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Driving abroad and driving with an overseas licence

These pages are about driving laws in the UK. If you are looking for information about driving laws in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

Driving in other countries if you have a UK driving licence

You may use your UK licence for driving in all other European Community (EC) or European Economic Area (EEA) member states, although the green version may not be accepted in Italy or Spain. Check with your local motoring organisation office such as the AA or the RAC if you want to drive in a non EC/EEA country. They will tell you if you need an International Driving Permit, and issue one if needed. You cannot get one from anywhere else. You must be resident in the UK, have passed a driving test and be over 18.

Driving in the UK if you have an overseas driving licence

Anyone holding a current, valid driving licence issued outside the UK can drive in the UK. If the licence is issued within the European Union (EU) you can drive until the licence expires or you become 70, whichever is the soonest.

If you hold a driving licence issued outside the EU, you can drive in the UK for a maximum period of 12 months.

There may be additional requirements or medical questions or restrictions by car hire or insurance companies, which impose their own terms and conditions. These may include the requirement to hold an International Driving Permit in addition to your licence.

For more information on both these topics see the government website for Great Britain: gov.uk/driving-abroad or the government website for Northern Ireland: nidirect.gov.uk/driving-in-other-countries-on-a-ni-licence

If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.


This information was written by Epilepsy Action’s advice and information team, with guidance and input from people living with epilepsy and experts at DVLA.

Epilepsy Action would like to thank Edward Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information. 

The DVLA has no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated April 2015
    To be reviewed April 2018

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