UK v Greek Driving Licence

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nigeljackson5
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UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby nigeljackson5 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:54 am

I am looking for advice from the "Experts" on this Forum

A friend of mine, who has lived in Crete for over 10 years, was stopped by police last week

Upon inspecting his licence, he was told that after living over here for over 6 months & 1 day, he should have exchanged it for a Greek one

He was issued a fine notice for 10 Euros, and told to produce his documents at the Police Station. The fine should have been, according to the policeman, 100 Euros, but as my friend was unaware, he had "taken pity" on him.

Is this correct, as no one I have spoken to, knows anything about this ?

Cheers

Tim
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Tim » Sun May 13, 2018 12:09 pm

I can see the logic - if you're a visitor you can only be in the country for six months. On the other hand, the UK driving licence is (for the time being) an EU document and you should be able to use it all the time anywhere in the EU. I'd be interested to see the outcome of this one ....

Tim

Carolina
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Carolina » Sun May 13, 2018 12:14 pm

Legally speaking, the Greek policeman is correct?

From DVLA website - Change the address on your driving licence-
"You must tell DVLA when your address changes so your driving licence, vehicle log book (V5C) and vehicle tax are up to date.
This includes if you’re temporarily moving home (if you’re going to university, for example)."

'You need to be a resident of Great Britain'

"If you’re moving abroad
You can’t register your new address on your British driving licence. Contact the driving licence authority in your new country of residence."

https://www.gov.uk/change-address-driving-licence

From the UK Ambassador to Greece (on Brexit questions)-
Q. A matter of concern will be driving licences as I and many others have been driving in Greece on a UK driving licence"
A. "If you no longer live in the UK you must exchange your licence. It is an offence as explained on the DVLA part of the Gov.Uk website"
http://www.livingincrete.net/brexit.html

Carolina
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Carolina » Sun May 13, 2018 12:23 pm

This page too -
'You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA when your address changes.'
https://www.gov.uk/dvla-change-address

Kilkis
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Kilkis » Sun May 13, 2018 12:44 pm

Issuing of EU driving licences is governed by an EU Directive and the laws in all member states are harmonised with that Directive. It's intention is that you should register for a licence where you are permanently resident. Member states can only issue licences to an address in that state. The rules about recognising licences of other states are intended for people travelling for a limited period of time. I can't remember the exact limit.

Warwick

Roussa
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Roussa » Mon May 14, 2018 9:24 pm

Yes, same happened to my husband last year and after searching the internet I found out that they changed the law in 2013. Before then driving licences from another EU country were accepted but since 2013 you need to get a driving licence from the country your staying when the stay exceeds 6 months and you have an old licence.

The new EU driving licences , issued in any EU country after 2013, should be accepted due to some new EU law but even with those the Greek state tells you to change them.

bobscott
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby bobscott » Tue May 15, 2018 6:49 pm

Roussa wrote:The new EU driving licences , issued in any EU country after 2013, should be accepted due to some new EU law but even with those the Greek state tells you to change them.


Eh? Does that mean that my Greek licence which was renewed last in 2016 has to be renewed again before the due date in 2019?
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Kilkis » Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 am

No it doesn't have to be renewed before its validity expires.

The Directive currently governing EU driving licences is DIRECTIVE 2006/126/EC. The Directive came into force in 2006. Member states had until 19 January 2011 to transpose its requirements into national law and until 19 January 2013 to apply the provisions. It replaced a number of previous directives.

I think the interpretation described earlier in the thread may be wrong. The UK is governed by the same Directive and, as described in this Ask the Police question you can drive in the UK on a licence issued by another member state as long as the licence is valid. I don't see why the Greek police are not following this.

The problem really occurs when you need to renew the licence. You are supposed to obtain a licence from the member state where you are permanently resident. Each member state can only issue licences to individuals who live permanently in that member state. When you apply for a licence you are supposed to state your permanent address, not the address of a friend or relative. As far as I can see anybody who continues to drive in Greece on a valid UK licence for an extended period, even if they are permanently resident are not breaking any law. Anybody who renews a UK licence using a false UK address when they are permanently resident in Greece are breaking the law.

Warwick

bobscott
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby bobscott » Wed May 16, 2018 2:40 pm

Thanks Warwick. That confirms what I thought but found the previous posting somewhat confusing. Bob
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Kilkis » Wed May 16, 2018 4:44 pm

Having read my post again, I think the following statement in it is probably NOT correct, my highlight in red:

Kilkis wrote:...As far as I can see anybody who continues to drive in Greece on a valid UK licence for an extended period, even if they are permanently resident are not breaking any law...


