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How to swap your British driving licence for an Italian one

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How to swap your British driving licence for an Italian one
Time's running out to swap your British licence for an Italian one. Photo: DepositPhotos
11:00 CET+01:00
Brits living in Europe have been warned to exchange their driving licences before the UK leaves the EU in March. Here's how to get started in Italy.

What's the hurry?

So long as the UK is a member of the European Union, British driving licences are valid throughout all other 27 members states – which meant that for many people, swapping theirs for an Italian one was a hassle they could avoid.

All that will change when the UK exits the EU on March 29, 2019.

READ ALSO: Before and after Brexit: How will the rights of Brits in Italy change?

Photo: Shutterstock

If a Brexit deal is struck between the UK and the EU before March 29, your UK driving licence will remain valid up until the end of the agreed transition period. Recognizing licences between the UK and the EU in future will be part of the negotiations held during the transition period, which is expected to run until the end of 2020.

But with the deadline looming and no Brexit deal agreed upon, British drivers risk seeing their licence become invalid. As 'third-country nationals' they could find themselves in a similar situation to Americans living in Italy, who are required to get Italian licences within one year of moving here.

What's more, the process of getting an Italian licence will get harder. Currently, holders of a British licence can swap it for an Italian one without taking either a theory or practical test. But if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, according to the British government's advice, "you will not be able to exchange your driving licence without taking another driving test".

In other words, you'll no longer be able to do a simple swap – you'll have to get your Italian licence from scratch.

What should I do?

The good news is that you still have around 40 days, at the time of writing, to swap your British licence without having to go back to driving school.

The first thing to do is to check when your licence expires. If it's about to expire or has done already, you'll need to get a medical certificate from an authorized doctor stating that you are fit to drive (any practicing GP with the National Health Service, or ASL, should be qualified to issue it; if in doubt, search here). The certificate must have been issued within three months of you applying to exchange your licence, and it must be accompanied by a revenue stamp (bollo) of €16.

READ ALSO: The ultimate no-deal Brexit checklist for Brits in Italy

Photo: Shutterstock

If your licence is expired you should expect to face extra checks to confirm that you are indeed the rightful holder and that your licence wasn't suspended or revoked before it ran out. And if it expired more than three years ago, you might have to take a driving test.

If your licence is still valid you can apply without a medical certificate, but be aware that your new Italian licence will have the same expiry date as your current one. You may prefer to get a medical certificate in order to get the full validity period on your Italian licence: ten years if you're under 50, five for 50-70 year olds, three for 70-80 year olds, and two for over-80s.

Next step: get to photocopying. You'll need at least one copy of each of the following:

  • Your driving licence (front and back)
  • Your ID
  • Your Italian codice fiscale (tax code)
  • Your medical certificate, if applicable

Stop off at the photo booth on your way to the copy shop: you'll need two identical passport-style photos to go on your Italian licence.

Take all of your original documents plus photocopies to your local Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile, or Office of Motor Vehicles. You'll be asked to fill out form T2112 ('Domanda per il rilascio della patente di guida') and to pay two separate fees using pre-filled payment slips (bolletini). Currently these amount to around €40, but fees may vary by region. 

All being in order, you'll be issued your new Italian licence.

How long will it take?

We've heard everything from a few days to a few weeks to a few months, depending on the documents required and processing times.

Prepare for the worst and get the process started as soon as possible, making sure to document your application so that you have evidence you submitted it before March 29.

What about Brits who don't live in Italy? Will they still be able to drive here?

It depends. According to the British government, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your British licence might no longer entitle you to drive in EU countries even as a visitor. 

If you don't live in Italy but you plan to drive there after March 29, it's advisable to get an International Driving Permit (an internationally recognized translation of your licence, accepted worldwide). The IDP is available from the Post Office in the UK for a fee of £5.50.

You'll need a three-year 1968 permit to drive in Italy and in most other EU countries, so even if you already have an IDP, double-check that it's the right kind.

FOR MEMBERS: Why Italy's new security decree could be a headache for foreign drivers

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP


To recap, here's everything you'll need to exchange your British driving licence for an Italian one:

  • Your driving licence + front-and-back photocopy
  • Your ID + photocopy
  • Your codice fiscale + photocopy
  • Your medical certificate, if applicable, dated, photocopied and accompanied by a revenue stamp of €16
  • Two recent passport photos
  • Form T2112 (available at the Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile or online)
  • Payment slip (bolletino) c/c 9001 for €10.20 (available at the Ufficio or a post office)
  • Payment slip c/c 4028 for €32 (available at the Ufficio or a post office)

More information

READ ALSO: No-deal Brexit: Country-by-country guide to how the rights of Britons will be affected

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The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Chris2s - 18 Feb 2019 18:59

What counts as ID? British documents or only something Italian like a carta identita?
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