Government closes foreign licence loophole
The Government has closed a loophole which has allowed foreign drivers from countries where the driving test may be less rigorous to swap their licence for a UK licence (Telegraph).
Until now foreign drivers from a number of countries within and beyond the EU have been entitled to exchange their licence with the UK under reciprocal arrangements.
According to the Telegraph report, while there are no problems with EU members, there have been concerns about the swap arrangement with a number of other countries where the driving test is less rigorous than in the UK.
The change, announced by road safety minister Stephen Hammond, will apply to nine countries: Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Zimbabwe. There have been 109,000 licence swaps involving drivers from these countries over the past five years.
The move is primarily aimed at improving road safety, but will also help prevent driving licences being fraudulently used as identity documents.
Stephen Hammond said: “It is obvious to everyone that drivers who have not been through a rigorous driving test will not be as safe as those who have.
“By closing this loophole we will not only make Britain’s roads even safer, but will help tackle fraud and level the playing field for British drivers who spend time and money learning to drive at the standard required in the UK.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.