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Driving in the UK

Driving in the UK National Information - 10:31 03/10/22

Advice Information

If you passed your driving test in any country outside of the EU/EEA you may only be able to drive on a valid driving licence for up to 12 months. This would be the case for most Ukrainians, as Ukraine is not in the EEA or EU.

This means that if you arrive with a Ukrainian driving licence, you can only drive for 12 months. You will then need to apply for a provisional licence and pass the theory and practical driving tests to drive in Great Britain.

  • be at least 15 years and 9 months old
  • be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
  • have legally lived in the UK for at least 185 days in total in the past 12 months

The application costs £34 and you’ll need an identity document such as your passport, and you’ll also need to provide proof of address for the last 3 years. You may also be asked for your national insurance number.

After this, you’ll need to take the theory and practical driving tests. Your theory test will cost you £23 for a car or motorcycle, and the test is in two parts:

  • multiple-choice questions
  • hazard perception – a video test about spotting hazards on the road

Your practical driving test will cost £62 if taken on a weekday or £75 on a weekend. However, if your licence comes from a country within the EU or EEA, the rules for driving in the UK will depend on the types of vehicles you drive. If you passed your driving test in the EU/EEA you can drive cars and motorcycles on a valid licence until the age of 70 or for 3 years (whichever is the longer period).

You can drive lorries or buses on a valid licence until the age of 45 or for 5 years from becoming a resident (whichever is the longer period). If you’re over 45 but under 65 you can drive buses/lorries on a valid licence until your 66th birthday or for 5 years from becoming a resident (whichever is the shorter period). If you are aged 65 or over you can drive lorries and/or for one year from becoming a resident.

  • If the Ukraine driving licence was awarded before 28th December 2021 it doesn’t say on the licence if the test was passed in a manual or automatic car.
  • To transfer to a UK licence the driving test should have been taken in Ukraine, still be valid and the person has more than 185 days left on their right to remain.
  • The Ukraine licence can be applied for without taking a test, it will only be valid for automatic cars with a provisional manual licence also.
  • To then get a full UK licence (so both manual and automatic cars can be driven) a test needs to be taken.
  • If the Ukraine licence is lost then the relevant Ukraine authority agency needs to be contacted and they can send a letter, however this is proving very difficult for many people with very long delays.
  • The confusion is that the temporary 12 month licence from date of arrival is a full licence for both style of cars. Once the UK licence is applied for it drops to automatic only.
  • The email below explains how to get the forms etc to apply and what ID etc needs to be sent, the BRP card needs to be sent to show the right to stay, all ID is sent back 2nd class, if you want the return to be recorded then a prepaid recorded envelope needs to be included.
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