Living in Birmingham

If you’d like to drive during your time in the UK you must have a valid driving licence and be over the age of 17.

If you’re a student from a country outside the European Community you can drive on a full licence from your own country, or on an international driving licence, for the first 12 months after you enter the UK.

After this time you must take a UK driving test to continue driving. More information can be found on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) website.

If you hold a licence from a designated country you can apply to exchange this for a UK licence.
You must also have motor insurance that covers you for any vehicle you plan on driving. Any vehicle you drive must also be registered to the owner, have valid road tax and a current Ministry of Transport (MOT) test certificate.

If you’re borrowing a friend’s car

Check that they have insurance which allows you to drive it. Some insurance policies cover only named drivers.

We recommended you read a copy of The Highway Code, which is a book containing the UK driving laws.

Some important rules are:

  • Remember, in the UK we drive on the LEFT
  • The driver and any passengers must wear seatbelts at all times
  • There are strict laws on drinking alcohol or taking drugs and driving
  • You must stay within speed limits
  • You must stop if instructed to do so by the Police
  • It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in the UK without a hands-free kit or Bluetooth headset

For more information about driving in the UK

see the UKCISA website.

 If you are involved in an accident you must give your name and contact details to anyone else involved. Get their details as well, and make a note of their car registration number