Licence Bureau is advising business drivers and fleet operators not to panic in the wake of the UK formally having left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020.
Despite the inevitable air of uncertainty following Brexit, Licence Bureau is reiterating how the country will enter a ‘transition period’ for drivers which is scheduled to end on 31 December 2020. During this time, current UK/EU rules will still apply and may be extended further dependent on any specific deal outcomes.
A UK driving licence will continue to be a requirement to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Validity of current UK licences will remain, and specified driving permissions will not alter. The same will apply for drivers with non-UK licences.
However, the UK’s number one supplier of driver licence validation services is urging businesses to consider that these rules may change and put into place plans to ensure they are fully prepared for what may lie ahead after the 11-month transition period is up.
Licence Bureau is advising businesses to start paying attention in four key areas:
International Driving Permits (IDP)
Although the requirement of IDPs is dependent on a future UK-EU trade deal, drivers may need one or more IDPs, as well as a UK driving licence, to drive in an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country. With three types of IDP, the type required will be dependent on the country you will be driving in therefore businesses will have to understand their needs.
Drivers will need to carry a motor insurance ‘green card’ when driving in the EU and EEA, and certain instances such as fleet insurance may require multiple green cards. The advice is to contact your vehicle insurance provider one month before you travel. Whilst this is a controlled process for a business’ own vehicle fleet and single insurer, companies need to ensure the message is communicated to all staff using their own vehicles outside of the UK on business.
Vehicle registration documents
Short trips may require drivers to carry either a vehicle logbook (V5C) and an original Vehicle Registration Document (VRD) or a VE103 and a Vehicle on Hire Certificate if the vehicle is hired or leased. This is again a more controlled planning process for company car drivers but must be communicated to all staff using their own vehicles for business.
Non-UK licence holders driving in the UK
The rules have not changed but businesses need to ensure they are reviewing and documenting licence categories, expiry dates and locations where a driver passed their test. Just because they have an EU licence does not mean they passed their test there. Areas to cover off include: what is their entitlement to drive? Do they have convictions in the UK? When did they first start driving here?
‘Although the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, there is no need for businesses or individual drivers to panic,’ explained Steve Pinchen, sales director, Licence Bureau. ‘We are advising fleet operators that, at least for the meantime, it is ‘business as usual’.’
Steve continued, ‘However, with the likely fundamental changes on the horizon, we are urging businesses to start planning ahead and get the necessary documents and processes in place to ensure there is no disruption to activity when the transition period ends.’
Licence Bureau will be supporting individual drivers and business fleets with the Brexit transition process by keeping abreast of the latest developments and advising on developments as and when they happen.