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FAQs - Validity in EU countries

  • Can I drive a car in other EU countries this summer with my UK driving licence?   

    YES — All EU driving licences are recognised throughout the whole EU. The categories recognised at EU level are: AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE, B1, B1E, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE.

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  • Can I drive my tricycle on a motorcycle licence during my holidays abroad?

    YES — There are two types of tricycles, the light one (category A1) and the heavier one (category A). There may be different requirements for tricycles and motorcycles such as age.

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  • Can I drive in other EU countries with my category B licence although I obtained it when I was 17 years old?  

    If you are still 17, some countries may refuse to recognise your B licence (i.e. for cars). But if you are now 18 or over, other EU countries must recognise your B licence even if it was issued when you were only 17 years old.

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  • My driving licence is not a new “EU model licence”. Will it still be valid in other EU countries?

    YES — If your driving licence was issued by an EU country and mentions a validity period of 10 or 15 years, it will remain valid until it expires. EU countries must ensure that all driving licences in circulation are in the new EU standard format by 2033 at the latest.

    NO — If you hold a driving licence with a longer validity period, e.g. for life, it will have to be exchanged before 19th January 2033. Besides, if you take up residence in another EU country, you may be requested to exchange your driving licence for a new local one after two years.

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  • I am Brazilian. Is my international driving licence valid throughout the EU, or can I only use it in Portugal?

    Your international driving licence is nothing more than a certified translation of your presumably Brazilian driving licence. You can use the international licence in Portugal only because Portugal recognises your Brazilian licence. But if you move to another EU country that doesn’t recognise your Brazilian licence, the international licence will be of no use. The rules on mutual recognition apply only to licences originally issued in the EU.

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  • Is it possible to have two driving licences issued by two different EU countries at the same time?  

    NO — nobody is allowed to hold more than one driving licence — not even if your driving licence has been suspended due to a driving ban.

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  • I am Belgian. I recently received a driving ban on my Belgian licence while driving in Spain. Can I still use my licence in Belgium?  

    It depends whether you are resident in Spain or not. If you are, the ban applies worldwide, including in Belgium. If you are not, it applies only to Spain and the Spanish authorities must return your licence when you leave the country.

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