Foreign Ministry explains situation on UK driving licences

French people abroad – Driving licence/United Kingdom – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a question in the Senate

Paris, 16 April 2020

With the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union, and following the transition period scheduled to last until 31 December 2020, British driving licences will be subject to the rules applicable to driving licences from States which belong to neither the European Union (EU) nor the European Economic Area (EEA).

They will therefore no longer benefit from the special recognition and exchange arrangements provided for in the European directive of 20 December 2006 regarding driving licences. The British authorities have announced that they are considering unilaterally maintaining the current regulation following the transition period. French permits would thus continue to be recognized, regardless of their duration, exchanged and renewed in Britain. This situation may vary in those territories with their own driving licence authorities (Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands etc.).

In France, British driving licence holders who have established France as their usual residence by 31 December 2020 will continue to benefit from the regulation set out for permits issued by the authorities of the EU or EEA member States, which will enable them, if necessary, to renew them in the event of loss, theft, deterioration or imminent expiry. However, those who establish it after that date will only benefit from the common-law recognition period of one year and will be obliged to take the French driving test within that period./.

Published on 20/04/2020

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