OTHER ESSENTIAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIVING IN THE UK
DRIVING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
The United States Embassy issues the following advice to Americans driving in the UK
The British Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea, SA7 0EE, telephone 0870–240–0009, has provided the Embassy with the following information concerning the use of American driving licenses in Great Britain:
1. A United States citizen who normally resides in the United States and is visiting or temporarily residing in the United Kingdom may drive by virtue of his/her valid American license for a period of one year from the date of his/her last entry visa. After this period has expired, he/she must be in possession of a British license.
2. A United States citizen residing in the United Kingdom may drive by virtue of his/her valid American license for a period of one year. After this period has expired, he/she must be in possession of a British license.
3. A United States citizen who does not possess a British license after the one year "grace period" has expired must obtain a British Provisional license, display "L" learner plates and drive with a qualified British driving license holder at all times until such time as he/she passes the British driving test.
4. Since there is a delay of several months between applying for a British test and taking the test, all United States citizens who intend staying in the United Kingdom for more than one year are urged to make an application for a British test as soon as possible after their arrival here. Information and forms (D–1) may be obtained from any Post Office, Traffic Area Office, Vehicle Registration Office or DVLA.
5. An International Driving Permit can be used as a substitute for an American driving license for up to one year only. According to the Traffic Legislation Department of the Police, this provision is made under the International Circulation Order — which means that in order for the license to have been issued, a full and current driving license had to have been produced to acquire it.
6. A lost or expired American license can be replaced only by the state that issued it. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for details. The best source of up-to-date information can be found on the Internet website, www.firstgov.gov; for your search, enter your state and the phrase "drivers license." Many states will allow you to apply for a renewal on line.