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To not know what to do re International Driving License

(84 Posts)
narisha99 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:39:20

We are going on holiday on Friday and won't be back until mid April - We are driving across Europe so potentially need an International Driving License if we leave the EU when we are away.

Tried my local post office last week, they had run out of forms and assured me they would have them by today. Tried today and now they estimate Thursday, we leave Friday at 7.30am! I'll try a few other local branches to see if they have them (post office lady thought that was unlikely). So what do we do if there are no forms on Thursday!

What are the implications of driving in Germany, Netherlands & France without an international license? Have got no idea what to do if we can't get the form - cancelling the holiday seems a little extreme!

RiddleMeThis2018 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:41:46

I don’t know if this helps, but I live in Germany and drive here on a UK licence. We have been advised by various government bodies that, within 6 months of the UK leaving the EU, we’ll have to have changed our licences for german ones. Obviously nothing is clear, but i’m going with that for now.

1wearpurple Tue 02-Apr-19 15:42:12

If you give a vague area, then someone here might be able to tell you of a nearby post office where they've been successful.....

sleepstealer Tue 02-Apr-19 15:44:06

I got an international driving permit for my DH last week. You can search on the post office website which post offices you can get them from.

mum11970 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:45:17

It will probably be fine. Don’t think everyone abroad with an EU license will suddenly be driving illegally, there is bound to be a change over period. Alternatively, if you want to cover all bases and be guaranteed 100%, try a different post office? I live pretty rurally but have more than one choice of post offices in a few miles radius.

narisha99 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:48:59

Leave near Bracknell.

The post office will tell you which PO will do them, but it doesn't tell you if they have them is stock!

narisha99 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:51:32

@RiddleMeThis2018

Ah thanks - thats handy to know, yes I guess without a change over period then everyone living abroad would suddenly be driving illegally!

I think my main concern is if it effects car insurance, might contact the car insurance company

Donnasaurus Tue 02-Apr-19 15:55:39

I work in a post office and there isn't an actual form to fill out anymore you just take your licence and a passport size photo and it's issued then and there, have you looked online to see where near to you does them? Then you can call the post office to see if they have the international driving permit you need rather than driving around to find somewhere that does them

catlady3 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:57:58

Don't rely on a changeover period in the event of a no deal brexit. That is exactly why a deal is needed, to sort out things like this.

narisha99 Tue 02-Apr-19 16:04:11

I work in a post office and there isn't an actual form to fill out anymore you just take your licence and a passport size photo and it's issued then and there, have you looked online to see where near to you does them? Then you can call the post office to see if they have the international driving permit you need rather than driving around to find somewhere that does them

Yes I know where does them, thats the easy bit :-) But the problem is that we have been to 2 of the them (hubby is out now) and they are saying they have run out of the forms that they need.

Looking for some phone numbers for local post offices to avoid driving around, but some aren't listed or just have the national number :-(

Brefugee Tue 02-Apr-19 16:05:58

I guess without a change over period then everyone living abroad would suddenly be driving illegally!

But that is exactly the point that everyone has been trying to make for months/years. If there is no agreement it will be a cliff edge.

I'd do whatever i could to get an International Licence. If you're driving your own car you'll probably be ok but you can't dismiss, out of hand, the idea that any passing bolshie Police Officer won't suddenly demand to see your licence if they notice your plates.

If you're driving a hire car I'd check with the company you're getting it from, it might be they are prepared for Brexit and will insist you have one.

Have a nice holiday!

DogInATent Tue 02-Apr-19 16:07:51

I don’t know if this helps, but I live in Germany and drive here on a UK licence. We have been advised by various government bodies that, within 6 months of the UK leaving the EU, we’ll have to have changed our licences for german ones
You're supposed to change to a local license within 3 years of living in another EU country. But (alongside re-registering your vehicle locally) it's something that's usually over-looked by most intra-EU immigrants. I think both of these will be more strictly enforced post-Brexit.

FuriousCheekyFucker Tue 02-Apr-19 16:14:20

I don't understand; i've never needed an "international licence" when I've rented cars in Canada, the US, Kenya, Oman or Australia.

