Brexit: What happens if you don’t exchange your driving licence in Austria by the June 30th deadline?

Brexit: What happens if you don’t exchange your driving licence in Austria by the June 30th deadline?
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The June 30th deadline for changing over your licence from British to Austrian has expired. From insurance implications to fines, what happens if you haven't made the switch?

People who became legally resident in Austria before Brexit and have a British driving licence should note the deadline for exchanging their British licence for an Austrian one was June 30th, 2021.

Under Austrian law, you are required to change your driving licence over after a maximum of six months in the country. 

According to the Article 50 Rules, this means that June 30th is the relevant date for switching over, as it is six months from the Brexit deadline. 

If you have moved to Austria in 2021, the relevant date for switching over your licence will be six months from your arrival date. 

If you are not residing in Austria, the period is 12 rather than 6 months, according to the ÖAMTC (Austrian Automobile and Motorcycle Touring Club). 

More information about the rules for changing over your licence is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: What are the post-Brexit rules about UK driving licences in Austria?

What happens if you haven’t changed your licence by that date? 

If you continue to drive on your British licence, you will technically be driving without a valid licence. 

This means there may both be insurance and legal implications. 

If you are involved in a traffic accident, you may be liable for up to €11,000 in repayments to the liability insurer for payments made to the victims of the crash. 

But this is not all. 

If you drive on your British licence after June 30th, you are considered to be driving unlicensed – for which there is a minimum fine of €363 (§37 para. 3 no. 1 FSG). 

Higher fines and jail terms are also possible for doing so, although according to the ÖAMTC this is generally used for people who continually reoffend. 

What if I have not exchanged my licence and it’s been more than six months?

For those who have let the period expire, some Local readers have indicated Austrian authorities will occasionally allow a little leeway. 

Some have been told they can continue to drive on their British licence provided they’ve put in an application to change it over (and carry their receipt). 

This means that you may be allowed to change over your licence after the deadline – sometimes years down the track. 

However, in the worst-case scenario you may be forced to get your licence from scratch in Austria, including new practical and written tests. 

Please check with your local Bezirkshauptmannschaft (district authority) about whether you are able to change over the licence and the rules for doing so. 

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