It is against the law to drive on a licence issued to an address that is not your permanent address. I think anybody can drive for any period in an EU state on a licence issued by another EU state PROVIDED their permanent address is in the state where the licence is issued. Thus if a UK citizen becomes permanently resident in Greece and their licence shows an address in the UK, e.g. old address or that of a friend or relative, then that licence is not valid. Since being permanently resident is defined in the Directive as living somewhere continuously for more than 183 days the idea that you should change your licence after 6 months is probably correct.

It is somewhat confusing. I have submitted a question to Ask the Police to try to clarify the situation.

Warwick

PS This does not affect your situation, Bob. I believe you have a Greek licence so that is valid up to its expiry date.

Roussa
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Roussa » Wed May 16, 2018 10:55 pm

bobscott wrote:
Roussa wrote:The new EU driving licences , issued in any EU country after 2013, should be accepted due to some new EU law but even with those the Greek state tells you to change them.


Eh? Does that mean that my Greek licence which was renewed last in 2016 has to be renewed again before the due date in 2019?


Haha, of course not if you stay in Greece or move to probably any other EU country. BUT if you move to Greece and have the new EU licence from another state....even if the EU law says that the licence must be accepted for residents, the Greek authority is not follwing that directive.

It is not against the law to drive with a licence from a previous address but for all licences issued in the EU before 2013 most member states have a law, that you must change the licence in the country you're a resident of ( latest after 6 months )

bobscott
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby bobscott » Thu May 17, 2018 2:57 pm

Somewhat off-topic, but may interest some of our older readers.

Had always been under the impression that for insurance purposes, as long as one held a valid driving licence, one could drive any vehicle covered by the licence. In other words, it is the vehicle that is insured, not the person.

Discovered to my chagrin this morning that only applies up to the age of 70! After that, driving a car not owned by you is illegal unless you are specifically covered by the insurance for that vehicle.

I think I may have been guilty as charged on a few occasions within the last decade!!! Not any more though.

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

scooby
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby scooby » Thu May 17, 2018 3:42 pm

nigeljackson5 wrote:I am looking for advice from the "Experts" on this Forum

A friend of mine, who has lived in Crete for over 10 years, was stopped by police last week

Upon inspecting his licence, he was told that after living over here for over 6 months & 1 day, he should have exchanged it for a Greek one

He was issued a fine notice for 10 Euros, and told to produce his documents at the Police Station. The fine should have been, according to the policeman, 100 Euros, but as my friend was unaware, he had "taken pity" on him.

Is this correct, as no one I have spoken to, knows anything about this ?

Cheers
How did Mr policeman know he had been here over 6 months? Great this technology stuff.
Men in suits will always make you pay.

Kilkis
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Kilkis » Thu May 17, 2018 5:41 pm

bobscott wrote:...Discovered to my chagrin this morning that only applies up to the age of 70! After that, driving a car not owned by you is illegal unless you are specifically covered by the insurance for that vehicle...


Thanks for that information, Bob. I wasn't aware of that either. Having just hit 72 I can't recall having driven another person's car in the last two years but it was always possible that I would do at some point. Now I know not to. I'll pass the information around my circle of friends who are mostly over 70.

Warwick

Kilkis
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Re: UK v Greek Driving Licence

Postby Kilkis » Thu May 17, 2018 5:56 pm

I got the following reply to my email to Ask Police, my emphasis in red:

    Thank you for your email.

    The requirement to keep your address on your driving licence current only applies when you change your address within that country
    but nonetheless, when you go to another EU country your EU driving licence remains valid up to the age of 70 or for 3 years, whichever is longer.

    It is only a requirement for someone to notify the DVLA of a change of address under Section 99(4) of the Road Traffic Act, if the licence was issued under Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act. Therefore, the DVLA can't make the holder of an EU driving licence to apply for a UK driving licence if the address is incorrect i.e. an address from their previous Member State of residence.

    We hope this information is of use.

As far as I am aware Greek law and UK law regarding driving licences should be harmonised under the EU Directive and that seems to be supported by the first passage in red. So I would have expected the same to apply in Greece, but I may be wrong. If the police fine you it might be worth consulting a lawyer. I would presume that the ticket would specify the Greek law under which the fine was being issued.

Warwick


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