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.
In 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