How to change your EU driving license to a UK Driving license

For EU expats established in England UK, the act of changing their driving license in to an English or British one, is often a mandatory step due to work requirements. Possession of a British UK driving license is also the first and easiest way to obtain proof of residence with a picture and address here in England UK. This is one of the few documents accepted by banks, real estate agencies or employers. The others are more difficult to obtain (bank card, local council bil / utility bill or British passport).

The procedure to change your driving license in England UK is fortunately very simple and relatively quick. All official information can be found on the British government website here. As it is clearly written on the website, the citizens of any EU state have no legal obligation to change their driving license and are allowed to drive with the European license until the age of 70. For those who have obtained their driving license in a country outside the European Union, the driving license must be changed to a British license within 12 months of arrival in England UK.

UK change driver license

Basically speaking here’s what you have to do: first make a color copy of your EU driver’s license and then go to the post office and ask for the free D1 form. Fill in the form with consideration to below points:

  • In section 1: “What are you applying for”, check the box “Exchange my non UK license for a GB license“, and below it, write the country in which the license was issued, and the country in which you had the driving license exam, that is, Romania in my case;
  • In section 2: Be sure to put your first name exactly as it appears on your ID card or passport. If you have the 2 first names with a hyphen between them, write it exactly the same with that hyphen. The British state considers it a single first name consisting of 2 joined words;
  • On page 2 the picture is placed face up, on page 1 the back of the picture must be visible; not sure if you have to sign it, I did it just to be sure;
  • In section 5, you are asked for proof of identity. Check the “EU Settlement Scheme” box. In the past, in addition to the EU driving license, you had to send in the envelope an original ID card or passport as well. Now all you have to do is send the original driving license, and in section 5 in the long white box, 5 write the Immigration Status SHARE CODE which proves that you have presettled or settled status in the UK (proof of residence in the UK). That is, give the code generated by the government website proving that you are a legal resident in England UK.
  • On the envelope to the recipient write “DVLA Swansea, SA99 1BN
D1 form for changing driver license

Go back to the post office with this completed form. And ask for a 43-pound postal order. The postal order (see in the picture above), is put in the envelope together with the completed D1 form and with the original EU driving license. Careful! The permit must not be suspended or expired at the time of referral to the DVLA.

I recommend sending the envelope by special delivery with a reference number that allows you to track the envelope. This envelope costs 6.85 pounds. Keep the receipts from the postal order and the envelope tracking number. These receipts together with a copy of your EU driving license will serve as proof that you have a driving license in the UK, and can be presented if you are stopped by the police.

If you have completed everything properly, you should receive your British driving license in about four weeks by post. I received it in five weeks. It is interesting that they also gave me the category A , allowing me to drive motorcycles by default. In Romania you have to take a separate exam for this category.

UK driving license

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