No-deal Brexit could mean UK driving licences are invalid

If you’re thinking about taking a road trip across Europe next summer, your driving licence might not be valid.

That’s the warning from the Government, which has just published its advice to motorists on what could happen if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

A so-called “no-deal Brexit” could mean motorists heading into Europe after March 2019 will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to validate their licence.

And drivers face being turned away at the border and the possibility of enforcement action if they’re found traveling without the necessary permit.

International Driving Permit

There are currently two types of IDP required by EU countries, depending on whether they have ratified either the 1949 or the 1968 conventions on road traffic.

This means that some motorists traveling across both France and Spain will need to apply for both permits before they start their trip.

The Department for Transport estimates that up to seven million IDPs could be requested in the first year alone in the result of a no-deal Brexit.

From February 2019, IDPs will only be available through the Post Office at a cost of £5.50 for every permit issued.


In response to the official warnings, the RAC called on MPs to do more to help ease the worries of drivers who don’t know what to expect after Brexit.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Drivers are concerned that the ease, and relative affordability, of driving across the Channel will be eroded from next March.

“While the majority would like certainty that costs and inconvenience will not increase (59% and 57% respectively), four in 10 (41%) of drivers believe it will get more expensive and 55% think there will be more hassle.

“For the 2.6m private motorists and lorry drivers that head to EU countries each year, we would hope that any Brexit agreement makes travel as seamless and straightforward as possible.”

You can find all the latest on motoring laws in our Rules of the Road section, go on take a look.

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