Non-EU licences – Police still not getting the point – More Motoring Department Success!

Written by Ronan Molloy on 29th April 2015.

Non-EU licences – police still not getting the point


Police - Foreign Licence

After winning a case last week involving an oversees student who was falsely accused of driving otherwise than in accordance with a valid licence, I think its important to clear up foreign licences once and for all. Motorists need to know their rights in order to know when to fight against an unjust allegation such as the one which I exposed earlier this week.

The issue in question is whether a person who has a full driving licence from another Country outside the EU, and who has also obtained a provisional UK licence, is required to adhere to the usual conditions of a provisional licence (e.g. driving with “L” plates, and accompanied by a motorist who is at least 21 years old and who has held a full UK licence for at least 3 years).

The answer is often misunderstood by many police officers throughout the UK:

A person who has obtained a full UK licence in a Country outside the EU, is entitled to drive unaccompanied and without L plates for a period of up to twelve months after becoming resident in the UK. The provisional licence does not cancel out entitlement to drive under the foreign licence.

Fortunately, after obtaining evidence of residency and the length of my client’s stay in the UK, the charges against my client were dropped at Court. However it begs the question of just how many innocent motorists are being unfairly prosecuted for driving otherwise than in accordance with a valid licence, and how many foreign drivers are unaware that they can challenge the allegations against them?

Following his Court appearance, the client in question said he will “certainly recommend Forster Dean to others”. When asked what he liked about Forster Dean the most, he said “the accomplished solicitor Alison own fantastic expertise, an awesome ability of understanding, and artistic refinement” and described the result as “an incredible legend in history”.

Who could ask for a better endorsement of their services than that?!

Written by Expert Motoring Lawyer, Head of Motoring Law at Forster Dean, Alison Ashworth.

Alison Ashworth,  head of Motoring Law

If you have been accused of committing a motoring offence such as driving without a licence, speeding, drink driving or drug driving call our 24 hour helpline on 0333 323 1830 to speak to a specialist motoring law solicitor for free initial advice.


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