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No deal Brexit – International Driving Permit

Following on from our previous blog about the implications of a no deal Brexit on 29 March and the requirement for a Green Card, there may also be a requirement to have an International Driving Permit (IDP).

There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the European Union after Brexit but according to recent advice from the government, there is a possibility that a no-deal withdrawal on March 29 will mean British driving licences alone will no longer be valid in some of the remaining 27 EU member states. British motorists may need to apply for International Driving Permits (IDPs) before heading to the continent by road, according to the advice.

What is an International Driving Permit?

An IDP is a permit that allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence alone is not sufficient, with a no deal Brexit there is a possibility that UK drivers will need one to drive in the EU.  In essence, it’s a translated version of your existing driving licence. It allows foreign officials to quickly and easily check your credentials.

It’s worth bearing in mind that an IDP is not valid on its own – you need to have your standard photocard driving licence with you as well.

Is there only one type of IDP?

There are three types of IDP depending on where you are driving in the EU. Therefore, when you apply for an IDP you need to think about which countries you will be visiting and travelling through.

  • 1926 IDP covers Lichtenstein and is valid for 12 months
  • 1949 IDP covers Spain, Malta, Cyprus and Ireland and is valid for 12 months
  • 1968 IDP covers all other EU states and is valid for three years or however long your licence is valid for, if that date is earlier.

Where do I get an IDP from and how much does it cost?

An IDP can only be purchased from a Post Office and costs £5.50. This cannot be done online or by post – only by visiting your local branch.

What happens if I don’t have an IDP when driving in the EU?

Border staff at ports can turn you away if you don’t have a valid IDP. If you’re caught without an IDP when one is required, you can be fined, have your car confiscated or even sent to court.

Are there any other requirements for driving in the EU after a no deal Brexit?

A no deal Brexit may result in the requirement for a Green Card to ensure your car insurance is valid.  Read our blog about this for further information and what action you may need to take.

All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.