BREXIT: Italy extends UK driving licence use to end of 2022

A general view taken from a bridge shows a few cars driving through a deserted highway leading to Rome's Fiumicino international airport 
Most other EU countries have already announced reciprocal agreements with the UK, allowing driving licences to be exchanged without the need for a test, but there's still no arrangement confirmed with Italy. ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP
There's some good news for British residents of Italy who haven't converted their UK licence to an Italian one as Italy has confirmed that UK licences issued before January 1st, 2021 can now be used in Italy until the end of 2022.

“While discussions on agreement continue, Italy has confirmed valid UK licences issued before 1 Jan 2021 can be used until 31 Dec 2022,” stated the British Embassy in Rome in social media posts on Christmas Eve.

“All other licence holders can use their licences for 12 months from becoming a resident in Italy but need to take a test to exchange licence within this period,” it added.

No further details were immediately available, but the embassy advised people to keep an eye on the UK government’s ‘Living in Italy’ website for updates “expected soon”.

Though nothing more is known about the 12-month extension so far, the news will at least provide UK licence holders with some further breathing space after a tense wait for confirmation that licences would not become invalid in Italy on December 31st this year.

Most other EU countries have already announced reciprocal agreements with the UK, allowing driving licences to be exchanged without the need for a test, but there’s still no arrangement confirmed with Italy.

A UK government spokesperson told The Local on Wednesday that negotiations were continuing with the Italian government on the right to obtain an Italian licence without the need to re-sit a driving test.

Since Britain left the EU at the end of 2020, UK licence holders living in the country were granted a 12-month grace period in which they could continue to use their British licence in Italy, which, before the extension, had been due to end on December 31st, 2021.

Residents in Italy with UK licences had initially been warned they may need to take an Italian driving test immediately.

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After December 31st, 2022, and if no long-term reciprocal agreement is reached, residents in Italy will still have to take a test to exchange their UK licence for an Italian patente di guida (driving licence). 

Reciprocal driving licence agreements are in place between Italy and around 20 non-EU countries, including Switzerland, Brazil, the Philippines and Turkey (full list here), which allow holders of these licences to swap their permits without a test.

The rules apply to UK nationals who are resident in Italy. People visiting Italy for short periods can continue to drive on a UK licence.

 Find our latest Brexit-related news updates for UK nationals in Italy here.

Find more information on the UK government website’s Living in Italy section.


Member comments

  1. Does anyone know the name of the Minister who is responsible for this section of law ? The real problem is even if the test is passed, you are treated as a neopatentati meaning like a 18 year old kid the cars you can drive for a year a restricted and limited on the speed you can drive.

    I think a petition and proposal should be put together by the collective interests of Canada, UK, Britain and Australia as this impacts all their citizens living in Italy.

    Any ideas who’s problem this is in the government?

  2. Huge massive sigh of relief ! It would have been bonkers for them to have made us take a test especially with Omicron just bubbling up. I had just got my first 36 correct out of the 40 questions. That can all go in the pending tray and I shall break out the Prosecco. As you all say best pressie we could possibly have.

    1. Agreed, great News. Thank you to the Local for keeping us updated.

      It would be useful to have a link to an Italian notice of the extension to assist anyone who needs evidence of the extension.

      In the meantime, Godspeed to those negotiating the exchange agreements!

        1. 🙁 it didn’t work sorry. It’s linked via the gov U.K. driving in Italy page though if that helps.

          1. Rachel

            Thank you, much appreciated.

            The link doesn’t work because it ignores the “.pdf” at the end. When the “.pdf” is included it goes straight through to the declaration 👍

            I personally, will keep a copy with me when driving in case someone tries to tell me that I am not compliant with the law.

            Let’s hope that the authorities can now come to a sensible conclusion so that we can exchange our licences as soon as possible.

            Thank you again and Happy New Year.

    2. Wait, nowhere does it say they WILL reach an agreement to exchange come the end of 2022… if they don’t, taking the test in italian will still be the only option

  3. I agree. This has made my Christmas after trying to exchange last year around Christmas time, only to be declined because the ACI did not submit our application until late January and then lied to us for months.

    Hoping this arrangement is sorted out by end of next year.

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