Driving In The EU After Brexit: International Driving Permits

30th July 2019
Paul Brooks

The rules for international driving permits (IDPs) in EU countries are changing. Check which type of IDP you need to drive legally when you visit Europe.

Driving when visiting European countries

Until the UK leaves the EU, UK licence holders who live in the UK can use their UK driving licence when visiting all EU and EEA countries. For example, when driving on holiday or on a business trip.

Driving in the EU and EEA from 31 October 2019

If the UK leaves the EU with a Brexit deal, UK licence holders will continue to be able to drive using their UK driving licence while visiting all EU and EEA countries.

If the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, the UK government will seek to put in place new arrangements for EU and EEA countries to recognise UK driving licences. Until then, UK driving licence holders will need an IDP as well as their UK driving licence to drive when visiting some EU and EEA countries.

Check which type of IDP you need

The UK Post Office issues 3 types of IDP to UK licence holders who are UK residents:

  • 1926 IDP
  • 1949 IDP
  • 1968 IDP

The type of IDP you need depends on the country you will be driving in.

In some circumstances you may need more than one IDP. For example, when driving through France (1968 IDP) to Andorra (1949 IDP) or to Liechtenstein (1926 IDP).

1968 IDP

If the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, you will need a 1968 IDP and your UK licence to drive when visiting:

  • Austria, if you have a paper licence
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia, if you have a paper licence
  • France
  • Germany, if you have a paper licence
  • Greece, if you have a paper licence
  • Italy
  • Latvia, if you have a paper licence
  • Lithuania, if you have a paper licence
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway, if you have a paper licence
  • Poland, if you have a paper licence
  • Romania, if you have a paper licence
  • Sweden

1949 IDP

If the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, you will need a 1949 IDP and your UK licence to drive when visiting:

  • Andorra
  • Cyprus

1926 IDP

If the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, you will need a 1926 IDP and your UK licence to drive when visiting Liechtenstein.

EU and EEA countries where you can drive without an IDP

Each EU and EEA country will decide if they need a visiting foreign driver to have an IDP to legally drive in their country. Some countries have confirmed that UK licence holders will not need an IDP to drive when visiting after Brexit.

If you have either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence, you will not need an IDP to drive when visiting:

  • Belgium, for visits up to 185 days
  • Denmark, for visits up to 90 days
  • Finland
  • Hungary, for visits up to 12 months
  • Iceland, for visits up to 1 month
  • Ireland, for visits up to 12 months
  • Luxembourg, for visits up to 185 days
  • Portugal, for visits up to 185 days
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia, for visits up to 90 days
  • Spain, for 9 months after the date the UK leaves the EU, and then for visits up to 6 months
  • Switzerland

If you have a UK photo card driving licence, you will not need an IDP to drive when visiting:

  • Austria, for visits up to 6 months
  • Estonia
  • Germany, for visits up to 6 months
  • Greece
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania, for visits of up to 185 days
  • Malta, for visits up to 12 months
  • Norway, for visits up to 90 days
  • Poland, for visits up to 185 days
  • Romania

You will need an IDP to drive when visiting these countries if you only have a UK paper licence.

Other changes for drivers visiting the EU after Brexit

As well as carrying an IDP, you will need extra documents to drive a UK registered vehicle in the EU after Brexit. For example:

UK licence holders living in the EU or EEA

Instead of using an IDP, UK licence holders living and driving in the EU or EEA should exchange their UK driving licence for a driving licence from the country they live in.

Driving in the EU after Brexit: Driving licence exchange

EU drivers visiting the UK after Brexit

Drivers from EU and EEA countries do not need to carry an IDP as well as their driving licence when visiting the UK. This approach will continue if the UK leaves the EU with or without a Brexit deal.

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