There are certain legal obligations to take when considering to convert your driving licence in the UK. Depending on where your driving licence is originally from, the process can be different. That’s why we’re here! We will explore whether you’re eligible to convert or continue with the same licence, and what route you have to take thereafter.

Like learning a new language, it doesn’t have to be complicated! We’ve compiled a guide on how to convert your driving licence in the UK below. When wanting to drive in the UK, there are rules and regulations to abide by. Let’s go through them step-by-step.

Do you need to covert your driving licence in the UK?

Firstly, find out if you are permitted to drive in the UK with your existing licence – there are designated countries that the UK has an agreement with, in alphabetical order:

Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe.

When allowed to drive with your existing licence, you can use it for three years. After that, you are required to convert your driving licence in the UK. If your country is not on the list, then go to the British government’s website to learn if you need to convert your driving licence in the UK.

Guidelines on converting your driving licence in the UK

Before you convert your driving licence in the UK, you need to ask yourself the question: are you a resident of Great Britain? This is a mandatory requirement. According to GOV.UK, you are a citizen if you’ve lived in the UK for at least 185 days. Sorted? Let’s continue!

Once you’ve found out if your licence is eligible to use or not, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency have all the services you need in regards to driving legally in the UK. They even have a 16-page booklet outlining all the information for overseas visitors.

The process of converting your driving licence in the UK

Before you fill out an application form – online or in the post office -, the requirements are as follows:

  • You must have a permanent address in the UK.
  • You must have lived in the UK for at least 185 days.
  • There is a £50 fee to convert your driving licence in the UK.
  • The legal age to drive in the UK is 17.

When you’ve applied to convert your driving licence in the UK, you must keep some other information in mind:

  • Renew the photo card every 10 years.
  • Fees apply for a change of address.

Additional information and useful vocabulary

We recommend checking out The Driving License Application Service where it provides all information about renewing licences online and the length of time it takes to process. 

Eligibility: If you are eligible to keep your licence, you have the right to drive in the UK. 

British Citizen: You are eligible to be a citizen if you’ve lived in the UK for at least 185 days.

Designated Countries: The countries specified to not have to convert driving licence in the UK.

Vocational licence holders: For those who drive lorries or buses, there is a different application to fill out. So there’s our basic guide on how to convert your driving licence in the UK. If you’re moving to the UK, you may want to consider how to get health insurance and how to keep a conversation going with an English person. Keep calm and drive on!

If you’re looking to move to the UK and you’d like to brush up on your English skills, then visit the Lingoda website and sign up for your free 7-day trial with our native speaking teachers today!