How long can you drive in the UK with foreign driving licence and how to exchange it?

As a tourist to a foreign country, you always wonder how to get around because your home driving licence might not be allowed in that country. Here in the UK, if your licence is from a “designated country,” you can use it for a maximum of 12 months from the time you became a resident, after which you must apply for a British licence. However, if your licence is from the European Economic Area, it can be used until the owner turns 70.

UK resident with an EU driving licence

If you live in the UK for at least 185 days each calendar year, you are considered a resident, and if you are an EU licence-holder residing in the UK, you can continue to use it as long as it is valid. Such licences are also subject to the United Kingdom licence renewal requirements, meaning that your EU licence can be changed to a UK one within three years after becoming a legal citizen or until you turn 70 years old, whichever comes first.

UK resident with a driving licence not from the EU

Good news for non-residents or those drivers visiting from non-EU nations, you can drive in the UK for a maximum of one year before you are required to exchange your licence for a provisional UK licence. You are also required to sit and pass the DVSA driving test before you are allowed to continue driving. The process is usually dependent on the type of car you are driving.

Keep in mind, that only UK nationals and foreigners with valid residency documents can apply for the UK driving permit.

Visit the official website to learn more.

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