In November, the European Union and the United Kingdom concluded the terms of an agreement for the orderly departure of the UK from the European Union. Gibraltar was part of that agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement includes a transitional phase until the end of 2020 which also covers Gibraltar.
This agreement is subject to ratification by the UK Parliament and by the European Parliament.
In the meantime, planning continues for the eventuality that the UK and Gibraltar leave the European Union without this agreement.
The guidance to the public below covers that eventuality in respect of driving in the EU.
How a driver in Gibraltar would be affected if UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario).
If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, find out how this would affect: • Access to the EU for driver holding a Gibraltar driving licence.
This guidance explains the additional documents you would need, as well as your driving licence, to drive in the EU after 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves with no withdrawal agreement.￼
￼Before 29 March 2019
Your driving licence is valid in the EU. As long as you hold a Gibraltar licence, you can drive for both work and leisure purposes throughout the EU without other documents.
If you move to another EU country to live you can exchange Gibraltar licence issued by the Gibraltar Department of Transport for a driving licence from your new home country.
You do not need to re-sit your driving test.
After March 2019 if there’s no deal
Your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU.
If you move to another EU country to live, you may not be able to exchange your licence after the UK and Gibraltar have left the EU.
What you would need to do Driving in the EU
If there is no deal with the EU, you may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU. An IDP is a document which when carried with your driving licence means you would be able to drive outside of Gibraltar including in all EU countries. There are different types of IDP. Which one you need depends on which country you are driving in.
If you currently drive outside the EU, for example in some states of the USA and countries including Africa, you may already be used to obtaining an IDP.
You may be turned away at the border or face other enforcement action, for example fines, if you don’t have the correct IDP.
You may also need an IDP to hire a vehicle when you are abroad.
There are 2 types of IDP required by EU countries. Each is governed by a separate United Nations convention.
One type is governed by the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. The other type is governed by the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
The version of the IDP you would require depends on which EU country you are visiting and whether it is party to the 1949 or the 1968 convention.
Each type of IDP is valid for a different period.
￼The 1949 convention IDP lasts for 12 months. After 28 March 2019 in the EU, a Gibraltar issued 1949 IDP would be recognised in Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus.
The 1968 Convention IDP is valid for 3 years, or for however long your driving licence is valid, if that is less than 3 years. As part of the exit preparations the UK ratified the 1968 Convention, and it will come into force on 28 March 2019. The Gibraltar Government is working with the UK for the 1968 Convention to be extended to Gibraltar and for it to come into force on 28 March 2019 at the same time as the UK. A Gibraltar issued 1968 Convention IDP will be recognised in all EU countries, and also Norway and Switzerland.
After March 2019, if you visit and drive in an EU country, for example on holiday, you would need both:
• your Gibraltar driving licence
• the appropriate IDP
You would need both types of IDP if you are visiting EU countries covered by different conventions, for example France and Spain.
You would need both a driving licence and an IDP whether you’re driving in a private or professional capacity.
Obtaining an IDP
The IDP will cost £6.00
You can currently get the 1949 type IDP at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing counters situated at Eastern Beach Road.
As From 1 February 2019, the Government will begin providing IDPs. If the 1968 convention is extended to Gibraltar, from this date, you will be able to apply for both 1949 and 1968 types of IDP at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing counters situated at Eastern Beach Road.
From the date of application to getting your IDP will take 5 working days.
IDPs issued under the 1949 convention will be valid from the day of issue shown on the front of the document.
IDPs issued under the 1968 Convention will be post-dated to become valid on 28 March 2019, when the Convention comes into force, and then from the date of issue. This is because 1968 convention IDPs will not be valid for use until the 1968 Convention is in force in Gibraltar.
If you already have a 1949 Convention IDP you can continue to use it in all the countries in which it applies (including EU countries) for as long as it remains valid. However, from 29 March 2019, when the 1968 Convention is extended to Gibraltar, that convention will govern the arrangements for driving in most EU Member States, including Norway and Switzerland.
￼In the EU, 1949 convention IDPs will only be valid in Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and Spain after 28 March 2019.
When travelling outside the EU, if you already have a 1949 convention IDP that expires after 28 March 2019, you should check whether it will still be valid in the country in which you are planning to drive, as the 1968 format IDP will replace it from this date. Affected countries include Cuba, Jamaica, Turkey and Vietnam.
Moving to or living in the EU
If, after exit day, you become resident in an EU country you would not have the automatic right under EU law to exchange your Gibraltar licence for a driving licence from the EU country you’re living in. Depending on the laws of the EU country you move to, you may need to take a new driving test in that country.
You can avoid this by exchanging your Gibraltar driving licence for one from the EU country you move to or live in before 29 March 2019. Gibraltar licence holders, who do this, will be able to re- exchange for a Gibraltar licence if they return to live in the Gibraltar.
UK will be seeking to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with the EU to cover the continued recognition and exchange of driving licences after exit.
In the event that they do not achieve a comprehensive agreement, they will also pursue agreements with individual EU countries. However, UK cannot guarantee that they will have individual agreements with all EU states by exit day in the event of no deal.
EU driving licence holders, visiting or living in Gibraltar after exit
After exit day on 29 March 2019, arrangements for EU licence holders who are visiting or living in the Gibraltar will not change.
For visitors, with driving licences from EU or non-EU countries, the same arrangements of today will apply. Gibraltar will not require visiting motorists, for example those coming to Gibraltar on holiday or who wish to drive on business, to hold a separate IDP to guarantee the recognition of their driving licence.
When non-EU licence holders come to live in the Gibraltar on a temporary basis, we would continue to recognise their driving licence as long as they have their relevant IDP.
￼EU licence holders can drive on their EU licence until it expires, or until they reach the age of 70. For EU licence holders who passed their test in the EU or EEA, Gibraltar would continue to exchange their licence as we do currently.
EU licence holders, who passed their test outside the EU or EEA have restrictions on licence exchange, may need to take a test to obtain a Gibraltar licence.
Vehicle insurance if there’s no Brexit deal Summary
How Gibraltar drivers and motor insurance providers would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.
If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, how this would affect:
• motorists who would need a Green Card as proof of insurance;
• motor insurance businesses responsible for providing Green Cards.
It is important to note that motor insurance companies based in Gibraltar already issue Green cards for all Gibraltar vehicles.
However, the future use of such Green Cards in the EU in the event of a No Deal Brexit remains unclear.
Notwithstanding this, those companies based in Gibraltar that are representatives for the UK Motor Insurance Bureau would follow any agreements made by them.
We will publish more information in the coming months. We aim to give businesses and individuals as much certainty as possible as soon as we can, and to ensure that any new requirements are not unduly burdensome.
This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.