What will happen for British drivers in Italy with Brexit? Surely Brexit will not stop British people from driving in Italy, but it will throw some extra obstacles in their path.
Many questions and doubts... Should you swap your British license? And do you need to re-register your car?
Citizens’rights group British in Italy explains what drivers need to consider before the UK leaves the EU.
The British embassy and the UK government websites advise everyone to swap their UK Driving licences for an Italian one. While the UK is a member of the EU, that is generally a fairly straightforward process.
So yes, if you can, you should do it, before B-Day (now set for the 31st January 2021).
What should you do?
You can exchange your existing British license for an Italian if there are the below conditions:
· The licence is still valid;
· You are legally resident.
But there is a snag!
Now that the Withdrawal Agreement has been passed in parliament, any British resident in Italy (and the EU) will have by the end of the transition period, until December 31 2020, to exchange their British licence for an Italian or other EU country license.
Many British would-be residents will not have managed to get through the various bureaucratic hurdles before Brexit day or its extension – for a variety of reasons, such as not being able to obtain the appointment with the local comune in time.
But The Italian government has assured British in Italy that so long as they can prove that they were resident on or before Brexit day or its extension, their applications for residence should be approved and back-dated.
There is, however, no similar leeway for applications to switch driving licences. So when you go to request the change, you will have to show proof of residence – usually a carta d’identità. And if that is after Brexit Day, it seems likely that it will be too late!
So what could happen?
For those who drive a UK registered car here, there is another snag. You now need to apply to re-register it in Italy within 60 days of your arrival! So which ‘arrival’ do you claim for that one? And while it is being re-registered, you might try to find a friend with a spare car, because yours will be off the road for however long it takes.
If you can persuade your friend to lend you theirs for a while, it’s probably cheaper than re-registering a UK car. Wait for the next rottamazione or scrappage scheme (a more or less five-yearly event when the Italian car industry needs a little help), see if you can hand over the redundant UK-registered vehicle and get a massive discount on the brand-new Italian one.
Need any sworn translations to re-register your car? I'm here to help!
I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.