How to Get a UK Driving Licence as an Expat | Living in the UK

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Today we're talking about how to get a UK driver's license as an expat, basically

exchanging your foreign license.

If you're new to my channel, I'm Kat from Kat's Gone Global, and I do videos on moving

to the UK, London, and travel.

Let's start with the first requirement.

You need to have eligibility that... like a visa or a passport that that allows you

to hold a permanent address in the UK.

That's the first requirement.

The second requirement is that you must have lived here for 185 days before you can exchange

your license.

That's really important.

Now, you don't have to have lived at the same address, but you have to prove that you have

been here for 185 days.

The third requirement for getting a UK driver's license is that your country needs to have

a reciprocal agreement.

For example, I'm from Australia.

Australia does have a reciprocal agreement with the UK.

All I needed to do was send my Australian driver's license off to receive a UK driver's


Now, this is based on where you passed your test.

I can prove that I passed my test in Australia, and therefore I am eligible.

If you passed your test in another country, then you have to check with that country if

they've got a reciprocal agreement or you have to retake the test in the UK.

You will have to get another learner's permit and go through the whole process of getting

your driver's license.

That's one thing to know.

Another thing is Canadians and Kiwis, you do require a piece of paper to prove that

you can drive a manual car.

They will not automatically give you a manual license unless you can prove that you passed

your test in a manual car.

You will need to either contact your DVLA to get ahold of a copy of that, and if they

can't provide a copy of that, then you automatically will be issued with an automatic license,


I forgot to mention that there's also a quiz that you can take.

I'll leave the link in the description below.

Just quickly take it.

It will tell you whether you're eligible or not to exchange your license, and it's probably

the simplest way to go about this.

On that same website, you can order what's called a D1 form, which is this pretty form.

Basically, this is the foam that you need to fill out to exchange your driver's license.

I find the easiest way is to just get the DVLA, I'm going to screw this up the whole

time, to send you the form instead of going to the post office because I find sometimes

not all post offices have these in stock.

It's just really lazy to get it posted to you and just super simple.

That's what I did when getting these forms.

When you receive the form, you will also get given a pamphlet, which will help you fill

out the form.

It's not that hard.

It's just a two-page form.

It goes into all the details.

I'll do some shots in a moment to show you.

Yeah, so you just fill that out.

Any questions you have will be in the pamphlet, so make sure you give that a read.

Then the next thing that you need to do is get a passport photo.

You need to stick it here.

The best way to do that is to go to like a Snappy Snaps or something like that.

It's just a static UK passport photo size.

You can just go in and tell them that you need it for a driver's license, and they will

just issue you with a normal passport photo.


Make sure it's a good one because it will be on your driver's license for 10 years.

Now that you've completed the form and got your passport photo, you need to prepare all

the documents you need to send.

When I say prepare, that's not that much.

You just need your D1 form with your passport photo, your biometric card, or if yours was

old school and in your passport like mine was, then your passport with your visa, the

document that states that you can drive a manual car if you are getting a manual car,

so a manual license.

Sorry, Canadians, Kiwis, you need to send proof of that.

For anybody else, it's generally recorded on your driver's license.

The other thing you need to include is a 43 pound check, which I'll get to in a moment,

and then you need to put a self-addressed envelope in there.

Now, this is not mandatory, but I don't particularly want my BRP card to get sent back in secondhand...

second calls post, not second hand.

I don't know where I'm getting secondhand from.

I think it's the second class.

Anyway, it's not recorded, it's not tracked, and you want to make sure that this is kept


The hassle of replacing your BRP card is a nightmare, so just save yourself the trouble

and get a registered post bag to get this send back to you and put your address and

details on it.

Just to quickly add, if you're a British citizen, i.e. moved over with a British passport, I'll

open this in a second, then you're lucky enough to just put your passport number in, and you

don't have to send off any documentation.

Bear that in mind if you came over on British passport.

For some reason the DVLA only accepts check, which is such a pain.

No one really uses check these days, so they're really back in the old school days.

Now, there are three ways to get a check.

The first one, which would be the easiest one for most people, is to get a postal order.

Basically, you just walk into the post office and you ask for a postal order.

They'll write out the check to the DVLA for 43 pounds and charge you 12.5%, which is five

pounds, 37 for the privilege of them writing you a check, and you pay them on the spot.

The reason why I recommend this is if you've got an account like Gonzo, like Starling,

and all of these banks, they don't currently have a check writing service, so this would

definitely be your only option, but it's also one of the easiest options because you'll

be going to the post office anyway to be getting a registered post bag and sending off all

your documents.

The other way to get a check is to go to your bank, so call up your nearest branch, see

if they issue checks, and get them to write you a track and then go in and collect it.

The last option, for whatever reason you've decided to do this, is to get a checkbook.

Now, the chances of you ever needing a checkbook, at least in my case, is very slim.

I've only ever had to write one check, and that was to the DVLA.

Anyway, if you do, you could ask your bank to give you a checkbook if that's something

that you want to do.

Those are the three options that I know of that can get you a check to send to the DVLA.

The postal order one is obviously the easiest one.

I forgot to mention on the check you also need to write your date of birth, your name,

and your current driver's license number on it just in case they lose your check somewhere

in their piles of paperwork and checks, so don't forget to do that.

Okay, so now you've done all of that stuff, you send off the application, and you have

to wait for about three weeks to get your driver's license back.

They will send your UK driver's license and your documents separately.

If you provided them with a self-addressed envelope to send your BRP card back, and it's

all tracked, you will see that being received through that.

If you didn't, you'll receive that through second class post, and your driver's license

will also come through second class post.

They will not put that in the bag that you sent them or the envelope that you sent them.


When I received my driver's license, they had all of these codes on the back, and I

didn't quite understand what they were.

These codes translate into what you're eligible to drive and different things.

There'll be one about eyesight.

This is one that I can drive a car with the trailer.

Now, the most important one, which isn't on my license because I don't have a manual,

is that if you are restricted to an automatic, there will be a code here that says number

78, and that means your licenses is an automatic license.

The codes, I'll leave link in how to figure out what the codes are, but do mean different

things and what you're eligible to drive.

I would suggest definitely looking through that and seeing what you can and can't do.

Hopefully that's helped you understand how to exchange your driver's license.

If you have any questions, don't forget to leave them in the comments below, and I'll

help you out the best I can.

Until next time, guys, I will see you on Monday.

Make sure you hit that subscribe and like button, and I'll see you in the next video.