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Licences & Laws

EU Motorcycle Licence - What Happens After Brexit?


Tony W · July 21, 2021

Following the UK’s exit from the EU and the ‘Brexit’ transition period now being completed, new rules come into effect for UK drivers heading to Europe. These rules cover both licence and insurance requirements, but there are still some details that are subject to change.

As a UK resident, your UK photocard driving licence will still be valid whilst riding in the whole of the EU (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Riders who only have a paper licence will have to purchase an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries. To further complicate matters, there are three types of IDP, and which one you require depends very much on where you plan to ride.

If you are living in an EU country and currently using a UK driving licence, you will have to exchange it for a local one. UK driving licences for residents will be recognised in France until 31 December 2021, but if you live and ride in Spain, the deadline is the 1st July 2021.

Individuals can only hold one licence at a time, so if you split your time between the UK and an EU country, things get more complicated and the rules require further clarification. But basically, you’ll need to pick a side!

What about insurance when driving in Europe?

Any UK motorcycle insurance policy which provides the minimum legal coverage for travel in the European Economic Area is still valid for riding. But you must be holding an insurance ‘green card’ which guarantees the minimum third-party insurance cover required by law. Your Insurer will issue a policyholder green card upon request.

Do I still need a GB sticker?

The simple answer is yes, you will need to display a ‘GB’ sticker on the rear of your motorcycle as usual, unless your number plate includes the letters ‘GB’ Its a different story in Spain where a sticker must be displayed regardless of what’s on your number plate.

What if I’m an EU licence holder living in the UK?

In this scenario, you can continue to use your licence assuming it’s valid. Based on current legislation an EU licence must be changed to a UK version at the age of 70 or alternatively three years after the holder becomes resident, whichever is the latter.

UK residents can exchange their EU licence for a UK one without needing to re-take a test.

What if I'm learning to ride?

Thankfully the process for applying for your provisional licence remains unchanged, so there are no additional requirements for learner riders. If you are a UK resident you will apply as normal for a UK licence.

If you already have an EU/EEA Licence, to ride a 50cc moped or 125cc motorcycle in the UK, you will need to apply for UK provisional motorcycle entitlement with a D9 form or apply for a UK provisional licence. When the D91 forms arrives you will be able to take a CBT test and upon completion, be issued with a valid CBT certificate. This certificate validates your licence and enables you to ride a moped or 125cc motorcycle in the UK. Both the above usually takes around 2 - 3 weeks to arrive in the post. Rules around validity are as described above.

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.