The Government has issued a Technical Notice today which advises citizens of the action that they need to take in the area of driving licences once the transitional period of our membership of the European Union comes to an end on 31 December.
The Notice sets out the existing position and explains that the UK is currently engaged in separate discussions with EU Member States in order to agree future arrangements in respect of driving licences. This could result in agreements for reciprocal recognition and for exchange of licences.
However, it is important to understand that if there is no agreement, then Gibraltar drivers will require an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to their driving licence when driving in Europe.
There are three types of IDP:
- 1926 IDP – only required for Liechtenstein
- 1949 IDP – required for Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta, Andorra and Cyprus (valid for 12 months or less)
- 1968 IDP – required for all other EU Member States, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland (valid for 3 years or less)
The Notice also provides guidance on the procedures for the exchange of driving licences by a Gibraltar licence-holder who moves residence to an EU country.
Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union means that certain processes and procedures will inevitably become more difficult, more cumbersome and more bureaucratic. It is important that citizens and businesses are aware of this and that, where possible, they plan ahead. The Government can only prepare in areas that are within its control. Even then, there will be certain areas where mitigation is not possible because the new situation simply reflects what it means to be outside the European Union.
In the meantime, at the same time as planning for no agreement, the Government continues to work hard for an agreement on the future relationship between Gibraltar and the European Union that does not cross Gibraltar’s well-known red lines.