Why the sudden need post Brexit, or is this another one of those Chicken Licken scaremonger stories doing the rounds?

RiddleMeThis2018 Tue 02-Apr-19 16:15:37

You’ve maybe seen this page, but there’s some info here about insurance:
www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-drive-in-the-eu-after-brexit

doIreallyneedto Tue 02-Apr-19 16:16:14

@narisha99 - I guess without a change over period then everyone living abroad would suddenly be driving illegally!

It doesn't really work like that. The changeover period was the previous 2 years so if you require a local or international licence for a particular country, it will kick in on brexit day unless they decide otherwise. Ireland will not recognise UK licences on day 1, but that is only if you are resident, not if you are a tourist.

Have a look at this - www.gov.uk/guidance/international-driving-permits-for-uk-drivers-from-28-march-2019

DogInATent Tue 02-Apr-19 16:17:17

We are going on holiday on Friday and won't be back until mid April - We are driving across Europe so potentially need an International Driving License if we leave the EU when we are away.

A No Deal Brexit is going to be a real PITA for this sort of thing:
- one or two two International Driving Licenses per driver
- green card for insurance
- Schengen visa (?) and the 90 days in 180 days rule
- I have no idea what's happening with breakdown cover contracts
- mobile roaming charges (potentially, depends on provider)

SaltSpoon Tue 02-Apr-19 16:18:51

Just try another post office. They nearly all have them. Not an actual problem.

RiddleMeThis2018 Tue 02-Apr-19 16:19:42

You're supposed to change to a local license within 3 years of living in another EU country. But (alongside re-registering your vehicle locally) it's something that's usually over-looked by most intra-EU immigrants. I think both of these will be more strictly enforced post-Brexit.
Having your vehicle registered locally is certainly not overlooked here in Germany, even if you move a few miles down the road! But the embassy has been pretty clear on the driving licence issue (in so far as anything is clear just now.)

Gilbert1A Tue 02-Apr-19 16:22:29

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Ninninannanoonoo Tue 02-Apr-19 16:33:06

Here in France they set up a new central department to deal with license exchanges - previously you could just do it at the local town hall. We were originally advised that in the event of a no-deal Brexit any residents with a UK license would have to sit a French driving test to get a French license. Unsurprisingly, the new department was absolutely inundated and many people have been waiting over a year to get their new French licenses (and as they have sent off their original license they cannot drive/hire a car outside of France). All applications made in 2019 are being returned unprocessed to allow them to clear the backlog and we have been advised that there will now be at least a years grace to exchange. AFAIK the International license is merely a translation of your UK license so I'm not sure how it would help.

applepinkierainbow Tue 02-Apr-19 16:34:37

@SaltSpoon I think the availability varies in different parts of the country - I have been to 5 post offices today and there are none. Most were told that they would be receiving more on Saturday but they still haven't arrived. We leave on Friday too OP.

VeronicaDinner Tue 02-Apr-19 16:37:36

I don't see any reason why you would need an international driving permit. They're usually only used as a supporting document to confirm a licence exists where there are language issues, such as where the original licence is Chinese and you want to drive in America.

sleepstealer Tue 02-Apr-19 16:39:00

I got the permit from the post office in Wokingham

Everytimeref Tue 02-Apr-19 16:40:08

The EU have already stated that if we crash out with no deal then there will be no transition period so you do need to be prepared if traveling abroad over Easter. (So no this isn't scare tactics from Remain).

Lifecraft Tue 02-Apr-19 16:42:59

It will probably be fine. Don’t think everyone abroad with an EU license will suddenly be driving illegally, there is bound to be a change over period

Unbelievable. The last 2 years news coverage has been dominated by this stuff and still people have no clue what a no deal brexit really means.

There is no change over period. Because we haven't reached a deal to include one. That's what the "no" in no deal means.

Lifecraft Tue 02-Apr-19 16:45:55

I don't understand; i've never needed an "international licence" when I've rented cars in Canada, the US, Kenya, Oman or Australia.

Let me explain. We've agreed deals with those countries, and many others, whereby they accept a UK licence for short period stays, usually under a year.

