The government of the United Kingdom is warning drivers in Britain that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, their licences may be invalid in the European Union.
The warning was included in one of the 28 notices that were issued on Thursday, the 13th of September. The said notices were aimed to offer people, businesses, and other groups in the United Kingdom with advice on how to get ready for the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal.
As it currently stands, drivers that have a UK licence can hop in a car in the European Union without any additional documentation since their licences are considered equivalent to their counterparts in the European Union.
However, on Thursday, the government stated: “After March 2019 if there’s no [Brexit] deal, your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU.”
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on the 29th of March 2019 at 11 pm local time. Politicians from both sides are struggling to strike a formalised deal that will be able to cover crucial issues such as migration, trade, and border control.
The UK government is advising British drivers that they may be required to obtain an International Driving Permit, which they would be required to carry alongside their UK licence, so that they may be able to continue driving in the EU.
The note stated: “You may be turned away at the border or face other enforcement action, for example, fines, if you don’t have the correct [driving permit].” It noted that different nations in the EU required different kinds of permits. These permits will expire after either one year or three years, requiring the drivers to reapply for new ones.
This shift in rules for drivers in the UK could result in an immediate disruption for British tourists and thousands of truck drivers who transport goods through the Channel Tunnel daily.
Previously, the National Audit Office estimated that as much as 7 million British drivers would be applying for new international driving permits in the first year following a possible no-deal Brexit. It forecasts that the UK Department for Transport would have to raise its working ranks by more than 60 percent in order to deal with all the changes that comes with Brexit. It also estimated that the changes could cost the department approximately £180m ($236m) by early 2022.