The new UK number plate post-BrexitThe new UK number plate post-Brexit


New Union Jack design for number plates and driving licences and Brits won’t need driving permits for travel in EU

Time 10:52 am, February 1, 2021

UK number plates and driving licences have been given a post-Brexit makeover and Brits won’t need International Driving Permits to drive abroad, the Department of Transport has announced.

UK driving licences and number plates will now lose the EU flag and instead feature the Union Jack.

Electric cars will wear the Union Jack and GB letters on a green background, in keeping with the recent roll-out of ‘green number plates’ for zero-emissions cars, while non-electric cars will stick with a blue background.

The government department said the makeover signifies ‘the beginning of a new chapter for the UK’.

Along with the new designs, the UK government has come to an agreement with the EU allowing Brits to travel on the continent without the need for an International Driving Permit (IDP).

The Department for Transport (DfT) said UK drivers who hold photocard licences will not need an international driving permit to drive in any of the 27 EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

UK drivers also won’t need to display a GB sticker in most EU countries if their number plate has GB or GB with a Union Flag on it, the department said.

The first batch of licences and plates have already been issued, and the DfT said drivers will receive the new designs if they are renewing their licence or getting one for the first time.

It means existing number plates and driving licences are still valid.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Changing the designs of our driving licences and number plates is a historic moment for British motorists, and a reassertion of our independence from the EU one year on from our departure.

‘Looking to the future, whether it’s for work or for holidays abroad, these changes mean that those who want to drive in the EU can continue to do so with ease.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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