View Full Version : Moving abroad

19th Apr 2006, 13:40
When moving from the UK to abroad, and changing driving licence address, should one tell the DVLA a new address in the UK (friend who is letting me use their address) or the new address abroad.

I have the same question for bank accounts and credit cards. I want to keep my UK credit card, but don't want to tell provider I'm moving abroad if that will then be a problem for them. But if banks won't mind I'd prefer to have minimum amount of post going to friend's house unnecessarily.


Onan the Clumsy
19th Apr 2006, 13:55
Where you going?

My Barclaycard statements come to the US address, the address on my UK driving license is my parents' house.

I think my passport has my US address on it.

get ready for major feelings of guilt btw :ugh:

19th Apr 2006, 14:02
Not too far - only to France

19th Apr 2006, 14:03
AFAIK the DVLA will only recognise a UK address for your driving licence, but the banks generally don't have any problem with foreign addresses.


Curious Pax
19th Apr 2006, 14:27
Banks and credit cards are fine with a foreign address in my experience, although when phoning to advise them the operator always sounds stunned, almost as if you'd given them a new address on Mars! Not sure of the rules in France, but in The Netherlands you don't have to trade in your UK licence for a Dutch one for 10 years after moving. This is a change since the mid 90s when you had to do it within 6 months.

This time round I've kept my UK credit card on my UK address so as to keep it in line with my driving licence, which in turn keeps the discussion at the car hire desk simple.

Naturally if you are using a UK address where there aren't necessarily tame inmates to pass on your credit card bills make sure that your mail redirection is kept current!

19th Apr 2006, 14:53
Speaking from past experience - but not so long ago... In France, if you have the European model of driving license (so either the pink and green paper license or the two part current style), there is no need to change it provided that the address you have in the U.K. is "valid" - mine was registered at my parents' address and I never had any diffculties. Nor have I ever lost sleep over it. You can exchange it for a French one at the Prefecture of your department if you so desire but be prepared - they will ask you to go for a medical as in France, if you are qualified to drive a minibus (I think it's the minibus, it may be for trucks up to 7.5 tonnes), you have to have a medical certificate even though your U.K. license automatically qualifies you. As for credit cards, I had one registered to my parents address and one to my address in France when I was there. Purely for personal reasons and again, never had any trouble. All my banking was done on line anyway so I could always monitor what was going on.

19th Apr 2006, 16:10
In fact the address on a UK driving license must be the correct one and be in the UK of course, if it isn't then you are technically breaking the law. There are certain exceptions involving people working in the diplomatic communities. That said you really won't have a problem keeping a UK license unless you are stopped by the french police and prosecuted for a motoring offence, if you are and they discover you live in France (bit of a give away if you're driving a french registered car) they will force you to exchange for a French license so they can add the penalty points.

What is important to obtain is a "Titre de séjour" which may be suffixed by the word "Spécial" depending on your status. If you don't obtain one you will run into all sorts of problems with French "Administration"

There is a lot of form filling to be done when living in France (though not as much as there used to be) so over the next few months you're going to writing so much that at the end of it you'll think you're shakspeare !
Good luck

19th Apr 2006, 16:28
SXB, you're so behind the times...especially for someone in Strasbourg?! EU nationals (UK citizens anyway) are no longer issued with "Titre de séjour"s in France... :rolleyes:

Nor is there any requirement to exchange your valid UK driver's licence for a French one...unless as someone else pointed out, it's an older one and you've been silly (or negligent) enough to warrant points to be deducted... :ok:

By the way, when I was inconvenienced a few years ago in Monaco for having left the car for all of 3 minutes somewhat incorrectly parked in order to rapidly depose a carton on one of the superyachts in port, the (very polite) police officer uttered what can only be assumed as a complement to all Brits: "Monsieur, I note from your licence that you're British. Usually, you're all so diligent in respecting the regulations?! Ahhhh, you've been resident in France for a number of years (which would explain it the problem)...?!

19th Apr 2006, 18:39
Well, I have one and this one was issued in the middle of last year and I'm a UK national. Mine is a Titre de Séjour Spécial issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I get asked for it a couple of times a year. Maybe something has changed, I'll check at work tomorrow as we have a whole department that deals with French red tape.

