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DRIVING

Brexit: How to swap your UK driving licence for an Italian one

The British Embassy explains how to exchange a UK driver's licence for an Italian one – and why you should do it now.

Brexit: How to swap your UK driving licence for an Italian one
Brits living in Italy should swap their driving licence before the end of 2020. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

**Note: This article is no longer being updated. Please find the most recent news about driving in Italy after Brexit here.**

If you are a UK national living in Italy you should exchange your UK driving licence for an Italian one as soon as possible.

That’s because the rules on driving licence recognition may change from January 2021. You may have to re-sit your test if you exchange your licence after December 31st, when the transition period ends.

Which licences can you exchange?

You can exchange a UK driving licence if it is a photocard licence or a paper one.

You can convert your licence before the expiry date and in some cases, when it has already expired.

Not all UK driving licences can be exchanged for an Italian one. It will depend on where you took your original driving test and whether Italy has a bilateral agreement on exchange with that country. So check for more information on the Italian Ministry of Transport website.

Where do you exchange a UK driving licence?

You can exchange your licence at one of the agencies of the Italian Ministry of Transport. These are called ‘uffici della motorizzazione civile’. There is usually one or two in every town. You can find a list of them on the Italian Ministry of Transport website.

Alternatively you can use an office of the ACI, or Automobile Club d’Italia, to exchange your licence. (Find a list of their offices here.) You can also find information in English on their website about exchanging driving licences.

READ ALSO:

Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

What documents do you need?

To exchange your licence you will need to provide:

  • A completed application form called a TT 2112 form, which your local ACI office or Italian Ministry of Transport agency can provide
  • Your current licence + a photocopy of the front and back of the licence
  • A valid identity document, for example a UK passport + a photocopy
  • Your codice fiscale (tax code) + a photocopy
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs

You may also need to show evidence of your residency in Italy such as your residency document.

If your licence has expired or has nearly expired, you could be asked to provide a medical certificate from your local doctor. This must have been issued in the last three months.

How much does it cost?

You will need to pay two separate fees when exchanging your licence (around €42 in total). You pay these via bolli or tax stamps.

Your local ACI office or Italian Ministry of Transport agency can provide you with pre-printed payment slips. These slips can also be found at post offices.

How long does it take?

The exchange process can take up to four months to complete but processing times vary so it is worth asking your local office.

You may want to contact more than one ACI office or Ministry of Transport agency before choosing a provider.

Do you have to give up your UK licence?

When you apply to exchange your licence you may be asked to surrender your current licence. In which case you’ll be provided with a temporary paper one, which you can use to drive in Italy while you wait for your Italian licence. You won’t be able to use this temporary one to drive in other EU countries or in the UK.

You cannot hold two driving licences at the same time. So once you have an Italian licence, you cannot also hold a UK one.

If you return to the UK at any point in the future to settle, you can exchange your Italian licence back to a UK one without having to re-sit your test.

For more advice for UK nationals in Italy, see all The Local’s Brexit updates here.

Member comments

  1. In case this is helpful for someone: I went through the local ACI to convert my UK license (which was only a year old). In addition to the photographs and documents listed, I indeed had to procure a (non-stamped = cheaper) copy of my residence certificate from the Municipio. Once I got those things, the ACI had me come in on a weekday evening to see an eye doctor who gave me the world’s fastest eye test. I paid ACI 155 euros for them to handle everything and am now waiting the couple of months for the Italian license to come in.

  2. Agree – I too used the local ACI office this week. I am new to Italy and my Italian is not at all good ye, but the staff were patient and helpful completing all the forms online. They took all the copies of passport, Codice Fiscale, residence certificate and UK licence they needed. I paid 130 Euro for the licence and 20 Euro for the health check. I was issued my receipts ready to go and collect the new licence and surrender my UK one which might take up to 4 months. Some Anagrafe have an online service for documents which can be downloaded and printed so do check with them and get access if you can as you will be able to get multiple copies for free.

  3. As a follow up, on 22 Dec I texted the ACI office to ask if they had a status update since it had been two months of waiting. They said it would take 4 or 5 months…but then the next day they called to ask me to bring in my UK license as my Italian one was ready (perhaps they made a phone call on my behalf). I brought in my UK license, they brought it to the Motorizzazione Civile and on the following day, they handed me my Italian one. So once I had all of the documents and eye test completed, it took about 3 months.

