Driving in the EU after Brexit

Licence Bureau has warned UK drivers that their driving licences may not be valid in the European Union (EU) in the event of the nation exiting with no withdrawal agreement in place.

After March 2019 UK drivers looking to drive on business or pleasure in EU countries or looking to hire a car will need to be in possession of both a UK driving licence, and one or both of two different International Driving Permits (IDPs).

The warning from Licence Bureau follows the Department of Transport (DoT) publishing a detailed guidance document on the 13 September entitled ‘Driving in the EU if there’s no Brexit deal.’

‘It’s something businesses and individuals need to be aware of, to start thinking of developing contingency plans should the issue arise,’ explained Malcolm Maycock, managing director of Licence Bureau

According to the DoT, there are two types of IDP required by EU countries. Each is governed by a separate United Nations convention – one IDP is governed by the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and the other is governed by the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

The IDP version required depends on which EU country you are visiting and whether it is party to the 1949 or the 1968 convention.

After 28 March 2019, a UK-issued 1968 convention IDP would be recognised in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland.