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Brexit For Members

Step by step: How to swap your UK driving licence for an Italian one

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Step by step: How to swap your UK driving licence for an Italian one
The UK is now one of a small number of countries which has a driving licence exchange deal with Italy. Photo: Damien MEYER / AFP

British nationals living in Italy can now exchange their driving licences following a post-Brexit deal, but how exactly does the process work?

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Under a post-Brexit agreement reached at the end of 2022, British licences held by residents of Italy remain valid on Italian roads until December 31st, 2023.

In order to be able to keep driving on Italy’s roads after that date, British nationals living in Italy will need to have exchanged their UK-issued driving licence for an Italian one.

The British Embassy in Rome announced the first details of the exchange process in March 2023, and said UK licence holders would be able to begin the exchange process from the end of March.

With the latest deadline now drawing closer, several readers have written in to The Local recently to ask for clarification on various aspects of the exchange process.

READ ALSO: Who needs to exchange their driving license for an Italian one?

Some readers say they haven’t yet been able to get an appointment, while others have been unsure about where to start or what paperwork they'll need.

Based on the guidance available from the British and Italian governments, as well as readers’ experiences of completing the process, we’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide to making your appointment and exchanging your licence.

Making your appointment

To get started, you'll need to make an appointment with your local Civil Motorisation Office (Ufficio di Motorizazzione Civile) - find your nearest office here.

Some of these offices have contact details available online, though in many cases the quickest and easiest way to start the process is likely to be by visiting the office in person.

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How long you'll have to wait for an appointment appears to vary depending on where you live in Italy, though several readers have reported being able to complete the entire process within three months - meaning that, if you start now, you still have time to exchange before the current deadline.

Gathering paperwork

The requirements when exchanging a UK driving licence are now the same as for exchanging other eligible non-EU licences.

The British Embassy in Rome shared the list of the required documents for licence conversion on the Italian transport ministry’s website (available in Italian only). You can find the list here under 'Richiesta conversione patente non comunitaria'.

The requirements include:

  • Form TT2112, available at the office or online;
  • A receipt for payment of €32 made via the PagoPA system;
  • Two identical passport-sized photographs;
  • Valid original foreign driving licence (for inspection) and complete photocopy of both sides;
  • Photocopy of identification document;
  • Italian tax code (codice fiscale) in original and photocopy;
  • Medical certificate issued by an authorised doctor, with revenue stamp and photograph, and photocopy (see more on this below).

The embassy noted that it's advisable to confirm in advance with your local motorizazzione office which paperwork you'll need before your appointment. Some details of the exchange process appear to vary from region to region, and perhaps from one office to another.

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Readers' experiences of filing their application varied, but most of those The Local spoke to said they found it all quite straightforward.

Tim Last in La Spezia, Liguria, reported that his local motorizazzione office "were aware of the agreement and had forms prepared for applicants."

"They directed me on the tasks to complete and provided the documents to obtain payment at the local newsagent," he explained.

Getting help

For personalised advice and practical help with the process, your first stop should be either the Italian motorists' organisation ACI (Automobile club d'Italia) or a local driving school (autoscuola).

They'll be able to do everything from pointing you in the right direction to filling out forms on your behalf.

Several readers said assistance with the entire process from their local driving school cost a total of €150 - and that it was well worth it.

"They fill in all the forms for you, bypass the queues, and if you are of an age, like me, where you need to pass various hearing and sight tests, they arrange all that for you at their offices," said another reader in the Le Marche region, who didn't want to be named.

"It costs very little for their services and is worth every centesimo."

Q&A: What to know about swapping your UK driving licence for an Italian one

Christian Fasci in Guidonia, Lazio, said his local driving school made the whole experience quick and painless. "It took the guy five minutes to do all the forms, photocopy the documents and for me to sign and pay.

"He said I could leave a deposit, but I said I would pay upfront as it was one less thing to think about."

Two days later he had his eye test - which was "a simple 'Stand there, cover your eye and read this line of letters'. Forms were filled in by the doctor, I handed over two passport pictures, and that was it. Total time, 20 minutes."

