Valid Driving Licences in the UK

It’s not always clear when a non-Great Britain driving licence is valid throughout the UK. Driving schools and instructors are frequently asked if a certain type of driving licence is valid in the UK.

This section explains the most frequent foreign visitors to the UK and whether their driving licence is valid, how long it is valid for and if they are able to exchange it for a UK licence.

Also covered are the various types of roads and speed limits that may vary considerably in comparison to a non UK country and advice on what to look out for when driving on UK roads.

Australian Driving Licence

Australian driving licence in UK

Explanation detailing the validity of an Australian driving licence in the UK for those residing, visiting or studying in the UK. Details on what should be done to obtain a UK driving licence.

Canadian Driving Licence

Canadian driving licence in UK

Detailing the validity of the Canadian driving licence in the UK, how long it lasts, if it can be exchanged for a UK licence and the type of licence you receive when it has been exchanged.

Chinese Driving Licence

Chinese driving licence in UK

Find out the legality of driving in the UK on your Chinese driving licence, or Hong Kong issued driving licence. Detailing visitors, students and those seeking residency in the UK from China.

French Driving Licence

French driving licence in UK

Advice for holders of a French driving licence visiting the UK, if their licence is valid, insurance advice and tips on driving on UK roads.

Polish Driving Licence

Polish driving licence in UK

Information for Polish individuals intending on becoming UK residents or visiting the UK and the validity of their Polish driving licence in the UK.

4 thoughts on “Valid Driving Licences in the UK”

  1. Holly Tripp

    I am a student and we need to get our UK Drivers licenses. We arrived last August on the 30th of 2018 and our Visa expires on 27/01/2020. We do not know the process as to what we need to do the get our UK licenses.

  2. Toyosi M. Afolabi

    I have an international driving licence from a west african country which I have been using to drive since march 2020. It will expire by 20th January 2021 as it is only valid for one year. I have booked for a practical driving test and my test date is in February 2021. And due to the lockdown, I am not sure I will be able to take my test on this date! Will I have to stop driving after my International driving licence expires in January, before I take my practical driving test in February 2021?
    I will appreciate your response.
    M. thanks,

  3. Hi Toyosi,
    Unless the government provided an extension to your licence, then yes, you would need to stop driving if your licence expires.

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