If we had no deal with those countries, you would need an international licence. If we leave the EU with no deal, we will have, no deal. The clue is in the words "no" & "deal".

doIreallyneedto Tue 02-Apr-19 17:14:39

@mum11970 - It will probably be fine. Don’t think everyone abroad with an EU license will suddenly be driving illegally, there is bound to be a change over period.

Of course people driving abroad with EU licences will be fine. However, once Brexit happens, a UK licence will no longer be an EU licence and will not be included in any international deals that recognise EU licences.

If there is a no deal brexit, UK licences will not be accepted in most countries so you will need an international driving licence. A change over period would require that minor little detail that your politicians are refusing to engage with: a deal.

FuriousCheekyFucker Tue 02-Apr-19 17:26:31

@Lifecraft
If we had no deal with those countries, you would need an international licence. If we leave the EU with no deal, we will have, no deal. The clue is in the words "no" & "deal".

Oh that'll be absolutely awful for my neighbours if its reciprocal.

They haven't taxed or MOTd their fleet of knackered and dangerous old LHD Romanian cars in years.

scaryteacher Tue 02-Apr-19 17:31:17

Having managed to hold on to my UK licence for the past 13 years, I finally changed it for a Belgian one last week. All the HM Forces personnel and their families here are being issued with International Driving Permits/licences, and a special addition to their passport to show they have right of residence here, plus their protocol ID cards.

RedForShort Tue 02-Apr-19 17:52:53

The OP isn't wrong as a holder of a British driving licence, she'll need an International Driving Permit to drive in Europe (Ireland is the only exception I think) if there's no deal. It's a well noted fact.

@narisha99 there a notice on the post office website about the storage of IDPs:

www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit#IDP-Checker

You're best course of action is visiting POs until you find one that has them in stock.

CherryPavlova Tue 02-Apr-19 17:58:26

I have mine as we are driving in France in April. There are two different licenses and which you need is dependent on where you are driving.

The post office woman told us Italy is planning to confiscate cars of people without an international permit until such time as the driver passes a theory test in Italy, post Brexit. Other countries are liable to impose a fixed penalty on the spot.

We’ve also been advised to ensure we have a green card. Talk about back to the 1950s!

doIreallyneedto Tue 02-Apr-19 18:02:41

@CherryPavlova - The post office woman told us Italy is planning to confiscate cars of people without an international permit until such time as the driver passes a theory test in Italy, post Brexit.

You've got to love the Italians😁

Can't see that happening though.

MidLifeCrisis2017 Tue 02-Apr-19 18:04:46

@Donnasaurus can I pick your brains? I'm already in France, could I post my driving licence and photo to my family in the UK so they could get an international one, or do I have to go in person?

pigsDOfly Tue 02-Apr-19 18:05:08

My car insurance company wrote to me a few weeks ago about this and told me that they can arrange this for me. Unless I've misunderstood as I did just skim read it very quickly.

Maybe have a word with your insurance company OP.

doIreallyneedto Tue 02-Apr-19 19:05:11

@pigsDOfly - My car insurance company wrote to me a few weeks ago about this and told me that they can arrange this for me. Unless I've misunderstood as I did just skim read it very quickly.

I would say they wrote to you about a green card for insurance, not driving licence.

RedForShort Tue 02-Apr-19 19:08:30

Speaking of insurance the European Health Insurance Card may not be valid for British Citizens after the 12th either. Check your travel insurance has health cover too.

Donnasaurus Tue 02-Apr-19 19:14:33

Midlife, I actually didn't know so I've just had to ask my WhatsApp group and evidently yes you can you just need to sign it when you have it

narisha99 Tue 02-Apr-19 19:15:55

Phew all sorted, after travelling around 5! post offices DH managed to get the permits !

Green card organised as well - so hopefully we are set for brexit!

Thanks everyone

pigsDOfly Tue 02-Apr-19 19:16:35

doIreallyneedto. Oops yes, I've just looked at it, you're right, green card. I didn't really read it at the time because I'm very unlikely to drive abroad.

I know we'll need an international licence if we leave without a deal and want to drive in Europe, somehow my head translated it into that.

Sorry about my pointless post. OP.

