Eligibility to drive in the UK
You must ensure that you hold a valid driving licence before driving in the UK.
Holders of licences issued in a European Economic Area country
You can drive using your EEA licence as long as it remains valid. You can apply at any time to sit a test to exchange it for a British licence.
Holders of licences from designated countries
You can drive using this licence for up to 12 months from the date you became resident in the UK (as long as the licence remains valid). In order to continue driving after this 12-month period, you may apply to exchange this for a British licence within five years of becoming a resident here.
Designated countries: Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
Holders of licences issued from other countries
You can drive using your licence or an international driving permit for up to 12 months. Once you have been resident in the UK for 6 months, you can apply for a UK provisional license and take the UK driving test.
Sitting a test for a UK driving licence
If you wish to apply to take a driving test for a UK driving licence, you must first apply for a provisional driving licence.
The driving test consists of several different stages which are split into the theory test and the practical driving test. You must first pass the theory test before sitting the practical driving test.
Legal requirements for driving in the UK
Apart from having a valid driving licence, there are other legal requirements which you must meet before you start to drive in the UK. You can find out more information here: