driving licence

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alicat
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driving licence

Postby alicat » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:17 pm

Hi everyone,

does anyone know if British people can take the motorcycle/car driving licence test in Greece? My boyfriend is thinking whether to do it in the UK now or do it Greece once we are there. He is also thinking of doing the theory test here in England and the practice test there if possible. Any advice on the matter is much appreciated,

Best wishes,
Alex

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:25 pm

Hi,

I've got a UK Motor Cycle Licence which was done under the modern testing regieme. Can I suggest that whatever you boyfreind does he takes a test/course in the UK.

The reason is that I was a Advanced Car Driver with no Motor Cycle experience at all. You think your good at driving cars until you take the M/C Test. They have you looking in places most car drivers would never think of.

They are really teaching you survival on the road not just how to gat from a to b. With tales of the driving habits of the Greek nation I would train here and just exchange your licence over there.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:02 pm

Getting a licence in Greece can be tough. You have to attend classes for a minimum of about 20 hours for the theory test, if I remember correctly and you're only allowed about 2 or 3 wrong answers otherwise you fail and have to take yet more lessons. You also have to have a minimum number of hours of practical lessons, too.

The Greek authorities will not accept the English theory test. The rules of the road here are different. Just one simple example is traffic lights. Firstly they're just red and green but you can also have flashing amber arrows pointing left or right. What does that mean? There's one junction I pass through regularly where on one approach road I've never seen either green or red and no arrows either, just flashing amber lights.

The main rule, however, seems to be once you have passed your test ignore all rules.

Filippos.

The Adjectival LFB
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Postby The Adjectival LFB » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:06 am

One small detail that Filippos forgot (I think): It's set in Greek.

Regards, LFB.
Lowell, Frank and Townes - all gone now.

Hudson
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Postby Hudson » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:05 am

Can anyone adise how to change from a UK licence to a Greek one? I hold a combined car/motorcyle licence in the UK but I brlirve I will need two separate ones here - is this right?

TIA

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:51 am

Warwick will be able to give you the complete answer as he's posted all the info elsewhere in the past. I think I may even have kept a copy somewhere in the depths of my filing "system". Warwick's actually done it.

Filippos.

Retired in Crete

Postby Retired in Crete » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:48 am

Hudson wrote:Can anyone adise how to change from a UK licence to a Greek one? I hold a combined car/motorcyle licence in the UK but I brlirve I will need two separate ones here - is this right?

TIA


It may seem a silly question but why would you want to do this?

Provided that you have the "credit card" type licence with the EU "ring of stars" on it this is effectively an European licence and valid throughout Europe. I am aware that this licence has to show a UK address but this only needs to be an address through which you can be contacted, you do not need to live there.

An added benefit of this is that the Greek authorities are not able, currently, to put penalty points on it. They can still, of course, issue on the spot fines.

John

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:50 am

I agree John. I still have my UK licence.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:57 pm

The whole question of whether to change a UK licence for a Greek one is still an open question. I drove for eight years in Greece, without any problems, on my UK licence, which had my old address in the UK still on it even though I had sold the house. This was the old style paper licence. I then hit a problem when I visited the UK and had a hire car. The hire car company informed me that it was illegal to drive on a licence showing an address where you no longer live. This, together with a certain amount of earache from “She who must be obeyed” prompted me to exchange it for a Greek licence. Since then, other people have posted that the DVLA are quite happy for you to change your address to that of a friend or relative in the UK and continue indefinitely with the UK licence. More recently I received a PM saying that the DVLA were not accepting accommodation addresses. The following two conditions are copied directly from the DVLA web site http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/Mo ... /DG_066944
You can change the address on your current British driving licence online if you:

· are a resident of Great Britain
· can provide addresses of where you have lived over the last three years
I leave it to you to decide if you should change or not. If you do decide to change, it is not particularly difficult. You will need the following:

