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Last Updated: 20th August 2020

How to exchange a non-UK driving licence for a UK driving licence?

There are conditions to exchanging a non-UK driver’s licence for a Full UK driver’s licence:

  • Must hold a driving licence from a country accepted by the UK
  • Be a British resident
  • Have a UK address
  • Have lived in the UK for at least 185 days

The DVLA only accepts driving licences from the following countries/regions:

1) Driver’s licences issued by EU countries and three other countries in the European Economic Area are accepted. Drivers from the following countries/regions can exchange their driver’s licence for a British licence:

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 / Sweden

If your licence was issued from a country in the EU or EEA, then you’re officially allowed to drive in the UK on your original licence until you’re 70 and your licence expires. If you’re aged 68 or over when you officially become a resident in Great Britain, you’ll be allowed to drive for 3 years. Once this time has passed, you will need to exchange your licence.


2) Designated countries
The UK has driving licence agreements with a variety of ‘designated countries’. If you hold a driving licence from one of the countries below, you’ll be allowed to exchange it for a UK driving licence without taking any further tests.

Australia / Barbados / British Virgin Islands / Canada / Falkland Islands / Faroe Islands / Hong Kong / Japan / Monaco /New Zealand / Republic of Korea / Singapore / South Africa / Switzerland / Zimbabwe

If an applicant participates and passes the test in one of the above countries or in a member state of the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA), they can exchange their driver’s licence for a full British driver’s licence.

The process to exchange a non-UK driving licence to a British driving licence:

  • Fill in the DVLA D1 form (You can get a DVLA D1 form from the Post Office)
  • Paste a photo on the DVLA D1 form
  • Prepare a cheque
  • Send all the required documents back to DVLA

Don’t forget that you will need to send your original non-UK driving licence to DVLA too and it will NOT be returned to you.