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Driving in the EU

Driving

International Driving Permits

Drivers with Isle of Man licences may be required to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) when driving in the EU.

An IDP is an official, multi-language translation of your driving licence. It can only be issued by the Post Office if you reside in the Isle of Man, hold a full current driving licence and are aged 18 years or over. The permit will remain valid for 1 year from the date of issue and currently costs £11. A downloadable application form is available.

In addition, because the Isle of Man is not covered by 1968 Convention on Road Traffic and not all European countries are party to the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic, which does apply to the Island, an IDP issued to the holder of an Isle of Man driving licence may not guarantee the right to drive in European countries. Motorists are advised to check before they travel.

Further information can be on the UK Government website.

Motor Insurance – Green Card

A motor insurance Green Card is evidence of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Although a Green Card was initially needed after the UK left the EU on 1 January 2021, from 2 August 2021, drivers from the UK going to Europe do not need to carry this document to drive in the EU Member States and also Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland. It is understood that drivers from the Isle of Man are also covered by this exemption but you should check with your insurer before travelling and you must still have valid vehicle insurance.

You may still need to carry a Green Card to drive in:

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

GBM Sticker

When driving in the EU a black and white oval sticker with the letters GBM must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. Although some number plates may display the GBM emblem, this must also be accompanied by a separate GBM black and white oval sticker.

It is also advisable to check for any further requirements with the country you are visiting.

Trailers

If you are towing a trailer or caravan in the EU, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland you do not need a Green Card but under the 1968 Convention some European countries require trailers to be registered and for the driver to have a trailer registration certification that can be shown to a foreign authority on request.

The Isle of Man does not currently have legislation or a procedure for the registration of trailers and since the 1968 Convention does not apply to the Isle of Man even if such registration were to be introduced in the Island it may not be recognised by the parties to the Convention. If you intend to tow a trailer in Europe you should always check the specific requirements of each country that you will be driving through before you set off.

For more information about driving abroad you may visit the UK Government website.

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