Brexit to invalidate UK driving licenses in EU member states

Published:  26 Jun at 6 PM
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UK driving licenses will be invalid in Europe post-Brexit.

According to the European Commission, mutual recognition of EU and British driving licenses will end once the UK is no longer part of the EU. Returning to the age of International Driving Permits is yet another unexpected downside of a Brexit which now seems to be able to destroy advantages taken for granted by many millions of UK citizens, but which were never mentioned in the run-up to the referendum. It’s not certain how British expats living in Europe will be able to buy International Driving Licenses whilst overseas.

Basically, if no interim agreement is put in place, Britons will automatically be banned from driving in any of the 27 European member states, threatening British businesses located in Europe as well as expats and UK visitors. A contingency plan could be put in place which would see UK drivers being forced to buy a one-year International Driving Permit used in addition to their UK licenses should they drive anywhere in the 27 EU countries. Also under threat and far more difficult to resolve are vehicle registration documents and working long-distance drivers’ professional competence certificates.

Failure to reach agreement during negotiations could also block UK drivers from being able to hire vehicles on the continent during holidays unless a special permit is introduced. In retaliation, the British government is considering bringing in new charges and restrictions for EU citizen drivers bringing their vehicles into the UK. Should no solution be found which is acceptable to both sets of negotiators, the UK will be forced to comply with the 1868 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, a treaty which facilitates international road traffic, even although the UK is in agreement but hasn’t yet ratified it. The treaty allows the acceptance of UK driving licenses overseas as long as it’s accompanied by an International Driving Permit.
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