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Medical checks

All applicants will need an eyesight test, and some will be asked to take additional tests depending on the type of licence they hold and its validity.

This is one thing many readers said they were unsure of how to arrange, but those who've done it say driving schools can arrange this for you, or you can also arrange the tests independently.

"The basic sight test was €25. The basic test is mandatory for all applicants, regardless of their circumstances, as it is for Italians taking a driving test," explains Tim.

"In our case, the doctor visits the driving school for one day per week, and has a private room with the necessary posters for sight tests."

"There are independent sources for the medical/sight tests, though fortunately I stumbled upon a helpful and comprehensively equipped driving school. The vehicle office were also extremely helpful."

(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)

For Tim, "the only marginal difficulty was that I wanted to maintain my entitlement to drive lorries up to 7.5 tonnes, and buses up to 17 passengers, which necessitated a ‘reaction’ test to sight and sound stimuli, in addition to the regular sight test."

According to the transport ministry, you may also need an additional medical examination "if the driving license is about to expire, has expired, or has a validity longer than that provided for by [EU] regulations."

Your driving school or motorizazzione office should be able to advise on which tests you'll require.

Picking up your new licence

Readers reported the process taking around three months from the day they submitted their application forms to having their new Italian licence in their hands.

The motorizazzione office should inform you, or the driving school handling the process, when your licence is ready to collect.

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Both Tim and Christian found that the driving school were able to collect their new Italian licences on their behalf.

"The owner of the driving school called to let me know, and an hour later he handed me my new licence, took my old one, and job done," said Christian.

Hopefully the process will be just as straightforward for other readers, but here are a couple of questions we've had about the process:

Do I need a sworn translation of my driving licence?

A sworn translation (traduzione giurata) is needed for some bureaucratic processes in Italy, and getting one isn't always straightforward - or cheap, normally costing upwards of €100 per document.

So you might be dismayed to read on the ACI website and elsewhere that "Foreign licences issued by non-EU countries need to be accompanied by a translation with revenue stamp. The translation must be certified by the diplomatic representative of the country having issued the driving licence as being a true and faithful rendition of the original document. The certified translation must be validated by the competent prefecture office."

But, as tends to be the case with so many of Italy's bureaucratic processes, the written requirements don't always turn out to match the reality, and none of the readers we spoke to actually had to get a sworn translation of their British driving licence.

One reader was initially told he may have to travel to Milan to have this process completed at the British consulate but, he said, "somehow that requirement disappeared".

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What if I can't get an appointment?

Some people have reported having trouble getting an appointment in their area, and one reader said his city's motorizazzione office was not currently accepting applications for exchanges at all.

This issue appears to mainly affect some cities in northern Italy, where drivers often face general delays when taking tests and getting licences due to some licensing offices being overwhelmed by high demand.

If you have this problem, the solution may be to try another office elsewhere.

The British embassy has previously said: "you don’t have to do your licence exchange in the area where you live. If there are no appointments in your area, you should look in another region where there may be more availability."

Will I have to give up my old licence?

You will be able to keep hold of your UK driving licence until the new licence has been issued. But once you have your Italian licence in your hand, the UK one will have to be surrendered.

See answers to more commonly asked questions on the topic in our Q&A.

For further information, consult your local branch of ACI or the Ufficio di Motorizazzione Civile.

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Comments (3)

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

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Francesca Short 2024/02/04 09:46
Our application has still not been processed after four months. We have been told it is due to delays with the DVLA. Has anyone else had this problem?
Dante 2023/12/02 18:23
Hi, I started the process and they told me I had to surrender the licence at the start of the process and that I can not drive . Seems ridiculous . Has this happened to anyone else ?
Andrew 2023/09/30 23:00
I’m resident since 2019, and applied for conversion via my local ACI, but the Motorizzazione refused to issue it without a permesso di soggiorno, despite the Brexit Agreement specifically stating that if you were resident before the end of 2020 the new electronic document for UK citizens isn't obligatory. Having made them aware of the actual rules they are now insisting on details of my domestic situation, ownership/rental/spousal status.

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