New rules introduced on foreign licenses

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The government has unveiled new regulations which will make it harder for some foreign drivers to receive British driving licenses.

The government has unveiled new regulations which will make it harder for some foreign drivers to receive British driving licenses.

The rules are set to close a loophole where certain overseas drivers were able to gain a legal driving license in the UK without necessarily having learned the required motoring skills.

Previously motorists and car insurance policy holders in the UK could be joined on the road by foreign drivers who had 'traded' their way to a legal license.

Stephen Hammond, the Road Safety Minister, has told the Press Association about the importance of these changes, saying, "The UK's roads are amongst the safest in the world, thanks in part to the rigorous standards demanded by our driving test.

"By closing this loophole we will not only make Britain's roads even safer, but will help tackle fraud and level the playing field for British drivers who spend time and money learning to drive at the standard required in the UK."

Motorists from member states of the EU are all entitled to drive in the UK under the organisation's open regulations. Britain also has an arrangement with 15 other countries, such as Australia and Canada, whereby their citizens can exchange their driving license for a UK one.

However, previously motorists from countries out with this scheme were gaining an approved country's license so they could then trade it for a legal British one. This left the DVLA with no way of definitively knowing what standard of driver they were giving licenses out to.

Now the change in law means non-EU members must prove they sat their test in a country with stringent motoring regulations on par with British standards.

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