Motoring Offence Lawyers regularly receives calls from motorists who are living in the UK and have a foreign driving licence. One of our driving offence solicitors has set out below the answers to some of the most common concerns that we deal with in this area.
1) Can I drive in the UK on a foreign licence?Ã‚Â Yes, but different conditions apply depending on where your licence was issued.
2) Is there a difference between driving on an EU licence and a non EU licence? Any person is eligible to drive on an EU licence until aged 70. In relation to a non-EU licence, a person is eligible to drive using this licence for a period of one year from the date that they take up residence in the United Kingdom. If the licence was issued in a designated country with which Britain has an exchange agreement the licence may then be exchanged without the need to take a driving test. However, if the licence was issued by a non-designated country, it then becomes necessary to apply for a British licence and take a driving test. You cannot take a driving test until you have been resident here for at least 185 days.
The list of designated countries is as follows:- Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe.
2) What happens if I commit a speeding offence whilst driving on a foreign licence?Ã‚Â As it stands a foreign and EU licence cannot be endorsed by a Court in England and Wales. However, the penalty points themselves can be recorded and may be taken into consideration for the purposes of any future court proceedings.
3) Can I still be banned for speeding or drink driving on a foreign licence? An English or Welsh Court has the power to disqualify anyone from driving in the United Kingdom regardless of where there licence was issued. Therefore you may still be disqualified from driving even if you do not hold a British licence.
4) What happens to the conviction when I return to my home country? An English or Welsh Court has no power to disqualify you from driving apart from in the United Kingdom. However, a reciprocal arrangement now exists in the Republic of Ireland whereby the holder of an Irish licence may be disqualified at a separate hearing by an Irish Court if they have previously been disqualified in England and Wales.
To speak to one of our driving offence lawyers about aÃ‚Â speeding offence or if you have been accused of drink driving, please call 0800 4334 678.