to exchange your expired licence for a UK one. As you no longer have the physical licence, you will need to get a Letter of Entitlement. Once you have this, you should send it, along with your D1 form and any additional documents, to the DVLA directly. You should not travel to their head office, as they will not be accepting visitors.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  161. Reply

    Janice

    Hi Bethany,
    I am an expat who exchanged my Uk Driving licence for a Spanish one in 2011 . I am returning to the UK in December . I am 72 years old. I would like to exchange my Spanish licence for a Uk licence … I have 3 years left on my Spanish licence . What is the procedure to do this please .
    the way I read the information is that if you are over 68 you can drive for 3 years is that correct . Do you then have a medical as you do in Spain to be able to continue driving ?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Janice,

      Yes, if you’re 68 or over when you become resident, you can drive for 3 years on your current EU licence. Once you have a British driving licence and have reached the age of 70 or over, you must renew your licence every 3 years. If you’re looking to exchange your licence now, you can find more information on the process here.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  162. Reply

    Penny Aldridge

    Hi Bethany,
    I left a comment on the 10th October which appears to have disappeared.
    I am a British Citizen and held a UK Driving Licence since the 1970’s. I moved to Namibia 9 years ago, i.e. 2011. In order to drive in Namibia I had to exchange my UK Driving Licence for a SADC(South African Development Community) Namibian Driving License. I will shortly be returning to live in the UK. Will I automatically be entitled to exchange this for a UK Licence?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Penny,

      As you passed your driving test in the UK, you should have no trouble with exchanging your Namibian driving licence back to a UK one. You can find out what this process entails here. If you have any further questions, you can get in touch with the DVLA here, or on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  163. Reply

    Penny Aldridge

    Thank you very much for your help Bethany

  164. Reply

    David

    Hello Bethany,
    I have a spanish driver license that was issued in Madrid Spain, but this license was homologated from my original peruvian driver license. The question is if I can change it to a british license or not, considering that I passed the tests in Peru. I got british nationality.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi David,

      As you didn’t pass your driving test in the EU or one of the designated countries, I’m afraid you’ll have to take the UK theory and practical tests in order to get a UK licence. You can drive up to 12 months on your foreign licence (from the moment at which you became a UK resident). After this time, your licence will no longer be valid and you won’t be able to drive until you have a UK licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  165. Reply

    Magda

    I want to exchange my driving license from non gb to gb unfortunately I lost my driving license some time ago and the only confirmation that I have it is a photocopy. I called the dvl and I was told that the photocopy would be enough for them, but will they send me back a British driving license for sure?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Magda,

      If the DVLA have told you that a photocopy will be fine, then I’m sure the process will run smoothly. With the heavy workload that the DVLA are facing, along with restrictions brought about by the pandemic, you might be waiting a few weeks or more to receive your UK driving licence. Rest assured, however, that they will be working as hard as they can to make sure you get it.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  166. Reply

    Paul

    I have uae driving license.. Possible for exchange uk driving license?..

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Paul,

      As listed above, the United Arab Emirates is not one of the designated countries. This means that you’ll need to pass theory and practical tests in the UK in order to drive here for longer than 12 months. If you’re interested in getting a licence in the UK, take a look at our driving courses and prices.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  167. Reply

    Andrew Kerr

    Hi

    My wife has been here since 2014 and not changed her Spanish licence for a UK one yet. We are in the process of doing it now, will she get a fine for not doing it within the time limit. BTW when she first came here the rules were 5 and half years, it seems they changed it to three years.

    Thanks

    Andrew

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Andrew,

      As your wife has an EU driving licence, she is allowed to drive here until she’s 70. After this time, she will have to exchange her licence. If she wants to, she can choose to exchange her Spanish licence to a UK one before this time. Simply follow these directions here to do so.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  168. Reply

    Patrick Romano

    Hi there!
    I had an Italian driving license and I have just sent it to the DVLA (along with the D1 form) for exchange to a GB one. Am I allowed to drive in the meantime? Thanks!

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Patrick,

      As far as I’m aware, you should be able to drive until you get your new UK licence. If you’d like to make sure, however, you can get in touch with the DVLA here, or ask them on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  169. Reply

    Abraham Oosthuizen

    Question: I’ve only been here since January from South Africa, I have became resident in the UK about a month ago. I have lost my South African driver’s license a few weeks ago. I do have copies and also scanned copies of it. If I want to exchange to a UK license can I send a copy of my license with a letter stating that I have lost my driver’s license. (All the details is on the copy) or would they need an original. Because this would mean for me to go back to SA or to redo my tests in the UK?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Abraham,

      It is possible to exchange your licence, even if you’ve lost it, as long as you’re able to submit an original letter of entitlement. (You can find information on this here.) Once you have this, you’ll need to indicate on your application form that you have lost your licence. And that’s all there is to it!

