If you have a valid EU/EEA licence, you can drive any vehicle covered by the categories shown on your licence for the periods set out below.
Until you are 70 or have lived in GB for three years, whichever is longer.
The phrase ‘Until you are 70 or have lived in GB for three years, whichever is longer’, means that you can drive in the UK any vehicle covered by the categories shown on your valid EU/EEA licence until you are 70. The three-year element relates to someone who came to live in the UK at say age of 69, they could drive until they were 72 on their EU licence because it is the longer of the two periods i.e. 70 or for three years, whichever is longer. Likewise, someone who came to live in the UK at 68 could drive until they were 71. However, please note that someone can drive in Great Britain for only 12 months if they got their EU licence by exchanging a non-EU licence.
Vocational licences: (Means using licence to work)
- If you are younger than 45, until you are 45 or have lived in Great Britain for five years, whichever is longer.
- If you are over 45 but under 65, until you are 66 or have lived in Great Britain for five years, whichever is sooner.
- If you are aged 65 or over, until you have lived in Great Britain for 12 months.
You must get a British driving licence to continue driving in Great Britain after these periods.
VISITING GREAT BRITAIN
If you have a valid EU/EEA licence and you are visiting Great Britain, you can drive any vehicle covered by the categories shown on your licence.
REGISTER OF EUROPEAN UNION LICENCE HOLDERS
If you have an EU/EEA ordinary licence, you do not have to register, but you can if you want to.
By law, if you come to live in Great Britain and hold an EU/EEA vocational licence you must register your details with the DVLA within 12 months of moving here. To register you will need to fill in, ‘Application to register a non GB driving licence’ (D9). You can:
- download this application from the website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/d9-application-to-register-a-non-gb-driving-licence
Driving a vehicle not covered by your licence
You cannot drive a vehicle that is not covered under your licence, so if you wanted to ride a scooter or motorbike you would either exchange your licence or register your non GB licence.
Once it is registered you would be issued with a UK licence number, and you can proceed to take your CBT, which would allow you to ride for two years, showing L plates, no passengers or motorways.
Am I better to exchange my licence or register my non GB licence?
This depends on how long you intend to live in the UK. Short term, then it may be easier to register the non EU licence, but if you intend to stay permanently then you would be better to exchange it for a UK licence, as it will simplify, and probably reduce insurance, cause less issues if you are awarded points, or want to add another vehicle category.