You have decided you’re moving to London and are weighing your options in terms of means of transportation to and from your London rental. Living in London means you will not really need a car given the usually efficient public transportation system, the congestion on London roads and lack of parking, (rarely does a London flat offer parking). You can however apply for a foreign driving license should you decide to buy a car or in instances where you are required to drive a car for various reasons.

If you want or need to change your driving licence for a foreign driving licence, you can visit your nearest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA for short) and complete the D1 application form. This form is also available at your nearest Post Office. There are many things about moving to the U.K. to fall in love with, but one that probably won’t charm you is the British penchant for regulations, the form must be accompanied by your original documentation and a photograph that should be the same size as your identity card or passport. Once the form is completed you will be required to send your completed application, the enclosed documentation and the required fee to the DVLA offices.

The other license of interest is the International Driving Permit (IDP). This type of license which is normally issued to tourists serves as proof that you hold a valid driver’s license in your own country. And it provides a translation into almost a dozen languages, mainly so that police and other authorities in other countries can read your license in their own language. The permit is intended to overcome the difficulties drivers might have while travelling in other countries that may have widely varying licensing requirements. It also has the advantage that in more than 40 countries worldwide you cannot rent a car at all unless you have an IDP.

An IDP cannot be post-dated, extended, or renewed, and is valid for only one year from the date of issue. Each time a new IDP is required, the driver must repeat the entire application procedure. The IDP must be applied for in the country of origin and cannot be used there in place of a regular driver’s license. Be aware of scams doing rounds on the internet and in print media with people offering to arrange the license for exorbitant fees. It is advisable that reputable motoring establishments be approached when needing to obtain an IDP. Before you go always research modes of transport in your city be it private or public as criminals do try and take advantage. Happy motoring.

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