Driving in the UK

Understand how you can support a refugee to drive in the UK

Refugees arriving with a driving licence from another country are usually permitted to drive on that licence for 12 months.  In order to continue driving after this time, they must apply for a provisional driving licence, and pass their theory and practical test in the UK. In England, Wales and Scotland, the theory test is only available in English, in Northern Ireland, an Arabic audio translation of the theory test is available.   

Groups can support refugees who wish to do so, and in this resource, we provide practical ways in which you can help.

May 2020: Watch out! We have learned that a scam linked to driving licences has been operating in the UK. Some refugees have been approached by an American agency offering them the opportunity to get an ‘International Driving Licence’ for £480. This is a scam and the ‘International Driving Licence’ is not a real document.

The International Driving Permit is commonly and incorrectly referred to as International Driving Licence. Only people with a valid UK driving licence can apply for the International Driving Permit and it allows holders of UK driving licence to use it abroad.

Please advise the family you are supporting not to apply for an International Driving License. If they have been contacted or sent information about this scam, help them to report it to the police.


Last modified
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 15:41
Key things to do
  • Understand what is needed for a refugee to drive in the UK 
  • Enable refugees to continue driving in the UK 
  • Help to budget for being a driver in the UK