1. A residence permit that has been issued at least 95 days prior to submitting the application. It is the date of issue of the permit that is important not when you entered the country. I am not sure what will happen about this now that they have changed from a five year renewable Residence Permit to a one-off Residence Certificate.
2. Application form M15 duly completed. This form can be obtained from the local office of Υπηρεσία Μεταφορών & Επικοινωνιών. The address of this can be found in the phone book as a sub heading Διευθυνση Μεταφορών & Επικοινωνιών under the main heading Υπηρεσίες Δημοσιες.
3. A declaration made under Greek law N. 1599/86. This declaration is also done on a standard form that you should obtain with form M15 or you can get them from stationers. It is a very common form that is often used to make legal declarations in Greece. I think KEP have them as well. The declaration must state your address and tax number, that you have not made any other application to another office of Υπηρεσία Μεταφορών & Επικοινωνιών and that your UK licence is still valid. The declaration will need to be in Greek. When I actually submitted all the documents I had to add a statement to this form certifying that I had lived in Greece continuously for the last 95 days. You should sign this, and the M15 form, in front of the person at the licensing office, not before you get there.
4. A photocopy of your passport.
5. An official translation of your English driving licence. “Official” means it must be stamped by a solicitor who is authorised to certify translations. Depending on your relationship with the solicitor he/she might accept a translation made by anyone or they might insist on a translation made by an official translation service. The EU web site says you don’t need this but the Greek M15 form says you do. I am not sure if you will still need this if you have the new style EU driving licence. If you have an old paper licence I can let you have my translation so you would only need to change your personal details
6. Your original UK licence that they will keep. It might be worth making some photocopies of this first.
7. Two passport sized photographs of yourself.
8. You have to pay the fee at the Tax Office and obtain a receipt that you have paid it to take to the licence issuing office. The fee depends on how many categories you want to include on the Greek licence. In the end I had to pay 36 Euro to the tax office, 17 Euro for Category A and 19 Euro for category B. I also had Categories C1 and D1 on my UK licence but I lost these, as they do not exist in Greece. I also had to pay 3 Euro in cash with the application. These fees may have gone up a little. Both the motorbike category, A, and the car category, B. are on the same licence.

I did not have a Residence Permit when I started this process so I had to wait the 95 days for my newly acquired residence permit to mature to the required vintage, even though the permit showed that I had entered Greece back in 1997. When I took all the paperwork into the office on a Tuesday I got my Greek licence on the Friday.

With a Greek licence you need to renew it, with a medical certificate, when you are 65. I think in the UK it is 70. This raises an interesting question. Suppose you keep your UK licence until you are 70 and then discover that you cannot renew it in the UK, will it be possible to exchange it for a Greek one at that time even though you are over 65. I’m not saying you can’t, I simply don’t know. I don’t care since it doesn’t affect me but if you are thinking of doing this it might be worth finding out.

Warwick

altohb
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Driving licence

Postby altohb » Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:28 pm

Thanks for the info, Warwick.

However, have tried to change address via the DVLA site - if you check under Residency Rules http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/Mo ... G_10035602

it seems quite clear that you need to be resident to change the address. Once you get into the process, it will only accept a UK address, and my concern is that if you give the address of a friend or relative then your licence may, actually, not be valid, and therefore cause potential problems if, God forbid, you are in an accident or get pulled in by the police either in the UK or here in Greece. Perhaps you or someone else has found further info. from the DVLA which makes things clearer.

We are living here permanently, so don't want any hassle!

altohb

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:56 pm

I can honestly tell you there can be a lot of aggro with the old bill and the possession of foreign driving licences. If you do get pulled in blighty with a Greek driving licence it's a pound to a penny that you will end up having to produce whatever insurance your on whether it's UK or Greek plated. 10 to 1 you won't have it on you so that'll be a trip down the nick.

I'm am sure that you must be resident in UK for a UK driving licence, otherwise to drive in UK you must be able to produce a full driving licence from a rcognised country including EEC ones. So if you are a resident of Crete I think you are really only entitled to a Greek Driving Licence.

If you have property or a rented address in the UK then you have an exscuse for a DVLA issued licence. But I do not think a freinds adress will really wash. If you apply for a Greek Licence I think I am correct in saying that you must surrender your UK one.

If you do the old trick of "losing" your licence and obtaining a dupicate I think the arrangement is that the Greek authorities will return (or should return) your UK licence through the UK Embassy via diplomatic bag to eventually the DVLA.

If you then turn up in UK with your duplicate or original and the other one being with the DVLC your PNC reference will be marked by the DVLA and more than likely the other UK licence will be confiscated whilst enquiries are being made.

The other thing to remember is that if you have recently aquired or are going to change your Passport, the DVLA records will soon be tied to it, so eventually will your ID card, your medical records etc etc.

I say this because I know of where a Motability application was put in for a new car and the application was refused. On contacting the DVLA the driver and holder of the licence discovered that at a previous address three years prior he had been convicted at Magistrates Court in his absence of a Speed Camera Offence and Failing to Provide the Details of the Driver. So he had 3 points on his licence.

He had changed his address and not notified the DVLA. The DVLA then suspended his licence until he could provide the licence (both parts) and they could put the endoresements on the licence. Thus technically his insurance was invalid because even though he did not know it he had not declared his points, there was a warrant out for his arrest for failing to pay £100 fine and £40 costs, all in all a bit of a mess.

I'd keep up to date and get the right licence personally.

Kilkis
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Re: Driving licence

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:56 pm

altohb wrote:... my concern is that if you give the address of a friend or relative then your licence may, actually, not be valid, and therefore cause potential problems if, God forbid, you are in an accident or get pulled in by the police either in the UK or here in Greece...


