For members


Brexit: Do you need to swap your British driving licence for an Italian one?

With the end of the transition period looming, we look at the rules for British drivers in Italy - both residents and visitors - after the UK exits the EU.

Brexit: Do you need to swap your British driving licence for an Italian one?
Photo: AFP

*Note: This article is no longer being updated. Please see the latest information on driving in Italy post-Brexit here*

Driving from Britain to Italy has in recent years been a fairly painless experience. British driving licences are accepted and most standard car insurance packages will cover you for driving in Italy.

But how is Brexit changing that?

Transition period

At present we are in the transition period, which lasts until December 31st, 2020.

During this period British licences continue to be accepted by Italian officials and most car insurance policies should continue to cover a trip to Italy (although it's always a good idea to check the small print).

But what happens next?

Resident in Italy

The UK government advises all British citizens living in Italy to swap their licenses for an Italian one before the end of the transition period.

The government's Brexit information page for British nationals living abroad states: “If you are resident in Italy, exchange your UK licence for an Italian one before 31 December 2020.”

For further information, see UK government advice on what you need to drive abroad and driving licence exchange and renewals
See the bottom of the article for more information on how to swap your UK license for an Italian one.
Photo: AFP
Moving to Italy later

The above applies to anyone who has or will become a permanent resident of Italy at any time before December 31st, 2020.

After that we don't yet know what new rules will be put in place for British nationals who move after that date.

As things stand now new arrivals who come to Italy after December 31st may have to apply for an Italian licence as Third Country Nationals unless new rules are laid out by the Italian government.

The system – the same one currently in place for non EU residents such as Australians – gives you 12 months after moving to exchange your licence. You will only be able to drive on a UK licence for 12 months, so if you don't manage to exchange it in that time you will be faced with taking the Italian driving test to gain an Italian licence.

It all depends on whether the UK leaves with an agreement in place or crashes out with no deal.

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.

However a separate deal may be done between now and December 31st.

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Just visiting

The above all applies to people who actually live in Italy, but what about people who are visiting, either regularly in the case of second home owners or infrequently in the case of tourists?

During the transition period nothing changes and you can continue to drive on your UK licence. But what happens after the transition period ends is one of the things yet to be negotiated.

The UK and Italy could come to a bilateral agreement that tourists can drive on the licence of their own countries.

If this agreement is not reached, drivers from the UK may be required to get an International Driving Permit. If these do become necessary for Italy, they cost just £5.50 and are available over the counter at British post offices. 

READ ALSO: How can British second home owners spend more than 90 days in Italy after Brexit?

Can I drive in the UK with an Italian license?

if you have the opposite problem and want to know if you can use your Italian license in the UK after Brexit, the government doesn't have any firm adviceon that either.

“Until the end of the transition period, you can still use your Italian licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test. These rules may change from 1 January 2021. We will update this page once more information is available,” the British government's Brexit information page states.

How do I swap my British license for an Italian one?

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.

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.

READ ALSO: Brexit meets Italian bureaucracy: How to deal with the ultimate paperwork nightmare

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 within a few weeks or possibly longer, depending on the documents required and processing times.

Make sure to document your application so that you have evidence you submitted it before December 31st.


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:

Member comments

  1. I am a British citizen and have recently (at the beginning of 2020) transferred my residence from Monaco to Italy. I am currently attempting to obtain an Italian driving licence, using my (still valid) Monegasque driving licence, which was issued on the basis of my old British licence. The Italian authorities are refusing to convert my Monaco licence, saying that Britain is no longer in the EU and the interim period has expired. I had understood that we had until 31st December 2020 to finish this type of business. My original British licence is still in the hands of the Monegasque authorities, though I should receive it in the post shortly. but has undoubtedly expired. Have you any comments, advice or suggestions?

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For members


TRAFFIC: The worst dates to travel on Italy’s roads this August

Heatwaves and traffic jams are not a good mix - but both are inevitable during an Italian summer. Here are the busiest dates to avoid when travelling on Italy's motorways this month.

TRAFFIC: The worst dates to travel on Italy's roads this August

Italy’s autostrade, or motorways, usually see little in the way of heavy traffic, at least outside of the major cities.

But in summer that all changes, as everyone escapes the baking hot cities for the cooler air of the mountains or the coast.

READ ALSO: The 7 signs that August has arrived in Italy

Not only do motorways become much busier, but many smaller roads, particularly in coastal areas and around holiday hotspots, become completely clogged with traffic.

The increased number of vehicles on the road isn’t just inconvenient: it can also be dangerous, with traffic deaths rising by an estimated seven percent in August.

That’s why the Italian government issues warnings each year advising motorists to avoid peak travel times, and even publishes its own calendar showing when traffic is predicted to be at its worst.

The official forecast, produced as part of the ‘Viabilità Italia’ summer travel plan drawn up by the government, emergency services, and and state road agency ANAS, notes particularly busy dates to avoid.

READ ALSO: How will Italy’s Amalfi Coast traffic limit for tourists work this summer?

The calendar is colour coded, with a ‘yellow’ spot indicating heavy traffic, ‘red’ indicating heavy traffic with ‘possible critical conditions’, and ‘black’ indicating ‘critical’ (i.e., dire) traffic. 

The roads in August are (predictably) set to be most crowded on weekends, the government’s forecast shows, with at least a ‘red’ level warning issued for Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month.

Italy's August traffic calendar warning.
Italy’s August traffic calendar warning. Source: Polizia di Stato

Traffic is anticipated to reach its worst levels on the mornings of Saturday, August 6th and Saturday, August 13th, which have been marked as critical ‘black’ periods.

Unlike in July, Fridays are also consistently a bad time to travel on Italy’s roads in August: ‘red’ warnings are attached to every Friday bar August 19th, which has a slightly lower-level ‘yellow’ warning in the morning (but a ‘red’ warning for the afternoon/evening).

READ ALSO: ‘Expect the unexpected’: What you need to know about driving in Italy

Traffic is expected to remain at broadly normal levels during the working week throughout the month bar the August 15th Ferragosto national holiday, which this year falls on a Monday; and August 31st, which will see a large number of Italians return from holiday (both ‘yellow’ days).

Yellow heavy traffic warnings have also been issued for the mornings of Monday, August 22nd and Monday, August 29th.

To cover the tail end of the holiday period, ANAS has also put out alerts for the first couple of weeks of September.

Motorists can expect to experience heavy traffic from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening on the weekends of September 2nd-4th and 9th-11th, with especially clogged roads (‘red’ warnings) on the morning of Saturday September 3rd and the afternoon of Sunday September 4th.

Generally speaking, congestion is usually seen on roads heading south or towards the coast in early August, while traffic jams are more likely going in the other direction in the first week of September as Italy begins il rientro, or the return to the cities for work and school.

Check the situation on the roads before you set off on motorway company Autostrade per l’Italia’s real-time online map.