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Crete – Brexit Breakthrough Swapping UK -for Greek Driving licenses

Home Living In Crete Keeping a Cool Head – Crete Bureaucracy and Paperwork Crete – Brexit Breakthrough Swapping UK -for Greek Driving licenses

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        • Practcally Cretan
        • ★★★★★★
        Member since: 1st January 2005

        The conflicting dates Issue Resolved

        As part of the Brexit transition period, if you have tried to convert your British driving licence to a Greek driver’s license, there has been yet another hiccup. This was if the British license was issued with a date that was after the date of issuing your temporary residence permit (Άδεια παραμονής ).

        Following recent lengthy discussions between the British Consulate in Heraklion, INCO the Foreign Residents Association in Lassithi and the Greek Transport Ministry, a break through has been found. Legal brains reviewed the Greek Law and it has been clarified.

        Put simply, if your UK licence is dated after your Greek residence permit there is no longer an impediment and an application can be processed.

        This is Greece, so there is always a ‘but’. This time it is this: a swap between the two licences is permitted as long as the beige residence permit is … more than 6 months old. The permanent residence permit – with the blue cover (Eγγραφο Πιστοποίησης Μόνιμης ) is good to go – no restrictions.

        Typical street scene with trafficIn the driving licence swapping process, important reminders

        1. The first is that K.E.P. (the local citizen’s advice bureau) that liaises between government and residents, is now handling all licence swaps – but only for British citizens to do so. The local Transport Department office in the Nomaxia which normally does the work is swamped with work. It is agreed for K.E.P. to handle applications instead. Any British resident can obtain help with government bureaucracy on issues originating out of Brexit. Ask any staff on duty to handle your application.
        2. Secondly, a reminder there is no need to translate a British Driving Licence into Greek. That saves a lot of time, and some translation expenses as well. Another plus is that the K.E.P. staff will provide the application form and assist with its completion in Greek.
        No KEP appointment is required. Their opening hours are:
        Monday to Friday – 08.00 to 19.45
        Saturday – 08.00 to 13.45.

        Appreciation goes out to the British Vice Consul in Crete, Ms Aristea Chourdaki, Ms C Kipriotaki at the Ministry office in the Nomaxia in Agios Nikolaos and the Vice President of INCO, Ms. Barbara Kalinowska.


        PS: If you are an octogenarian (80+) there are rather strict additional rules for swapping your UK driver’s licence for a Greek license. See here for details.

        Photo Credit: Typical street scene on #Crete Copyright: Gerald Brown, BritsinCrete



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            • Topics: 620
            • Replies: 759
            • Total: 1379
            • Practcally Cretan
            • ★★★★★★
            Member since: 1st January 2005

            Reminder: Act Now to Convert Your British License to a Greek One

            While it appears there have been technical issues with the driving licence conversion process in recent weeks at the Greek Ministry of Transport,  application backlogs should have been cleared and the procedures under way.

            They have cleared the backlog in Lassithi, according to the British Vice Consul in Heraklion.

            Full lockdown extended to January 7th across the whole of Greece!

            Allowing for the interruptions in staff working routines due to the lockdown now in place until January 7th, which is the day after the Epiphany public holiday on January 6th, 2021, the British Consulate in Heraklion urges those wishing to convert to a Greek license and have the requisite and correct documentation, to get your application in to your local K.E.P. office or Minstry of Transport licencing office in your prefecture’s Nomarxia. When you do, ensure you obtain the file number for your application (protocol number)! This is in case of further hiccups and processing does not happen until January for some reason or other. You will not then be affected by the Brexit final day and the UK is completely outside the Union.

            I have no need to remind everyone that the final time and date of the full #Brexit from the European Union is at 2300hrs UK Time, Midnight Central European Time on December 31, 2020 and at 0100hrs (Greek time) on January 1, 2021!

            Having written that fact, a cautionary note – and to to my understanding, an official announcement has yet to be made from the Police as to the status of a British driving licences by non-resident, visitors to Greece next year and beyond. Will an international driving licence be needed, or not? When we get clarification it will appear in the BritsinCrete Forum.

            In the meantime, good luck with all those applying for the conversion of licences due to Brexit. Please remember, during the period from Xmas 2020 until January 7th, traditionally normal activities slow down considerably across the Greek Government in the regions.



            • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by admin. Reason: Mark up error corrected
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                • BIC 2.0 Newbie
                Member since: 14th October 2020

                Sorry, couldn’t see how to add a new post.

                Husband (age 73) is in the middle of a long saga with DVLA about eye tests required for his C1 (driving 3.5-7 5 ton) which we can’t get done over here. Result is that he doesn’t have his license and I’m sole driver.

                So … thinking we might bite the bullet and he could take a Greek test. We are not far from Kalives.  Any recommendations for a driving school?

                Many thanks




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