I’m going to France and Spain this summer and will be driving part of the trip.
Earlier this year, the official advice was to obtain an international driver’s license, even when traveling within the European Union.
Now it appears our local post office is unwilling to buy us one as the Brexit deadline has been extended until the end of October.
But what if the government decides to do something sooner than that?
It’s unclear if vacationers will need an IDP when they travel to Europe now
I am worried because there is no information available online about what will happen if Britain leaves the EU without a deal before that.
This means I’m not sure if I’ll have to buy an international driving license for my vacation later this year.
Do I have to buy one or can I drive in Europe with just my normal driving license? By email.
Grace Gausden, This is Money, responds: It is not surprising that there is confusion over whether to buy an IDP or not, as there are still so many uncertainties about Brexit and so many unanswered questions for Britons who wish to get away from it all. make it to the EU.
An IDP is a license that UK citizens seeking to drive when traveling abroad need in countries where showing your UK driving license is not sufficient.
There are currently over 140 countries where the permit is required, so it is always worth checking online before you go to see if you will need it for travel.
Permits can only be obtained through the post office and cost the relatively small sum of Â£ 5.50.
When you went to your local branch to find out if you would need the permit this summer, you were taken aback.
The director told you the Foreign Office had issued instructions saying permits should not be sold to people driving in the EU before Brexit.
You added that they would not answer your question about what might happen if you were in Europe when the UK left the EU.
It’s no wonder you’ve been left without a clear answer, as the government’s advice – which is correct – conflicts with what you were told in-store.
As it stands, the government has confirmed that if the UK leaves the EU on October 31 without a deal, any recognition of UK licenses in the EU could end thereafter.
This means that if you are traveling before that you should be covered in the EU with only your UK license.
A list of countries for which the British could potentially need an IDP is available on the government website with additional information on whether you will need it before or after Brexit.
For France, in particular, the government says holidaymakers don’t need an IDP – unless the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Information differs for Spain as the government has said you will be able to drive there without an IDP until June 30, 2020, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31, 2019.
As of July 1, 2020, however, you will need an IDP if you are staying longer than six months.
If you have an old paper UK driving license, you need to take another piece of photo identification, such as your passport.
So for your vacation this summer, you won’t need an IDP to drive in France or Spain, as Britain is highly unlikely to pull out – agree or disagree – before the end of October. .
However, we have asked both AA and the post office to clarify things for you as they stand today.
Travelers are advised to check government guidelines before deciding to drive abroad
Edmund King, president of AA, responded: The UK and EU have agreed to an extension of Article 50 until October 31 at the latest, so although no agreement remains the legal default at the end of this extension period, it is now unlikely that there will be any changes affecting European travel this summer.
Therefore, you will not need to be in possession of an IDP or an insurance green card to drive in an EU country.
If there is ultimately a no-deal Brexit, mutual recognition of driving licenses between the UK and the EU could end and UK drivers wishing to drive in Europe may have to obtain an international driving license.
What type of international driving license will you need?
- A 1949 Convention IDP (Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta, Cyprus), or
- A 1968 IDP Convention (all other EU countries, Norway and Switzerland)
- A 1926 Convention IDP (Liechtenstein)
A spokesperson for the Post added: Displaced people are currently not required to drive in EU countries.
However, displaced people are needed in other countries around the world, and drivers would need them for some EU countries if the UK left the EU without a deal before or during their trip.
There is EU country specific information on IDPs, for example a IDP is not required in Ireland and some countries update their IDP information.
Customers can find more details on the government website, and we will also reflect this information on our own website in the coming weeks as it becomes available.
In the meantime, through our country search, customers can check what type of IDP might be required in EU countries in case of exit without EU agreement.
There are three different types of PDIs, valid for one to three years, so they can be purchased in advance.
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