You're wrong about the driving license, UK licenses are issued to people resident in the UK, if you're living in a different country then that means the address on your license is wrong and that is an offence in the UK. I've had this conversation with DVLA so I'm right on this, French law is irrelevant (unless you get done for speeding or something) as a UK license is issued in a accordance with UK law and it's an offence to have an incorrect address. Of course I still have a UK license and have for the 10 years I've been here...

Onan the Clumsy
19th Apr 2006, 18:42
You are stupid and quite obviously not a Captain on a 747-400


19th Apr 2006, 19:45
You are stupid and quite obviously not a Captain on a 747-400
Onan, I was going to call you a moron but realised that would be an insult to all other morons, you would have to study for a considerable length of time to reach such heights.

Now get lost before the moderator catches you and gives you a spanking.

20th Apr 2006, 06:42
I know of one problem with having a foreign billing address on a UK credit card.

You can't get a PayPal account.

20th Apr 2006, 06:47
I was abroad for nearly 10 years.

I just never told anyone.

20th Apr 2006, 06:57
Its a good idea to let the taxman know you're no longer resident... :hmm:

20th Apr 2006, 07:14
Careful. The rules for banks and foreign addresses seem to be different, maybe for people outside the EU. I was with Barclays for over 30 years but a couple of years after we moved abroad they insisted we have some sort of special account which, wouldn't you know it? attacted monstrous management fees. Then they started demanding all sorts of personal details (and not even by internet!). It did not take long for the charges to eat what remained in the account so we just let it die.

20th Apr 2006, 09:41
Blacksheep - I lied in my post. I did tell the taxman!

On a more serious note, I just couldn't be arsed telling DVLA. I had weekend use of a motor in Hong Kong and bought a car in Singapore. I never had to produce my licence because I never got stopped by any coppers.

In Singapore, late at night they have roadblocks to catch drunk drivers, I was always waved through, I'm sure because I was an ang mo.

My wife got nicked for driving while using her mobile and not only had to wear the fine. She had to apply for a Singapore licence and take a written test before she could drive again (not that that stopped her though).

So in answer to flyingbee's questions

1) Don't bother with the DVLA, even though you may be technically breaking the law.

2) Definitely bother with your bank. I maintained my account with the NatWest while I was abroad and never had a problem apart from dimwit clerks initially sending my statements UK second class meaning I had to pay excess postage on them. As soon as I refused a few and the bank had to cough up when they were returned they got it right.

3) Ditto on the credit cards, although I gave them up after a while and got local versions.

Best of luck.

20th Apr 2006, 10:58
Don't tell anyone. Just disappear. Go on, you know you want to. :E

20th Apr 2006, 14:05
SXB, I did say "valid UK driver's licence...", so pray, tell me, where am I wrong?! As far as I'm aware, a UK driver's licence must carry a UK address. I wouldn't know whether it's an offence to carry a licence with an incorrect address, but that would apply equally to someone who just drives in the UK. Anyway, 99.99% of British expats here must have valid UK addresses - how else could they get their BSB/Sky subscriptions...?!

By the way, in the UK, drivers are issued with licences! Never mind, we can excuse your oversight by way of having spent so much time away from home. Well, poetic license anyway...?! ;)

PS. Concerning your Titre de Séjour Spécial... Does that also come with a licence to kill? Only, there's lots of 'em 'ere on JB who've got a grind with thems in Strasbourg... :D

20th Apr 2006, 16:12
99.99% of British expats here must have valid UK addresses - how else could they get their BSB/Sky subscriptions...?!

The address I'll use for my driving licence (spelling :mad: license??) will also be the Sky tv one!

Thanks for all the advice, it's very much appreciated.


