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UK Driving Licences Could Be Invalidated On EU Roads With No-Deal Brexit

cars on a motorway

With Brexit drawing nearer, government officials are preparing for every possible scenario, including a no-deal situation. According to the Department For Transport (DFT), British driving licences may no longer be valid in the European Union in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Motorists would be required to have a separate International Driving Permit (IDP). This could add more paperwork to driving on EU roads and would apply to driving in your own car and a hired vehicle.

IDPs are required in Japan and certain parts of America, but applying for one isn’t an easy process. Two different types are required, depending on where in the EU you’re travelling. One comes under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, which applies to Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. The second IDP comes under the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which applies to the rest of Europe. Both are needed if visiting countries covered by different conventions.

Currently, the IDP application process can be considered outdated. There are less than 100 post offices that have IDP application forms. The alternative is applying via mail order with the RAC or AA. From February 1st 2019, the number of post offices that process IDPs will increase to 2500, though the DFT won’t announce which until early 2019. The AA and RAC mail order option is going to stop on January 31st 2019.

The DFT said they’re hoping to put contingency plans in place for the worst case scenario. “In the event that we do not achieve a comprehensive agreement, we will also pursue agreements with individual EU countries. The UK already has a number of these arrangements with non-EU countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. EU countries have their own similar arrangements with third countries.”

“However, we cannot guarantee that we will have individual agreements with all EU states by exit day in the event of no deal.”

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