UK to Italy Driving Licence

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Date added: 06 November 2021

Hi, Does anyone have any news or update on the rules regarding changing a UK driving licence to an Italian licence before the end of the year. I don’t think an agreement has been reached yet, and what does that then mean?
Thanks for any help anyone can provide,

Member comments

  1. Think you should consider enrolling at a driving school, it’s not looking likely that an agreement will be reached in the next six weeks

  2. It means your British licence may not be valid for driving in Italy from 1 January 2022. If you were resident here before Brexit, you should have swapped your British licence for an Italian one before the end of last year – but I assume you already know that!

    I agree with jholmden regarding the likelihood of an agreement being reached before the end of the year, but fingers crossed that it’ll happen in time for you.

  3. Hi – sorry not much help but Im in the same boat – I just got under the line for residency late in December last year but was not aware of the driving license issue. If I understand correctly every other eu country has agreed to make the swap just not Italy. Although last British Embassy update suggest negotiations are ongoing. Id be interested if anyone knows if the hold up is actually about anything or just bureaucratic delay? No way Im going to be able to pass a test in the next 6 months so it will be carrying on driving my UK car and pretending Im a tourist when they stop me (which has worked for the last several months). I suspect the issue will more likely be if I have an accident and insurance cover – Im driving back to UK to get the car serviced & MOT’d next week, had been hoping to take it back and sell it so I could buy an Italian car but not possible yet.

      1. Yes Im aware its a risk Ive been running since February and one Im not happy about – though the likelihood of getting caught seems very low (as Ive been stopped several times at the numerous police traffic check points) though Im not clear on what the impact might be – a fine? does anyone know? With public transport being non-existent in my neck of the woods/ mountains I don’t have a lot of alternatives to travel regularly for work in and out of Italy.

        1. It’s a big fine and a possibility of having your car impounded. Maybe if you enrolled at a driving school it would at least show willing. From next year it’s likely that the police will be more vigilant when stopping cars with UK number plates as it will no longer be legal

    1. Hi Paul. Why not import your UK car into Italy and get Italian plates on it? If you can prove you became resident in Italy before 1 Jan 2021 and had the car with you, you can still import the car – the issue is totally separate from driving licenses. I did this myself in March this year, having moved to Italy in August 2020. All you need is the V5C, certificate of conformity, and proof of residency etc. Total cost through an agency is circa 900 euros (I used Agenzia Gamma in Riccione, everything sorted virtually). Given that Italy is offering up to £10k in incentives for swapping old cars for new electric ones and will continue to do so over the next 5 years, it might be a wise investment in itself irrespective of the fact that you would no longer be driving illegally). Happy to advise if you have any further questions. All the best.

      1. Hi JM – great point, and thanks – I’d just discounted importing as thought as an ignorant non-italian speak it would be too complicated as well as expensive with costly inspections and changes as RHD and clocks in miles etc? I’d be really interested to hear your experience. Our truck is nothing amazing but reliable and what we need and it will be tricky and costly to replace. do you know how we can share contact details on this? Thanks Paul

  4. Thanks that’s a good idea – probably won’t hurt my driving and might get me moving on my Italian language skills. As to the illegality it has of course already been illegal for a long time to drive on UK plates after 60 days residency – think the only thing that changes next year is that more people will feel they have to take the risk. Just learned from the Italy Local that UK still holds this issues as high priority and hopeful to conclude this year – so fingers x’d.

  5. Hi,
    Anyone got any insight into the weird situation that I am in – I have a Northern Ireland Driving License (UK), but I hold an Irish passport. I was an EU resident before Brexit but was lkiving in Brussels – I didnt need a car trhere so didnt swap over the license.
    I have my Italian residency and car is also registered in Italy.

    1. Hate to say that you’re in the same situation as other UK license holders, although you have the questionable option of moving to another EU country and changing your license to theirs and then moving back to Italy and changing it again without compromising your residency rights in Italy. Is a short stay with friends in ROI or Brussels again any kind of option?

      1. Thanks Nico – yeah I was afraid that’d be the case and I am looking at the ROI/Brussels options to see what I can get away with!

  6. We are like Paul – arrived in December and have residency but did not start exchange process quickly enough. I have been in touch with the Rome embassy (v poor) and the DOT and DVLA who buck passed but have a reply as per others stating it’s being negotiated. Meanwhile we have started the process of learning the theory – it’s completely bonkers as they ask very silly questions eg can you clean you helmet with petrol ? What is that got to do with the Highway Code. The local instructor said you will not pass. Local friends said it’s just money and bribes. It’s pitiful state of affairs and it’s rather irritating that it will cost 1000 euros each to take test. Shame nobody in Government has the balls to bang the table
    And say OK no deal all Italians in the U.K. will need to take a test. That would I am sure get a result PRONTO ! Hey hoo we shall see. We may end up with a Citroen AMi – no licence required.

    1. 100% agree – moved late December and got the residency done – but actually as I have an Irish passport, that wasn’t the same urgency and I didnt even think about the license issue at all. As you say, I’m hoping someone in the government grows a set in time and makes the Italian government see sense.
      Maybe I should resort to lighting candles……….:-)

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