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Moved to the UK indefinitely from Hong Kong and about to apply to convert my HK driving license to a UK. I have held my license in HK for over 5 years. My question is whether the converted UK license show my HK license start date as the date I got my license or will it show the new conversion date - this will have a huge impact on car insurance as I will esentially be a brand new driver if the later option. Many thanks for your help.

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I've exchanged my Hungarian one to a UK one last year. The valid from date remained the original, and everyone (insurance and car rental companies) accepted my licence to be >10 years old. The only thing showing that this is an exchange is a code in section 12, stating where you did your driving exam originally

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I can't give a full answer, because I don't have experience doing it the same way round. But I have exchanged my UK licence for a Spanish one, and there are some promising hints:

  • The new licence lists the date of exchange as its own "Valid from" date, but lists the date of the original licence as the "Valid from" date for the category of vehicles which I'm qualified to drive.
  • More importantly, in the "Observations" field it includes a code "70" followed by part of my old licence number.

Note that a UK government site describes code "70" as "exchange of licence". I see this as promising evidence that whatever "Valid from" date your new licence has, the observations will also contain a link back to your old one.

I would advise you to scan your old licence while you still have it, so that you can print copies should you need them.

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