How to switch to the UK driving licence

David Cameron driving license uk

If you already have a European driving licence, you don’t need to switch to the UK one. But since you’re settling down here… I did it, so I’m going to explain how to in case it’s of interest to someone. Here are some typical questions you might ask about it…

How long can I drive in the United Kingdom with an EU driving licence?

Well, if you already have the typical driving license with the EU flag, you can use it in the UK until you’re 70, or for three years after becoming a resident with a British passport (whichever comes later).

In which cases is it a good idea to switch to the United Kingdom license?

Having a UK driving license has a few small advantages:

  • It can be used as an ID or “proof of identity”, as there’s no national ID card here.
  • Some insurance companies in the UK (which are quite expensive) apply discounts if you insure a car here.

What steps do I need to take to make the switch from the European licence to the UK license?

  1. Request the D1 form. You can do this online: www.gov.uk/dvlaforms
  2. Include your country’s driving licence (with the European Union format).
  3. Include a photograph of the licence/passport.
  4. Send your original ID card or Passport. They’ll send it back to you with the new driving licence.
  5. Pay £50 by check or money order (you can do this in a PostOffice) to the order of ‘DVLA, Swansea’.
  6. Send everything to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BT
  7. You’ll receive the new card in about 15 days.

Important things to know before beginning the process…

  • You should know that they WON’T send the European driving card back to you. Keep this in mind.
  • You DON’T need to take a test, just send in the documentation.
  • You WON’T be able to switch back to your old European licence because in the UK they drive on the other side of the road. Some countries will ask you to take a test.
  • The new UK licence will have the same date as your old card, por lo que no pierdes antigüedad para el tema de los seguros.

If your driving licence wasn’t issued by the European Community, you drive trucks, or your situation isn’t addressed in this article, read this one, where you’ll find more information: http://www.iamintheuk.com/1173/driving-in-uk-on-a-foreign-license/

To start the process, you can consult the official UK website about changing a foreign driving licence for a British one: https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence

I hope you find this helpful!

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