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

  170. Reply

    Maria Jorge

    Hi Bethany,really good help you give to everyone,Congratulations.
    My question is:
    After England leave the EU it possible to keep drive with driving licence issued from European Country?
    Thank you very much

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for the lovely feedback! The UK government has already committed to continuing to accept EU licences. So, you should still be able to continue using your EU licence in the UK until you’re 70. At that point, you’ll need to apply for a UK licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  171. Reply

    Patrycja

    Hello,
    I saw in one comment that when you lost your driving license, you can send a photocopy to DVLA instead of the original.
    In addition to a photocopy, is it necessary to send to DVLA confirmation of passing the exam or a certificate of lost driving license?

    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Patrycja,

      If you have lost your driving licence, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Entitlement from the relevant licensing authority in the country you took your test in. Once you have this, you can send it to the DVLA, along with your application. On your application form, you will need to indicate that you have lost your licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  172. Reply

    Keith Atack

    I held a Uk driving licence for 49 years, I am 71 in December.
    For the past 14 years I have divided my time between Scotland and Spain keeping my Uk driving licence. In 2019 we decided to live in Spain permanently so I exchanged my Uk licence for a Spanish one which was issued in January this year. Unfortunately due to my wife’s medical condition we had to return to Scotland in August this year so I need to exchange my driving licence back to Uk. Would DVLA still have my details and just exchange my licence or will I have to fill out a fresh form.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Keith,

      I’m not too sure. I’d assume that you’d have to fill out the paperwork the same as any other applicant (including all of the relevant documentation and evidence). To make sure, however, I’d get in touch with the DVLA to check. You can contact them here, or on Twitter.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  173. Reply

    Lucas Orjuela

    Hello Bethany.

    First of all, thank you for this article. It’s been very helpful.

    I just got a quick question: I’ve got a driving licence from Australia which expired by the beginning of 2019. I understand I can exchange this type of licence for a british one, however, my nationality isn’t european. Could I still do this process? if not, what else could I do?

    Thanks again.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Lucas,

      As your licence has expired, you won’t be able to exchange it for a UK one. Your only option is to either renew your Australian licence and then exchange it, or, take the UK theory and practical tests.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  174. Reply

    Gillian

    Hello!

    Thank you for this article – super helpful! I have a Canadian license but arrived in the UK on Oct 2 2015, which means I am JUST past my 5 years of being a resident here. Do you know if I can still apply to exchange my license or if I’ve missed the cut off for this?

    Thank you!
    Gillian

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Gillian,

      The DVLA specifically state that you have up to 5 years to exchange your licence after becoming resident. As this time has passed, I think it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do so. You could try getting in touch with the DVLA to check (here or on Twitter), but it seems like you’ll probably have to take the UK theory and practical tests instead.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  175. Reply

    Steve

    Please can you confirm that I have to enclose 2 original forms of ID in the envelope? It says to add my Biometric Residence Permit and supporting documents : Letter with National Insurance number. These are pretty important documents and I’m a little worried sending both of them off in the post.

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Steve,

      Yes, you are supposed to include the forms of ID in the envelope with your application. If you want to make sure these forms of ID get back to you faster, you can send your application and identity documents in a self-addressed, prepaid return envelope. (The DVLA will not compensate for any loss or delay in the return of your documents, so paying extra might be worth it for some peace of mind.)

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  176. Reply

    Norbert

    Hello! I read it on another website:

    ,, You have an existing EU/EEA motorcycle licence.
    You can ride a motorcycle in the UK until you’re 70 without undergoing a CBT test. A condition attached to this is that both the motorcycle theory and practical tests must have been passed in the EU/EEA region. ,,

    I did my A1 125cc motorbike license on Hungary (EU), and already I changed it to Uk driving license. So I can buy a scooter and I can go to street immediately without any CBT test or Territory test?

    Thank you for answering

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Norbert,

      Yes, you are quite right! As you have an EU motorcycle licence, you are allowed to ride a scooter in the UK without undergoing a CBT test.

      Bethany

  177. Reply

    Fernando

    Hi Bethany,
    If I swap my EU driving license for a UK one, does DVLA send me back my EU driving license or would I only have UK license from that moment forward?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Fernando,

      No, the DVLA will not send your EU driving licence back to you. Once you have exchanged it, you will only have one driving licence: your new UK one. This means that if you want an EU licence again in the future, you’ll have to go through the process of exchanging it once more.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  178. Reply

    Norbert Kormos

    I have one more question! In this case I’m not required to use L plates in my new or used motorbike?

    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Norbert,

      No, you shouldn’t need to use L plates for your new or used motorbike.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  179. Reply

    Zoltan Inokai

    Hi Bethany,

    I want to change my EU licence for UK licence. How can I pay for the exchange? And if I have paid, I need to enclose the proof of the payment?

    Regards,

    Zoltan

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Zoltan,

      As mentioned in the article, you can pay for your application by either cheque or postal order made payable to the DVLA.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

  180. Reply

    B Murtagh

    I have a UK license, but am about to have to exchange it for a Portuguese one, as I am temporarily resident here. My question is, in a few months time when I leave Portugal and come back to UK, can I just get my UK license reissued, or do I have to do the exchange back to UK license again?

    Many thanks

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi B,

      When you come back to the UK, you’ll have to exchange your Portuguese licence for a UK one. You won’t simply have your UK licence reissued, as you’re not legally allowed to have more than one licence.

      Hope this helps!

      Bethany

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