20th Apr 2006, 22:50
Sorry but I've lived here so long that my English has gone right to hell, I forget how to spell correctly and my spoken English is even worse. My wife is French and we speak some 'bastardised' version of French and English which our kids, fortunately, do not understand. Profuse apologies:{

For the Titre de Séjour Spécial you wrote
Does that also come with a licence to kill? Only, there's lots of 'em 'ere on JB who've got a grind with thems in Strasbourg... :D
Actually it does come with a licence to kill, there are a few different types of this type of card but mine is issued to confirm my diplomatic status and immunity from French law plus a few other things like not having to pay income tax, TVA on cars, tax d'hab, TV licence etc and to confirm my right to drive a vehicle with diplomatic plates. I consider these perks to be a fair exchange for having to live in France:ok:

In actual fact I think you're assuming that I work for the Commission (EC or EU) which I don't, I work for the European Court of Human Rights

20th Apr 2006, 23:03
Bloomin 'eck! I want one of those special titre de séjours too! Can you fix it for me please Jim? If not, do you reckon there's a chance your court might hear a case for basic human rights to include not paying VAT and income taxes etc. in excess of say 15% in total, from 2007 onwards, and back-dated to oh, 1979? :8

21st Apr 2006, 07:39
Will see what I can do :ok:

22nd Apr 2006, 12:53
As people have said already, the advice depends on where you're moving to.

I do what Onan does, and keep the same UK licence with my old's address on it.

But wherever your new home will be, here's some advice you must read...

If you ever have the need to replace your UK licence, you may encounter some difficulties.

Mine happens to be the old UK paper licence which has been through the wash a few times :} and is in individual pieces - albeit taped back together - so a while back I put a call in to DVLA about getting it replaced.

They told me I should post my licence back to the UK for it to be replaced with a new photocard licence (& the ridiculous extra piece of paper-WTF?). No problems there. But I was also informed that I must post my PASSPORT back with it (certified copies are not accepted) as this is the only satisfactory method of proving my identity.

Screw that, I wouldn't even send my passport FedEx or registered mail. If I don't go, my passport doesn't go. So for that reason, I've never bothered replacing my old, tattered UK licence. (No worries, I don't plan on returning to Blighty anyway)!

Before obtaining an Aussie licence, it was bloody embarrassing handing over my sad, sorry UK licence when hiring cars. I was given more than my fair share of funny looks... but hey, they still rented them to me anyway.

BTW, if your new home is Australia, obviously they recognise your UK driving licence when applying for an Aussie version. This means they simply give you an Aussie licence without having to surrender your UK version, and you don't have to take a test of any kind. Better still, a standard UK driving licence affords you a Heavy Vehicle Licence (Light Rigid Class) here in WA, allowing you to drive cars or trucks up to 8 tonnes!!! :eek:

22nd Apr 2006, 14:02
I suppose there's less to hit in Oz . . .

Loose rivets
22nd Apr 2006, 15:40
It used to be that I could afford to keep my Essex home going while spending a lot of time here. All the kids had left, and it stood cold and forlorn for months on end. Inflation took care of the financial logic, but eventually the maintenance became tedious and when it reached a tempting value, I let it go. It was unplanned and generally unwise in the extreme.

Really, all we wanted to do was spend a lot of time with the kids and grand kids. "It's a short period, and I don't want to miss it." Mrs R said. We took the money and ran.

It was the plastic bags and boxes that spelled out our new status. They were in people's garages and in one case, in their front room. We had some good friends. (Note the past tense.)

The problems had just begun. Buying a cheap home in the Europe was a vague plan, but there was no real reason to be anywhere but Texas or Essex. Suddenly we realised the our drivers licences, for the first time in 33 years, would have to be amended. But to where? Large cardboard box on the corner of ?.........No probably wouldn't work. And this was just the start.

The single most bewildering thing was the sudden loss of rights to medicine. If I had my time over again, I just would not have told anyone.....ANYTHING! A nice man phoned me here from Suffolk, and told me just why I did not qualify for cataract surgery. "But I've been paying in for 45 years!!!!!!" Tough luck, he told me nicely. "Some of these rules have been in place since 1948...." He was right, I just hadn't planned carefully enough. But then neither had thousands of Brits that are under the impression that they can go home for medicine.

I was looking at an amazing new telly in Sears, and the folk next to me were making comments about how it looked more real than the real scene. Er,? Oh well, the point is that there were obviously Brits. We got talking and somehow the subject got round to doctors. When I told them of the 90 day rule, they were quite simply, stunned.

I have spent my whole live lurching from one scheme to another, so hopefully it will have given me a certain knack for getting over b.s., but the way things are going, I fear the ‘one' might have to be off to Venezuela, where, according to Jay Lenno, fuel is 12c per gallon.