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Brits in Finland urged to switch driver's licenses before 29 March

The Finnish transport agency advises British drivers living in Finland to swap their UK licenses for a Finnish version soon, in case of a no-deal Brexit.

Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

British people living in the EU may have to take new driving tests after a no-deal Brexit, if they do not exchange their UK license for a European one before 29 March, says the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

A no-deal Brexit would affect UK license validity in the European Union, so the agency advises British drivers in Finland to swap their licenses sometime before the planned Brexit date arrives.

"It's a good idea to switch your driver's license now, especially if it includes entitlements to drive heavy vehicles. After a possible withdrawal from the EU, driver's licenses issued in the UK will be categorized as a license from a so-called third country, or 'contracting state' in terms of the law, which would mean that those who are now qualified to drive a lorry, bus or coach would have to complete a new professional driving qualification, for example," says Traficom's development manager Päivi Wood.

Even some expired licenses can be exchanged

EU citizens can exchange their UK driver's license for a Finnish license by submitting a valid UK license and showing proof of identity, and if necessary, providing two new photos to create the new card.

Traficom says an exchange for a Finnish driver's license is possible even if the UK license has been expired for a maximum of two years; or for a maximum of one year for holders of heavy vehicle entitlements. Those seeking a professional driving qualification must also provide a medical certificate.

British drivers in Finland whose UK licenses have been expired for longer than these cut-off periods must first retake the driving examination, which includes a theory and driving test, to receive a Finnish driver's license.

The UK driver's licenses can be exchanged at any of the Ajovarma service points working with Traficom. The authority recommends booking an appointment at the closest Ajovarma location ahead of time.

The Traficom website features more information on the Brexit situation and how it will affect private individuals and commercial operators when it comes to transport and communications in Finland.

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