Do I need to have a driving license issued by the DVLA in United Kingdom if I am a permanent resident there?

What are the implications if I do not change to UK driving license?

  • Please raise your questions about fines in a separate question. Mar 12, 2014 at 21:34
  • Surely a polish licence cannot be valid when a resident in the uk as the licence will have a polish address on it. A uk national has to renew a licence if they have a change of address or name change.
    – user2094
    Jun 19, 2014 at 16:25
  • Yet, it's the law (and conversely UK licenses are valid elsewhere in the EU). Most licenses in Europe have no address at all on them anyway… Polish licenses do seem to have one, though.
    – Gala
    Jun 19, 2014 at 18:41
  • This question was posed pre Brexit. The rules have since changed. The UK is now a non-European country and all residents (anyone living 185+ days p.a.) will need to hold a UK licence to own and insure a car. Use the official UK Government website to check status: gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence
    – Piglet
    Apr 5 at 12:46

3 Answers 3


According to the Gov.UK website, as an EU national:

You can drive in Great Britain on your full, valid driving licence until you’re 70, or for 3 years after becoming resident in Great Britain, whichever is longer

The exception to this is if you got your EU licence by exchanging your non-EU licence. In that case you can only use it for the first 12 months of residency before you must exchange it for a UK licence. If the licence you exchanged for an EU licence was not from a "designated country" then you'll need to take a UK driving exam to get a UK driving licence after the first 12 months.

  • And also not all non-EU licences that were changed to an EU licence can be changed to an UK licence. For example if you have a Venezualean driving licence that was changed to a Spanish one, you cannot change that to a UK one later, you have to do a new driving test.
    – SztupY
    Mar 12, 2014 at 21:30

You can keep your own license as long as it is valid or the validity period in your new country of residence (what ever comes first). When you have to renew you license, you have to renew it the country of residence. Full details of the EU license see the following link. Excerpt:

If you move to another country, you can drive there with your current licence as long as it remains valid.

You can have your licence renewed (or exchanged from a licence issued by another country) only by the authorities of the country where you are residence.

They will exchange your original driving licence for a local one. You will then be subject to the same rules as nationals of that country regarding validity periods, medical checks and so on.

  • My Polish driving license expiration date is: - :)
    – Piotr Kula
    Mar 14, 2014 at 9:58

Poland is part of the European Union, as such you can drive any type of vehicle listed on your full and valid licence.

  • Thank you. But what implications does this have. Where do my fines, if any go? How are my points calcualted, etc. Sorry that is what I meant. Udpated question
    – Piotr Kula
    Mar 12, 2014 at 21:06
  • 2
    That is not entirely true. After a certain amount of time you need to change it for a UK license, but initially you are indeed okay.
    – Andra
    Mar 12, 2014 at 21:19

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