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England - How To Apply for Exchange of Foreign Driving License

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  1. Complete the application form D1, available from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) form ordering service or from Post Office branches
  2. If you have a paper licence or your name has changed on your photocard licence you will need to enclose original identity documentation confirming your identity
  3. Enclose one passport sized colour photograph and your payment.
  4. Send the form, fee and any documents you need to (including your driving licence) to the address on the form.


Required Documents[edit]

Identity documents

You must provide original documents. DVLA wont accept photocopies or laminated certificates.

United Kingdom (UK) digital passports
  • If you hold a digital passport (the photograph and signature appear on the same page), DVLA can confirm your identity with the Identity and Passport Service. You dont have to send your passport to DVLA.
  • When applying online youll be asked to provide your nine digit passport number allowing DVLA to confirm your identity.
  • If you apply by post, using the D1 'application for a driving licence', write your nine digit passport number and your signature in the 'confirming your identity' section of the D1 form.
Other types of identification
  • DVLA also accepts the following documents as confirmation of your identity. Unlike the digital passport though, you'll need to send your identity document with your application:
    • Full valid current passport
    • Biometric residence permit (formerly known as the identity card for foreign nationals)
    • UK certificate of naturalisation
  • Do not send in your passport if you need it within the next month. If this is the case you should consider delaying your licence application until you can send it with your passport to DVLA.
  • If youve reached State Pension age, you can provide originals of one of the following in your name:
    • Recent (within three months) bank or building society statement showing your pension payment and National Insurance number
    • BR2102, BR2103 or BR5899 letter confirming your eligibility for the State Pension
UK birth and adoption certificates
  • UK birth and adoption certificates can also be used, however, as they are not absolute proof of identity, they must be accompanied by one of the following:
    • National Insurance card or a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions containing your National Insurance number
    • Photocopy of the front page of a benefits book or an original benefits claim letter
    • P45, P60 or pay slip
    • Marriage certificate or divorce papers (decree nisi or absolute)
    • College or university union card or school record
  • If you don't have a birth or adoption certificate, or the one that you have doesnt show your full name or country of birth, contact your local register office.
The photo criteria
  • You need to send a photo that meets specific standards to be able to use it on your driving licence.
  • The photo may also need to be certified by having someone sign the back of the photo.
Return of your identity documents
  • DVLA will return your licence and identity documents separately, it cannot guarantee to return your identity documents by a set date. If you would like your identity documents returned by special delivery, include a stamped self-addressed special delivery envelope with your application. Keep a note of the serial number.
  • If you do not get your identity documents back within two weeks of receiving your photocard licence, phone DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0300 790 6801.

Unless you contact DVLA within three months of the date you sent your application, it will be difficult to carry out the necessary investigation.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Driver licensing enquiries
Telephone: 0300 790 6801
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1278
Fax from outside the UK: +44 (0)1792 786 369

Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturday, 8am to 2pm
Fax: 0300 123 0784
Call charges

Postal Address
Drivers Customer Services
Correspondence Team



The following conditions must be met before a licence can be granted in exchange for a GB one:

  • You must be normally resident in GB and have a permanent address here
  • If you are a community driving licence holder applying for a British test at the same time as exchanging your licence and you have moved to GB having recently been permanently resident in another state of the EC or EEA,you must have been normally resident in GB for 185 days in the 12 months prior to your application for a full driving licence
  • Licences from the designated countries must be current at the time the application for exchange is received at DVLA
  • Your driving test must have been passed in the designated country that issued your current driving licence, please contact DVLA for advice
  • Licences from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands are acceptable for exchange if issued after 1 April 1991.Those issued in any EC or EEA country may be valid for exchange even if they have expired
  • You must surrender your foreign licence which will be returned to the issuing authority
  • International driving permits are not exchangeable
  • Test pass certificates are not exchangeable except for those issued in Northern Ireland or Gibraltar when the test was passed within two years of the date of the licence application
  • Japanese licences must be accompanied by an official translation, available for a fee from the Consulate General of Japan at 101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT or 2 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 7HW
  • Republic of Korea licences must be accompanied by an official translation from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea at 60 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ
  • Motorcycle licences from the Republic of Korea and Faroe Islands are not exchangeable

Applicants will not be considered 'normally resident' for the purposes of a driving licence application if they:

  • Do not have leave to remain in the UK
  • Are in the country on a temporary basis without leave to remain either while awaiting a decision on an application to stay in the UK or following a decision refusing such an application


Application fee: 43


You can exchange your driving licence up to 5 years after becoming resident in the UK so long as your licence remains valid.

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents which can be used by people who would like to follow this procedure.    


Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.    

Processing Time[edit]

You should get your new licence within 3 weeks.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 



  • If you want or need to change your driving licence for a GB driving licence, you must complete the application form D1.
  • The D1 form is available from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) form ordering service and Post Office branches.
  • You will need to enclose original documentation confirming your identity and a passport style colour photograph.
  • If the licence being exchanged is vocational, originally issued in Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, a D4 medical report form must be provided.
  • The D4 form must be completed by a doctor, ensuring that all the relevant questions are completed.
  • If your vocational licence was issued in an European Community (EC) or European Economic Area (EEA) country.
  • You'll need to submit a medical report form if, on exchange, you are 45 years of age or over. This applies even if your vocational licence is still current.
  • Application forms D2 and medical form D4 are available from the DVLA form ordering service.
  • If you have a full EC/EEA, Gibraltar or designated country driving licence you can exchange it for the UK equivalent using a premium checking service.

South African Licences:

  • South African driving licences can only be exchanged if they are in the new style credit card format.
  • Also, the following rules apply:
    • The South African licence and photograph must be valid since 18 March 2009, if the photograph has expired the application will be rejected
    • Licences must be exchanged within five years of being resident in the UK
    • Other types of licences issued in Transkei, Ciskei, Venda, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, Gazankula, Lebowa and Bophuthatswana are not acceptable for exchange
    • If you only hold a letter of entitlement from the South African Driving Licence Authority, this must show an expiry date and be valid for six months from the date of issue

Canadian Licences: If you are the holder of a Canadian licence you will receive automatic transmission only when exchanging for a British licence. This can only be upgraded to manual upon presentation of confirmation, from the relevant licensing authority, of a manual test being passed.

Required Information[edit]

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Nationality
  • Contact address
  • Telephone number


Need for the Document[edit]

If you are the holder of a foreign driving licence and want or need to change to a Great Britain (GB) driving licence there are certain conditions that need to be considered when applying.

Information which might help[edit]

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

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