The impact of Brexit on UK citizens in Finland

Driving licence

Exchanging a UK driving licence for a Finnish driving licence before the end of the transition period

Before the end of the transition period, permanent residents that have registered in Finland or those who have been studying in Finland for at least six months may exchange their UK issued driving licence for a Finnish licence according to the rules of exchanging EU driving licenses (External link). If your UK issued licence has expired, you must enclose a medical certificate with your application. Passing a new driving examination is not required if less than two years have elapsed since the expiry date of your Group 1 car or motorcycle driving licence. Driving licences should be exchanged at an Ajovarma service point. You should make an appointment in advance (External link) and bring the following items with you:

  • your UK issued driving licence or, in case you do not have it, a driving licence extract from the UK driving license authority
  • your passport or other official ID
  • two photographs, unless you already have a valid Finnish passport or an ID card that bears the same photograph.

A UK issued lorry or bus driving licence can be exchanged for a Finnish licence in accordance with EU country rules. If your UK issued licence has expired, you must enclose a medical certificate with your application. Passing a new driving examination is not required if less than one year has elapsed since the expiry date of your driving licence. Driving licences are exchanged at an Ajovarma service point. You should make an appointment in advance (External link)

If you have diplomatic status or work for an international organisation or EU agency in Finland and wish to exchange your driving licence after the end of the transition period, please contact the Protocol Services of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Exchanging a UK driving licence for a Finnish driving licence after the end of the transition period

After the end of the transition period, the recognition and exchange of UK issued driving licences is regulated by the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. Applications must always include a medical certificate.

After the end of the transition period, a permanent resident in Finland can exchange a UK issued car or motorcycle driving licence for a Finnish driving licence without having to pass a new driving examination. In order to make the exchange without the driving examination, you must exchange your driving licence before it expires and within two years of permanent residence in Finland. Please note that the two-year period is considered to begin on the date when the transition period ends, not on the date indicated in your address information. If you have lived in Finland for long, you can exchange your UK driving licence for a Finnish driving licence within two years of date when the transition period ends without having to take the driving examination.

If your driving licence has expired, you must pass a Finnish driving examination (theory and driving test), and a handling skills test for a motorcycle licence. If your driving license has been lost or stolen, you must provide a driving license extract and take a driving examination.

To exchange a driving licence for a heavy goods vehicle, you will always need to pass a driving examination (theory and driving test).

When a UK driving license must be exchanged for a Finnish driving licence

A driving licence issued in the UK is valid in Finland when visiting as a tourist until the licence expires, but permanent residents in Finland must exchange their UK driving licence for a Finnish driving licence within two years from the date they became a permanent resident.

Driving licences are exchanged at an Ajovarma service point. You should make an appointment in advance (External link). Bring the following items with you:

  • your passport or other official ID
  • two photographs
  • medical certificate
  • your foreign driving licence or a driving licence extract.

In addition, drivers with foreign driving licenses must meet the enforced age and driver health requirements in Finland. The age limit for a car licence is 18 years, 16–24 years for a motorcycle licence (depending on the power of the motorcycle), 21 years for a lorry licence, and 24 years for a bus and coach licence. 

Learn more about exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Finnish licence (External link)

Importing new and used vehicles

The procedure for importing new and used vehicles remains unchanged until the end of the transition period.

Brexit’s impact on travel 

The UK's withdrawal from the EU can have an impact on aviation and passenger rights (External link). During 2020 procedures remain the same as when the UK was still a member of the EU.