  4. Has anyone else had experience of their licence coming back without all the categories on it? Every site says “exchange” or “swap” if your transfer process was started before January 2021 (ours was November 2020). That implies like-for-like to me. My husband had a full motorbike licence in the UK and when the Italian one came back they’d missed that off. He sent it back to the agent we used and they have told us that his motorbike licence isn’t valid in Italy (not helpful and we suspect that he might have made a mistake on the application). I can’t find any information online on the UK government websites, the EU website has no information in regards to the rules in Italy and getting hold of DVLA is as easy as pushing water uphill with a fork. So, any input from you lovely Local.it people would be gratefully received.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

People who have more than one citizenship often hold multiple passports, so what does this mean for crossing borders? Here's what you should know.

Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

For many readers of The Local, gaining citizenship of the country where they live helps them to feel more settled – but there are also travel benefits, including avoiding the long ‘non EU’ queue when coming back into the Schengen zone.

But this week the problems associated with travelling while holding dual citizenship came to light, leaving many people wondering what they should know when they are entering different countries.

Put simply – which passport should you use? And do you have to carry both with you?

Financial Times journalist Chris Giles tweeted that the UK Border Force “detained” his dual-national daughter while she was travelling from France into the UK with her German passport – and not her British one. 

He went on to say that UK border guards released his daughter. According to Giles, the border staff said she should have had both passports with her “and asked why she was travelling on her German one”.

The rules on dual-nationality have not changed, but now that the UK is not in the EU, there are strict rules on non-Brits who enter the country (and vice-versa) which has made it trickier for travel.

For instance, UK nationals receive a stamp in their passport when entering Schengen member states because they are only allowed to stay up to 90 days within an 180 period (unless they have a visa or residency card).

READ ALSO: Brexit: EU asks border police not to stamp passports of British residents 

People coming from the EU to the UK can generally visit as a tourist for up to six months without a visa – but are not allowed to carry out any work while there.

So which passport should you show?

The first thing to be aware of is there are no specific rules on travelling with more than one passport. 

Travellers can choose to use whichever passport they prefer when going to a country. 

But one thing to note is that it’s worth using the passport that is best suited to your destination when travelling there. Each country has its own set of immigration and visa rules that you’ll need to research closely.

It could be that one passport is better suited for your trip – and you may be able to avoid visa requirements.  

READ ALSO: How powerful is the German passport?

In the case of the UK, many people are still getting to grips with the different rules that apply because it’s not in the EU anymore.

A question submitted to the Secretary of State for the Home Department in September 2021 provided some insight into this issue. 

The question from Labour’s Paul Blomfield asked what steps the UK government “is taking to enable dual UK and EU citizens to travel to the UK on an EU member state passport without having to further prove their UK citizenship?”

The Conservatives Kevin Foster said: “Border Force Officers examine all arriving passengers to establish whether they are British citizens, whether they require leave to enter or if they are exempt from immigration control.

“Where the passenger claims to be British, but does not hold any evidence of British citizenship, the officer will conduct all relevant checks to satisfy themselves the passenger is British.

Border control at Hamburg airport.

Border control at Hamburg airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

“When dual nationals who are eligible to use e-gates travel to the UK, they will enter via the e-gates without being examined by an immigration officer.

“We recommend all dual nationals, including EU citizens, travel on their British passport or with evidence or their British citizenship to minimise any potential delay at the border or when commencing their journey.”

The Local contacted the UK Home Office to ask if there was any official advice. 

A spokesman said: “An individual can present whichever passport they desire to enter the UK, however they will be subject to the entry requirements associated with the nationality of the passport they present.”

They said anyone who is looking for more information should check out guidance on entering the UK and on dual nationality.

In short, if you present a German passport on entry to the UK you will be treated the same as any other German citizen – which can include being quizzed about your reasons for visiting the UK – as border guards have no way of knowing that you are a dual-national. 

Do I have to carry both passports?

There’s no rule requiring you to have both passports, but you won’t get the benefits of a British passport (entry into the UK without questions) if you don’t show it.

Likewise if you are a French-British dual national and you enter France on your UK passport, you will need to use the non-EU queue and may have your passport stamped.

Should I think about anything else?

An important thing to remember is that if you apply for a visa and register your passport details, the same passport has to be used to enter the country. 

It could also make sense to travel with both passports, just in case. 

However, note that some countries – like the US – require that US nationals use a US passport to enter and leave the States even if they are dual nationals. 

In general, it’s best to use the same passport you entered a country with to depart.

The rules and systems are different depending on the country. But many countries require people to show their passport when leaving – and they will either stamp or scan the passport – this is how authorities know that a foreign visitor hasn’t overstayed their time in the country. 

So if your passport is checked as you leave the UK, you should show the one you arrived with, just to ensure there is a record of you arriving and leaving.

However as you enter France/Germany/other EU destination, you can show your EU passport in order to maximise the travel benefits of freedom of movement.

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