Janek Tue 02-Apr-19 19:20:49

@MidLifeCrisis2017 Don't you need your driving licence with you at all times to drive in France? So if you are stopped they expect you to show it right away. That has always been my understanding.

Iflyaway Tue 02-Apr-19 19:32:32

@CherryPavlova - The post office woman told us Italy is planning to confiscate cars of people without an international permit until such time as the driver passes a theory test in Italy, post Brexit. You've got to love the Italians😁 Can't see that happening though.

Can't see that happening though.

Fact is, you don't KNOW what is happening when UK is no longer in the EU.

You'll be in the queue with the rest of the world outside it.
That's the reality of Brexit.

MidLifeCrisis2017 Tue 02-Apr-19 19:32:46

@Donnasaurus thanks!

@Janek yes, theoretically, but I rarely drive and I'm so remote I don't generally see another car, let alone a gendarme. Surprisingly the post is really good, letters have only been taking two days to get here or back. Got a friend coming over so they can bring it if it's quick.

What a mess.

Janek Tue 02-Apr-19 19:38:00

Mess. Yes that's definitely the word!

doIreallyneedto Tue 02-Apr-19 19:53:06

@Iflyaway - Fact is, you don't KNOW what is happening when UK is no longer in the EU. You'll be in the queue with the rest of the world outside it.

Nope. I'll be in the queue with all the other EU nationals. I'm Irish.

Babynut1 Tue 02-Apr-19 20:41:42

You’ll probably need a green card for insurance. Some companies have been really on the ball and are issuing them already.
I prob wouldn’t travel without a permit for your licence. Phone around each post office every day x

endofthelinefinally Tue 02-Apr-19 20:43:39

Martyn Lewis is discussing this now on ITV.
Post office should have all the information.

Blueowls Tue 02-Apr-19 21:01:15

I thought you had to go to the Post Office in person? hmm

Blueowls Tue 02-Apr-19 21:05:01

Oh no, ignore me, says on PO website someone can do it on your behalf with correct supporting documents.

SofiaAmes Tue 02-Apr-19 21:06:47

I live in the USA and have driven all over Europe for 35+ years without an International Driving License, but this year for the very first time when I booked the rental car in Italy, the rental documents stated that I must have an International Driving License, so I duly got one. Not quite sure why things have changed...Brexit shouldn't impact the need for a Dual American/Italian Citizen to need an International Driving License. But you never know with the Italians.

Butteredghost Tue 02-Apr-19 21:09:42

This thread is a complete misunderstanding of what an international driving permit is. It isn't a licence or permit in itself. It's simply an official translation of your normal licence in to a few different languages.

It is meant to help if you interact with police or car hire staff that don't speak English, but it has no legal standing.

Karwomannghia Tue 02-Apr-19 21:11:36

I got one but won’t actually need it as Brexit won’t be happening while I’m away. Wonder if I can get a refund?
At the car hire desk I did mention I had one and she said oh no it’s only for Asia and Africa (it’s not you need one for Spain post brexit). I got the feeling legislation will take a while to catch up and it also occurred to me how all these other countries are going to have to make so many changes to their systems as well because of this.

Karwomannghia Tue 02-Apr-19 21:14:18

Butteredghost the gov website informed me I needed one if travelling to Spain after 28th March. Other European countries don’t need one though. www.gov.uk/guidance/international-driving-permits-for-uk-drivers-from-28-march-2019#driving-abroad-in-countries-outside-the-eu-and-eea-from-28-march-2019

legolimb Tue 02-Apr-19 21:19:47

Glad you got sorted OP

What a palaver though. Another reason for me to hate all the Leave voters.

angry

Butteredghost Tue 02-Apr-19 21:29:56

Fair enough Karwomannghia, I guess each country can make their own rules. Seems an unusual decision given that anyone else from any other (including non EU) country can drive in there on their home licence! But up to them I suppose.

Lifecraft Tue 02-Apr-19 21:53:22

This thread is a complete misunderstanding of what an international driving permit is. It isn't a licence or permit in itself. It's simply an official translation of your normal licence in to a few different languages.

