Driving: Licensing

Department for Transport written question – answered on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in the event that a UK driving test is taken and failed before a 12 month international licence expires, whether that international licence is revoked in the UK.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

In Great Britain, the law allows new residents with valid driving licences issued by countries outside the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) to drive for up to one year from the date they become a resident. Driver licensing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland.

In order to be able to take a driving test here, new residents must apply for a provisional GB licence. However, the law does not allow for their original, third country driving licence to be invalidated if they do not pass the test. This means they can continue to drive using the third country licence until the one year period expires.

If a driver has not passed a test here within the one year period, they must then stop driving once this has elapsed. Although they can continue to drive as a GB provisional licence holder, provided that they adhere to the rules applying to provisional licences.

Driving licences issued by EU and EEA member states are mutually recognised and can be exchanged without the need to take a test.

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