Can I exchange my US driver licence for UK driver licence?

General UK immigration & work permits; don't post job search or family related topics!

Please use this section of the board if there is no specific section for your query.

Moderators: vinny, Obie, EUsmileWEallsmile, ca.funke, Amber, sushdmehta, John, ChetanOjha, batleykhan, push, JAJ, Casa, archigabe, sbrennan, Administrator

Can I exchange my US driver licence for UK driver licence?

Postby mmhtn » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:32 am

Hi

Can I exchange my US driver licence for UK driver licence? Has anyone done that? On DVLA website, it seems its possible.

Thanks.
mmhtn
Newbie
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:59 pm

Re: Can I exchange my US driver licence for UK driver licenc

Postby Chess » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:44 am

mmhtn wrote:Hi

Can I exchange my US driver licence for UK driver licence? Has anyone done that? On DVLA website, it seems its possible.

Thanks.


No.
Where there is a will there is a way.
Chess
Diamond Member
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:01 am

Postby John » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:55 am

Just to add to what Chess has posted, have a read of :-

DVLA - Other Countries

So your USA driving licence allows you to drive in the UK for up to 12 months, but during that time you need to obtain a UK provisional licence and then pass the UK driving test. Given the time to take and pass the test it is best to apply for that UK provisional licence sooner rather than later.

So, sorry, it is not possible to simply exchange your USA driving licence for a UK one. Now if you were from Canada or any other "designated country" then it would be very different!
John
John
Moderator
 
Posts: 12532
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Postby Chris » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:13 pm

For 'All other countries' Residents it mentions

Provided your full licence remains valid, you can drive any category of small vehicle shown on your licence for up to 12 months from the time you became resident

I was in the impression that 12 month is considered from the time of last entry in UK. Even if I am in UK from 3 yrs and I went on a holiday for a week to home country that becomes my last entry.

I fear I am wrong now.
Chris
Junior Member
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:14 am

Postby John » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:26 pm

Chris, with regret to you, the detailed regulations, a Statutory Instrument, confirms your fears .... it is 12 months from when you became resident.

I have not got time now to put in a link to the SI but shall do so later today.

If that USA licence is all you have then you really should not be driving on the UK's roads now.
John
John
Moderator
 
Posts: 12532
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Postby abercroft » Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:33 pm

I have a Canadian licence but notice on the form to exchange it they(DVLA) ask if I took a test in Canada. I did not. I took the test in US but exchanged for Canada brecause I thought I would be relocating there. Turns out I'm going to the UK instead. I have been legally driving for 30 years, including often in the UK.
Will they refuse the exchange?
abercroft
Newbie
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 4:19 pm

Postby tgs » Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:28 pm

Think they will refuse. On the application form you must state the country you obtained your license.... you will have to fill in USA and they most likely to refuse. You can phone them and ask them ?
tgs
Junior Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 6:16 pm
Location: London

Postby John » Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:45 pm

Tgs, I suspect that is right, and Abercroft be aware that even if they do exchange the Canadian licence into a UK one, they will only issue a UK licence for automatic cars and not manual cars. That is, you would then need to pass a UK test to drive manual transmission cars.

But as said above, I suspect that is academic.
John
John
Moderator
 
Posts: 12532
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Postby Joseph » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:42 pm

Chris,
The worst thing about your situation is that you were driving without valid insurance for 2 out of the three years, even though you probably paid for insurance!

You could always try tell the police if they stopped you that you recently arrived and they might believe you. But if you get in an accident you can be sure that the insurance company will check very carefully to make sure you had a valid license when you crashed. If you have a US or other foreign license, they will simply inform you and the police that you don't have a valid license or valid insurance. Notice that they didn't check that you had a valid UK license when they took your premium payments, however! :lol:

Joseph
Joseph
Senior Member
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:01 am
Location: London

Postby Kayalami » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:55 pm

Chris wrote:For 'All other countries' Residents it mentions

Provided your full licence remains valid, you can drive any category of small vehicle shown on your licence for up to 12 months from the time you became resident

I was in the impression that 12 month is considered from the time of last entry in UK. Even if I am in UK from 3 yrs and I went on a holiday for a week to home country that becomes my last entry.

I fear I am wrong now.

In the case of Flores, a Mexican student was judged to have been driving without a valid licence after an incident - he presented his international driving licence but as he had been resident in the UK for more than 12 months it did not carry. His arguement that he had only returned to the UK shortly prior to the incident from a holiday hence commenced a fresh 12 month period did not hold. Needless to say his insurance was deemed invalid further adding to his woes.
Kayalami
Diamond Member
 
Posts: 2631
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 1:01 am

Postby Chris » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:18 am

Thank you all. I need to be careful now especially after witnessing an accident on M4 Motorway this morning where 4 cars crashed each other in a row.
Chris
Junior Member
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:14 am

Postby John » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:41 am

Chris, you don't "need to be careful now" ... you need to stop driving! Walk to your nearest Post Office and get a form to apply for a Provisional Driving Licence, get that licence, and then ensure that a driver sits as your passenger until you finally pass the UK Driving Test.

Oh, and even with a passenger, you are not allowed to drive on the motorways! So you will have no ability to witness any more motorway accidents for the time being, well at least when you are driving.
John
John
Moderator
 
Posts: 12532
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Postby infoatltd » Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:43 am

The main issue is lack of insurance whilst driving unlicensed.
infoatltd
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 12:35 pm

Postby User » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:16 pm

Hi All,

So is there any effect / trouble / issue for Chris in the future, considering he has been driving 2 years in the UK with a US license, even assuming he stops driving from today with his US license? Just curious.

Of course, this is assuming he has had no incidents on UK roads so far.

Also, Chris - I fear that if you are applying for a british citizenship / naturalisation later, you may have to put this fact that "you had been driving with a US license (when you actually needed a UK license) - but you did not know this fact until recently", in the section in the application which talks about good character. It actually asks whether you know of any question that might be relevant to you to check good character.
Of course no one would go and mention these, but not saying that could be an issue.

But if you are never going to go for a British naturalisation, then i guess there might not be any issues.

Ta!

regards.
User
Senior Member
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2002 1:01 am

Postby Chris » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:25 am

I strongly disbeleive this would be required to be mentioned in any of my future application and would create any problem to me in future as I was ignorant about this.
Chris
Junior Member
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:14 am

Postby John » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:33 am

Chris, I agree with you, I don't think you need to mention anything done in total ignorance of the law. That does not reflect upon your good character.

Inconvenient as it is, have you now stopped driving ... until you have your UK provisional driving licence? If not, well you are now aware that you are driving while unlicensed and as a side-effect you are also driving while uninsured. Now if you are still driving well that would reflect upon your good character.
John
John
Moderator
 
Posts: 12532
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England


Return to General UK Immigration forum

 


  • Related topics
    Views
    Replies
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 28 guests