It is meant to help if you interact with police or car hire staff that don't speak English, but it has no legal standing.

It does have a legal standing in so much as any country can say to another country that their licence holders must have an IDP alongside their actual driving licence, in the same way any country can say UK licence holders must wear red socks whilst driving in their country. That's their choice. In due course, the UK govt will no doubt strike a deal with the EU to get over all this, but we won't have one the day after we leave with no deal.

Jamiefraserskilt Tue 02-Apr-19 22:07:26

These forms should be online. They are like hens teeth in some areas and it seems ludicrous that they are only in hardcopy from Post Offices.

Gilbert1A Wed 03-Apr-19 08:12:12

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Buster72 Wed 03-Apr-19 09:06:38

I have happily rented cars in france Spain USA south africa without a international drivers license, scaremongering....

Karwomannghia Wed 03-Apr-19 10:16:43

Buster72 it’s not scaremongering it’s advice from the government because of brexit.

dementedma Wed 03-Apr-19 10:22:24

Got mine here in Fife no problem at all. Post Office guy had to instruct staff what to do as they hadnt been asked for one before

twofingerstoEverything Wed 03-Apr-19 10:43:31

They haven't taxed or MOTd their fleet of knackered and dangerous old LHD Romanian cars in years.
Furious - you seem to know an awful lot about your neighbours hmm, but if you really think this is the case you could actually report them if the vehicles have been on the road in the UK for longer than 6 months.

Lifecraft Wed 03-Apr-19 12:28:55

I have happily rented cars in france Spain USA south africa without a international drivers license, scaremongering....

Ohh ffs. You will still be able to in S Africa and the USA. That's because we have a deal with them. And they are English speaking so a translation of an English licence isn't really an issue.

You didn't need one in the past for France and Spain, because we had a deal with the EU. But if we leave with no deal, we won't have a deal, because we'll have left without a deal, sans deal, zero deal, no deal in existence.

If you don't believe me, check the dictionary. Deal means an agreement. No is negative. So when you combine the words no with deal, it means you don't have a deal.

I'm sorry if this is too much for Leavers to grasp, but not surprised.

And it's LICENCE in the UK. Two Cs, no S.

doIreallyneedto Wed 03-Apr-19 12:32:32

@Lifecraft - And it's LICENCE in the UK. Two Cs, no S.

Unless you're using the verb 'to license'....

Mistigri Wed 03-Apr-19 12:39:42

I think for peace of mind I'd look for a post office that has the forms.

It probably wouldn't matter if you didn't have one, and we may not have left anyway, but if you had an accident it could leave you without cover because you'd be driving without a valid license.

(You do have your green card? And health cover other than the EHIC?)

Mistigri Wed 03-Apr-19 12:40:58

Ah, should have RTFT lol.

Check your medical cover though!

Buster72 Wed 03-Apr-19 12:52:34

@lifecraft FFS indeed. I have read the advice and noted that you MIGHT need an IDP.
The advice also states that you will need an IDP if renting a car in South Africa and the USA. My own experience in both countries was that a IDP was not required. Hence why should I believe it.
My most sincere apologies if I misspelled licence.

Lifecraft Wed 03-Apr-19 14:14:01

You do need an IDP for EU countries if we leave with no deal. You MIGHT be asked to produce it, you MIGHT not.

My most sincere apologies if I misspelled licence.

That's ok, don't beat yourself up over it.

Buster72 Wed 03-Apr-19 15:34:40

Sorry the traffic law isn't a "might" it's a black or white affair.
And as I pointed out that list insists that I need IDP for USA and south Africa. On recent trips I hired cars and that was not a requirement. So how reliable is the gov advice?

DogInATent Wed 03-Apr-19 16:01:46

And as I pointed out that list insists that I need IDP for USA and south Africa. On recent trips I hired cars and that was not a requirement. So how reliable is the gov advice?