This was also my concern. IF the licence isn't "valid" then you have no insurance. Unfortunately I could not get a definitive answer and I didn't want to discover it at some time in the future while in court, so I changed. As posted in this thread, other people are confident it is OK. You pay your money and you take your chance.

Warwick

footscapes
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Driving Licence

Postby footscapes » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:23 pm

I contacted the DVLA specifically about the issue of the validity of a UK licence with an old address (last UK address before relocating to Crete) and driving in the UK. My question to DVLA:

I am a British citizen with a UK driving licence and have recently moved abroad (now permanently resident in Greece). A couple of points to clarify, please:

The direct gov website says that there is no need to notify DVLA of an address change in these circumstances, so my UK driving licence still has my last UK address as current. On return visits to the UK, I will be driving on this licence. What is the position if stopped by the police and effectively using a licence with an invalid address?

It may be preferable for me to obtain a Greek driving licence for use locally. To do this, I would have to surrender my UK licence as proof of entitlement to drive. I would be reluctant to give up my UK licence, so under these circumstances would it be acceptable to apply for a duplicate UK licence? If yes, what address should I use?

Thanks in advance


And their response:

Thank you for your email.

As you are no longer living in GB then I am afraid we will be unable to change the address on your driving licence.

If you return to GB as a resident in the future to a different address to what is on your driving licence, then we can amend your details if required, at that time.

You will be covered on (sic) drive on your visits home to GB.

However, I would suggest that you contact the Licensing Authorities where you now reside for information regarding driving there.

Regards

Heulwen Jones
www.direct.gov.uk/motoring


The italics in the response are mine. Needless to say, I keep a copy of this email with me whilst driving in the UK and have decided to keep my UK licence.

Paul

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:02 pm

That is the DVLA and as a result the UK one, what does the Greek DVLA(?) say? What do they require of you to drive if you are a resident?

What happens when you commit an offence in Greece (it happens) can your licence be endorsed (do they do that) and how do they do it?

How do you hire a car in UK? If the address on the licence is not valid then you will make a false declaration and commit an offence if you say that the address on your licence is your own, either that or the Hire Car company will not hire you a car because you address is not correct. Presentation of your Greek ID and a DVLA E-Mail I don't think will wash, you also need both parts of the licence.

What happens when you are stopped by police for a traffic offence in UK? You have your driving licence (with an invalid address) and your Greek residency card. If the police cannot verify who you are (the ID Card will be all in Greek no doubt), you will either be driving a hire car (having made the false declaration), a relatives or freinds car which will now have a third address on it.

So who are you? It's very likely you will be arrested for the offence (howsoever minor) until your identity and the vehicles can be identified. The police hate hybrids in documentation, especially if the alphabet only has 24 characters.

By the way another thing to remember is that if you are driving a Greek registered vehicle and you tempoarily import it to the UK only you the importer and your spouse can drive it. I have to point out that in many areas of London people are found driving imported vehicles and are not entitled to drive them (sometimes they have unwittingly bought them). Customs and Police acting on their behalf will then confiscate the vehicle.

They have stepped up Road Blocks because of Terrorism. For example evey other week they seem to be outside Belmarsh Prison, Thamesmead, with Customs, DVLA, the MOT lot, Traffic, Immigration on combined stops with armed police. I have driven past there where there is literally dozens of confiscated vehicles on the hard shoulder and you'll always get dipped in a diesel by the way.

If you are driving a foreign registered vehicle on a UK licence unless you can prove on the spot that you own the vehicle (is the reg document in greek), then you are liable to confiscaction. You don't want customs confiscating anything or selling it back to you. If they do confiscate it will take days sometimes weeks sorting it out.

Frankly I think it is a very unsatisfactory response from the DVLA, either their software is not up to much i.e. registering EEC addresses, they really have a confused policy or they are just leaving you to dangle because nobody knows what to do with this situation. They are also prone to making loads of mstakes.

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:13 pm

woaaaah Muttly, please relax.

"what does the Greek DVLA(?) say? What do they require of you to drive if you are a resident?"

More importantly what do the Greek police say when they stop you and you show a UK licence? Absolutely no problem and no checks on your details - in actual fact I've found it to be a bonus.


"What happens when you are stopped by police for a traffic offence in UK? You have your driving licence (with an invalid address) and your Greek residency card. If the police cannot verify who you are (the ID Card will be all in Greek no doubt),"
How do they know it's an invalid address? Why would you show a Greek residency card if you have a UK address on your licence? You have a passport for ID.

Now here is something else to worry about if you don't agree with the above..

Your Greek residence permit must be issued 95 days prior to submitting an application for the Greek licence. So during those 95 days will you not be driving in Crete at all, or will you be driving on an 'invalid' UK licence with an invalid address ??


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