§ Mr. Brandon-Bravo
asked the Secretary of State for Transport which foreign driving licences can now be exchanged in Great Britain.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
Holders of current driving licences issued in other parts of the European Community are entitled to exchange them without a driving test on application within one year of becoming resident in the United Kingdom. They may also, if they can provide evidence of substantial recent experience of driving heavy goods or public service vehicles, apply for the appropriate vocational licence within 18 months of becoming resident.
Holders of Portuguese and Spanish licences will be able to exchange on these terms with effect from 1 January, when those countries accede to the Community.
Holders of licences issued in non-EC countries and territories designated under the Road Traffic (Driving Licences) Act 1983 may apply on similar terms for British ordinary, but not for vocational, licences. In addition to Spain, which will now come within the Community provisions, those so far designated are:Australia, Austria, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Republic of Cyprus. Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
The legislation relating to both EC and third country licence exchanges stipulates that driving tests must be of a standard comparable to the British L-test.