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All you need to know about using your driving licence across EU borders

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All you need to know about using your driving licence across EU borders


Mutual recognition of driving licenses and validity of insurance across borders in Europe is a long-established principle within the EU. But it remains unclear for many.
Sveltlana in Sofia asks Utalk: “I am Bulgarian and would like to go on a car trip through various EU countries. Is my Bulgarian driving licence valid in all EU countries? What do I need to do to be covered by insurance?”

The response is from Nina Koudelkova, Europe Direct communication officer: “If your licence is from an EU country, you can use it throughout the EU. But before you go, make sure your driving licence has not expired, since you cannot drive to another country on just a provisional licence or certificate.

“ If you lose it or have it stolen while travelling abroad, you should contact the local police and your consulate to find out what to do.

““As for the insurance”:, the car insurance policy from your home country covers you throughout the EU if you injure someone else, refered to as ‘third-party damages’. Your car’s number plate is proof that you have liable insurance. This means that police in another country will not normally stop you just to check if you are insured.

“It is of course best to always take your insurance papers with you, given that it may make things easier if you get in an accident or are stopped by the police.

“Should you have an accident, fill out the European accident statement. This standard document, which is identical in most EU countries, helps you record the facts and makes it easier to settle any claim.

“However, cover for other types of damage such as injuries you suffer referred to as first-party insurance, fire, theft and so on suffered while abroad is not a standard part of insurance policies. For these, you will have to check with your insurer before leaving the country.

“Your liable insurance policy covers all passengers travelling in your vehicle, other than the driver. In most EU countries, you can also arrange additional ‘first-party’

To find more details, including the relevant contact points call 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or go to “the europa website”: If you would also like to ask a question on Utalk, click on the button below. 

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