The latest rules for British driving licences in Sweden after Brexit

The latest rules for British driving licences in Sweden after Brexit
Will British licences still be valid in Sweden after Brexit? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT
As the scheduled date of Brexit approaches, it's worth knowing the rules about driving in Sweden on a British driving licence once the UK has left the EU.

The good news for drivers with a British licence is that if the UK leaves the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement as expected, things are much simpler than would have been the case in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The slightly less good news is that the situation still isn't totally clear. 

After midnight on January 31st, the so-called transition period will begin, and during that time (up until the end of December 2020), there will be no changes to rules surrounding driving licences.

It will be possible to drive in Sweden using a valid UK licence until “at least” December 31st, according to the Swedish Transport Agency.

“The rules which will apply afterwards will be negotiated during the transition period,” the agency said. 

Under current rules, EU and EEA driving licences are valid in Sweden, whether or not you are registered in Sweden and no matter how long you have lived in the country. 

If no specific legislation is passed regarding British driving licences, these would be subject to the same rules that currently apply to non-EEA countries.

Third country licences can be used in Sweden for as long as they are valid if the holder is not registered in Sweden – in other words, if they don't have a Swedish personnummer. They are also valid for up to one year after the holder becomes registered in Sweden, after which the holder may only use a Swedish licence.

Because of this possibility, another key question is whether it will be possible to exchange a British licence for a Swedish one, after the end of the transition period.

It's currently possible to exchange a valid EU or EEA licence for a Swedish one without re-taking a driving test, if you are permanently resident in Sweden. All you need to do is have your photo taken and pay a fee. This also applies to Swiss and Japanese driving licences due to special agreements with those countries. 

So once the UK is no longer part of the EU, an agreement may be made that means holders of British driving licences to retain the right to exchange their licence. Or if that's not the case, the same rules that currently exist for third countries would apply.

People with a licence from a third country who are caught driving after they've been registered in Sweden could face a 3,000 kronor fine and could be banned from applying for a Swedish licence for another two years.

But there's an exception for drivers who know they are going to be in Sweden for a limited, fixed period of time – for example if you're enrolled as a student. In these cases, you can apply to extend the foreign licence if you can prove that you won't be a permanent resident, but this must be done before the first year is up.

After the first year, third country nationals are required to apply for a Swedish driving licence from scratch.

According to Körkortonline, the average cost for the entire process from permit to lessons to licence is 15,000 kronor. This figure includes the average costs of lessons and learning materials for beginner drivers, but even if you've already passed a driving test in another country, the cost for the compulsory elements comes to a total of around 4,000 kronor.


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  1. What if driving licence has been issued and egzamin passed in EU country then has been exchange to UK driving licence. More mess ? or more easy to exchange to Swedish driving licence ?

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