If a family member you are supporting arrives in the UK with an international driving licence or permit from another country, they are able to drive on their valid driving permit/license for 12 months from the date of the arrival. During this time, they must have a provisional license in the UK and pass their theory and practical tests to continue to be able to drive beyond the first 12 months. The impact of Covid has meant all types of driving tests are suspended and therefore many of those who were driving on permits are no longer able to do so. This is having a huge impact on their integration and there is currently not a known solution to this.
At Reset, we have written to the Minister for Transport, and received a response stating that there is no intention to extend the time that someone can drive on their international permits or licences. He further stated that tests will not be available any earlier than 12 April 2021.
What should Groups do?
If you are supporting someone whose permit has expired, you should take time to explain:
- It would be illegal to continue to drive on a non UK license, this means that should they be involved in an accident there would be no insurance in place.
- Offer to support the family with any statutory off road notices on their vehicles and updating insurance
- Offer to continue to practice the theory test with the family member
Other things to think about
- Consider whether your group could support the driver to continue driving on their provisional license by being in the passenger seat. You should think through carefully how this might work in line with the boundaries you have set as a group, and the level of risk you would be taking. For example, if the driver does not speak English and you do not speak their language, how would you take responsibility for keeping them safe?
- If the family member is driving at present and it’s essential for them, would they consider riding a scooter/moped if they stay local? They would need to pass the CBT certificate if these are possible to complete in your area during Covid restrictions.
There is no doubt that this is hugely problematic for the continued integration of the family members you support.