Not sure about SA, but in the US the requirement varies from state to state. HMG guidance does note that the requirement varies by circumstance even within those countries they identify as requiring an IDP.
www.usa.gov/visitors-driving

twofingerstoEverything Wed 03-Apr-19 16:02:39

Well, Buster, anecdotes trump government advice anytime, don't they? hmm

BlueJava Wed 03-Apr-19 16:13:07

Just get it online from the AA www.theaa.ie/aa/motoring-advice/driving-in-europe/international-driving-permit.aspx# you can download the IDF there.

cardibach Wed 03-Apr-19 16:28:10

You will still be able to in S Africa and the USA. That's because we have a deal with them
But is our deal with them through the EU? Because if so, it will go too. So many people do t realise that it is t just stuff directly connected to the EU which will be a problem post-Brexit (and especially in case of no deal). Many of our relationships in the world were negotiated through the EU and will need renogotiating if we leave.

cardibach Wed 03-Apr-19 16:28:25

Renegotiating*

Buster72 Wed 03-Apr-19 16:28:38

Advice from the car rental companies say no IDP required.....unless your licence printed in a different alphabet ie chinese Cyrillic etc.
So who to believe?
My own experience? A car hire company? The UK website which insists I might need one? or mumsnet?
Seems no-one can be definitive on this....

FishesaPlenty Wed 03-Apr-19 16:33:31

Just get it online from the AA www.theaa.ie/aa/motoring-advice/driving-in-europe/international-driving-permit.aspx# you can download the IDF there.

That's the Irish AA site.

DontCallMeCharlotte Wed 03-Apr-19 16:47:58

Why the sudden need post Brexit, or is this another one of those Chicken Licken scaremonger stories doing the rounds?

Nope. As you can probably now see, this one is real. In fact probably everything that was dismissed as being part of "Project Fear" is real. We'll have to wait and see won't we?

Blueowls Wed 03-Apr-19 16:56:06

You used to be able to get IDPs online from AA/RAC in the UK but you can't anymore, only from the Post Office.

RedForShort Wed 03-Apr-19 17:07:17

*Buster72: "I have happily rented cars in france Spain USA south africa without a international drivers license, scaremongering..."
Do you own a Delorean you purchased from a Dr. Emmett L. Brown? If not it's a little unclear how your happy renting without a IDP is proof of scaremongering.

Buster72 Wed 03-Apr-19 17:11:26

@redforshort the flux capacitor was shot never buy a used car from a running a ironmongers
The idp treaties were ratified in 1968...before I was born.
My own experience and current advice from car rental companies says otherwise..

RedForShort Wed 03-Apr-19 17:27:47

You can drive without one currently so any advice for the current moment is correct.

Did the rental companies advise that if Britain leave the EU without a deal you won't need a IDP?

Buster72 Wed 03-Apr-19 17:41:34

@redforshort I'll give you a minute to rtt and catch up.
Everyone is up in arms over uk gov advice the IDP is necessary if we brexit without a deal.
The same website says you MIGHT need an IDP after 12 April if in Europe.
The same websites says you must have an IDP for USA and RSA. My own experience says you don't.
US car hire firms say they only want an IDP if your licence is printed in a different alphabet ie chinese or Cyrillic.
So who do we believe? No one knows for sure is the point I am getting at.

RedForShort Wed 03-Apr-19 21:44:21

😂

No one knows for sure? No shit Sherlock.

Don't think anyone else one the thread has notice no one knows what will happen to many different current arrangements and after Britain leaves the EU.

For the OP of this thread she's away on th 12th and seeing Britain MIGHT leave without a deal it'll mean she MIGHT need a IPD. (Because non-EU licences holders do.)

So she sensibly got one just in case. It could turn out that she doesn't need it. (As documentation for travel within EU states are part of the deal - that might or mightn't happen - this seems to be the part you're struggling to grasp. )

Mistigri Wed 03-Apr-19 22:44:53

The same websites says you must have an IDP for USA and RSA

That's not what the UK gov website says though.

You only need an IDP in SA if you have an old style paper U.K. licence - and that is what the U.K. govt site says.

For the USA rules may differ between states. I have a number of US friends here in France and their right vary depending on the US state which issued the licence.

Buster72 Fri 05-Apr-19 13:22:42

@mistgri
On the contrary, if renting a car in RSA with an old style license (paper) you must take a photographic ID. According to that gov website you need a IPD , my own experience is you do not.

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