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UK driving license loophole

UK driving license loophole

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Old Nov 10th 2018, 11:02 am
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Default UK driving license loophole

Hi all,

We moved back to the UK from the States last November. We've been back here almost a year. My wife has been driving on her US license under the 12 month rule. She has just started getting some lessons in order to take the UK driving test.

Today in her lesson the instructor said that he thought he knew of a loophole where the 12 month rule RESETS whenever you leave and enter the country. For example, my wife went back to the States for a visit this past July, so it's possible the clock restarted when she got back, and the 12 months now would be July 2019.

Does anyone have any thoughts or info on this? We've been looking at different official websites - government, police, etc - but of course, there is conflicting and vague information. No where does it say "12 months from becoming gaining leave to enter biometrics card" or "12 months from becoming a resident". It just says "12 months from entry". Well, does entry just mean the last time she entered?

She is going to get her UK license, we're just trying to find out if she has some breathing room.

Thanks for your help all.
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Old Nov 10th 2018, 11:10 am
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by ukmancoll View Post
Hi all,

We moved back to the UK from the States last November. We've been back here almost a year. My wife has been driving on her US license under the 12 month rule. She has just started getting some lessons in order to take the UK driving test.

Today in her lesson the instructor said that he thought he knew of a loophole where the 12 month rule RESETS whenever you leave and enter the country. For example, my wife went back to the States for a visit this past July, so it's possible the clock restarted when she got back, and the 12 months now would be July 2019.

Does anyone have any thoughts or info on this? We've been looking at different official websites - government, police, etc - but of course, there is conflicting and vague information. No where does it say "12 months from becoming gaining leave to enter biometrics card" or "12 months from becoming a resident". It just says "12 months from entry". Well, does entry just mean the last time she entered?

She is going to get her UK license, we're just trying to find out if she has some breathing room.

Thanks for your help all.
From the UK government guide on exchanging a foreign licence - second question asked is if you are a resident of Great Britain
You’re normally a resident if you have a permanent address in Great Britain that you’ve lived in for at least 185 days.
If the answer to this is 'yes, and you gained your licence in the US, then then 12 month rule applies.
https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence
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Old Nov 10th 2018, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

I assume that your wife is probably taking lessons in a stick shift? My daughter (who lives in England) just could not get on with driving with a stick shift and failed her driving test as she was too flummoxed. I suggested that she should consider driving an automatic and she found a driving school where an instructor had a car with an automatic gearbox....fortunately she passed her road test.

The downside is that her licence is annotated that she can only drive automatics, but she is ok with that.

It might be worth seeing if your wife can do this too....and at a later date if she wishes to then take a test in a stick shift. It will give her some breathing space so she can go on the road sooner.

Obviously your wife will need to have passed the theory test before taking the road test.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 7:18 am
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
From the UK government guide on exchanging a foreign licence - second question asked is if you are a resident of Great Britain
You’re normally a resident if you have a permanent address in Great Britain that you’ve lived in for at least 185 days.
If the answer to this is 'yes, and you gained your licence in the US, then then 12 month rule applies.
https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence
Does one need to have been lived in the UK for at least 185 days before he/she can apply for a provisional driving licence?
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by inggris View Post
Does one need to have been lived in the UK for at least 185 days before he/she can apply for a provisional driving licence?
No.
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Old Nov 12th 2018, 10:57 am
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
I assume that your wife is probably taking lessons in a stick shift? My daughter (who lives in England) just could not get on with driving with a stick shift and failed her driving test as she was too flummoxed. I suggested that she should consider driving an automatic and she found a driving school where an instructor had a car with an automatic gearbox....fortunately she passed her road test.

The downside is that her licence is annotated that she can only drive automatics, but she is ok with that.

It might be worth seeing if your wife can do this too....and at a later date if she wishes to then take a test in a stick shift. It will give her some breathing space so she can go on the road sooner.

Obviously your wife will need to have passed the theory test before taking the road test.
No, she has never driven a stick shift so we have an automatic car. The lesson was in an automatic car. My main question was regarding a potential loophole in the expiry date of her US driving license eligibility.
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Old Nov 12th 2018, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by ukmancoll View Post
No, she has never driven a stick shift so we have an automatic car. The lesson was in an automatic car. My main question was regarding a potential loophole in the expiry date of her US driving license eligibility.
There’s no loophole.
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Old Nov 12th 2018, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
There’s no loophole.
Why are you even looking for a loophole? You have 12 months, just get it done!
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Old Nov 12th 2018, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: UK driving license loophole

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Why are you even looking for a loophole? You have 12 months, just get it done!
The OP said they moved here in November last year and his wife is just taking lessons now.
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