posted 7 years ago

Driving Licence Exchange Rules Tightened

New Driving Licence Rules For Non-European Motorists

The Government has closed a loophole that made it easy for foreign motorists to exchange their driving licences for British equivalents. Non-European members must therefore now prove they passed their driving tests in countries with similar standards as the UK. These include: Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe. In the past, however, licenses from these countries could be exchanged automatically. That enabled foreign motorists – perhaps from regions with questionable test standards - to first exchange their licences for those from qualifying countries then apply to the DVLA. As such, motorists with limited training were allowed to drive throughout Britain. The onus is now on foreign motorists not just to prove they have licences from suitable countries - but that they passed tests within their borders. The Government hopes this change will reduce accidents.

Road Safety Minister Explains Government's Position

Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond, revealed: “The UK’s roads are amongst the safest in the world, thanks in part to the rigorous standards demanded by our driving test. By closing this loophole we will not only make Britain’s roads even safer, but will help tackle fraud and level the playing field for British drivers who spend time and money learning to drive at the standard required in the UK.” He added: “It is obvious to everyone that drivers who have not been through a rigorous driving test will not be as safe as those who have. This change in the law will mean we can be sure that any foreign drivers exchanging their licence here have already passed a test of a similar standard to ours.”

European Motorists Exempt From Rule Changes

In contrast, licences issued within the European Union are more flexible. Motorists from: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden can therefore exchange their driving licences without proving where they took their tests. The same applies to motorists from Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein which are part of the European Economic Area. However, foreign motorists are not required to exchange their licecnces unless they meet certain criteria. These reate to age, the length of the stay, etc. Deatils can be found via:

well im a Romanian national and live in usa for 25 yrs and for you English guys you need to breed and take a break .first we have a lots of brits here in usa and we don t talk aout them like you talk about Romanian honestly when I move and sold my house and purchase my new one because of divorceand chose an English realstate agent simply ecause was from Europe and wanted to help them earn the pls be polite life is sort so enjoy every day like it will be your last one

What should i have to do to change my Hong Kong fork lift driver licence.I have chnged my driving licence already,please give me advice through email.Thanks.

looking at the way most people drive now i wonder what they are taught by driving instructors.

Recently the census stated that there were so many millions (?) living here who could not read and write english. I bet many of these drive on our roads.

All they've done is reverted back to how it used to be. Back in 1979 I took my driving test in Brisbane, the driving test was conducted by the Australian Federal Police, which meant you had to be able to drive to police standards, but could not exchange my full Australian driving license for a full English one

I lived in the Republic of Cyprus (EU) from 2007-2009 and there the only formality seems to be that you are related to a local dignatory or prove that you can ride a Donkey without falling off! Another criteria is that you can drive with one hand out of the window and the other holding a mobile phone! The latter seems to be increasingly evident in the UK!

I think that ALL immigrants wishing to drive in the UK should have to take the UK driving tests (as well as being able to fluently speak, read and write English). We have enough idiots on our roads already. Here in the West Midlands most of our taxi drivers are immigrants and you wonder if they ever passed any form of driving test!

I agree with Dean Newton

I have never seen such a load of utter rubbish when is this government going to realise the implications of what they are doing to this country. Allowing countries like Bulgaria the Czech Republic Estonia Latvia Lithuania Romania Slovakia and Slovenia to simply exchange there licence for a UK licence with the deplorable driving standards that they have makes me question the sanity of this government

I Agree this could help improve safety, but should we not consider a requirement for all of those wishing to reside and drive in the UK to demonstrate that they are able to pass a UK driving test? This would also proide employment and generate revenue, as there would be a cost to do this. If the individual fails, then they cannot drive in the UK.

is not safer for someone who learnt to drive on the same side of the road as in NZ or OZ exchange thier liecnce that some who has allways driven on the wrong side as off all europe and the USA

You're right Kevin,I just followed the link from the article. It seems to come down to trust that a person will own up as to the origins of their licence. Really??

what a load of rubbish all they will do is exchange there Licences in the Euro zone then exchange that for one of ours wakey wakey you dip sticks