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UK driving licenses in Estonia will become invalid a year after Hard Brexit

05.09.2019

The Estonian government decided to amend the Traffic Act ahead of Brexit to allow UK’s driving license holders to continue driving in Estonia in the future.

“We want to maintain close relations and diverse co-operation with the United Kingdom, and part of this concerns UK’s driving licenses in Estonia,” noted Taavi Aas, the Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.

The change in the law will allow for a one-year transitional period after Brexit to prevent residents from having their UK driving licenses rendered invalid in Estonia. The UK driving license of a person who settled in Estonia before Brexit is valid for another 12 months after Brexit, during which time the holder should exchange it for an Estonian driving license. The replacement is without exams and the only requirement is the state fee.

“Today, the United Kingdom is still working towards reaching an agreement for Brexit but we have to keep in mind that there is still a chance of a Hard Brexit. For Estonia to be ready for both possibilities, we will also make the traffic law more precise, ”Aas added.

In the case of a Brexit without a contract, the UK driving license of the person who has settled in Estonia before the Brexit is valid for another 12 months after 31 October of this year. On the other hand, if the United Kingdom leaves the EU by treaty, the UK driving license of the person who has settled in Estonia will be valid for 12 months after the end of the general Brexit transition period, from 31 December next year until the end of 2021.

When the transitional period expires, the United Kingdom will become a third-country driving license in the eyes of Estonian law, henceforth a part of the standard Vienna 1968 Convention on Road Traffic. This means that when travelling to Estonia, such a driving license will continue to be valid, but if the person moves to Estonia, he/she must exchange his/her driving license for an Estonian driving license within 12 months of his/her permanent residence.

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