Brexit – 31st October 2019

Get ready to leave the EU on the 31 October 2019.

To visit Europe after Brexit there are things you need to do before you travel

Check your Passport

When the UK leaves the European Union, there will be new rules for UK passport holders travelling to most European countries.

You’ll need to check whether your UK passport meets the new requirements. Most people will be unaffected, but if your passport is nearing the end of its validity you may need to renew it earlier than planned. You can check the validity of your passport and find out more by visiting: gov.uk/brexit-check-passport

Specifically, under these new rules, we advise:

  • You should have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
  • If you renewed your current UK passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months needed.

The easiest and cheapest way to renew your UK passport is online at gov.uk/apply-renew-passport

  • The affected countries are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands,Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.
  • Travel from the UK to Ireland for UK passport holders will continue as it is now.
  • If you hold a Crown Dependency (Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man) or Gibraltar issued British passport you’ll also need to comply with the new rules.

Check your Travel Insurance

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may not be valid after Brexit. You should make sure your travel insurance covers all your healthcare needs.

Whether there’s a deal or not, when taking out a travel insurance policy you should check:

  • you have the right policy for your needs, not just the cheapest
  • the level of healthcare cover it includes
  • the travel disruption cover it provides
  • the terms and conditions
  • if it covers all destinations and activities

There is further detailed information on choosing your travel insurance here: www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance.


Will you be driving in the EU?

You will need new documents to drive to or in Europe after the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019.

There would be no immediate changes to travel if the UK agrees a deal to leave the EU. The rules would be the same until at least 2020.

If there’s a deal, you can continue to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland in the same way as before. Bring your UK driving licence, and your V5C (log book) if you’re taking your vehicle from the UK.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you will need some extra documentation to drive a car in some EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland after Brexit.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you’ll need:

  • a ‘green card’ – allow one month to get this from your vehicle insurance company
  • a GB sticker
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP) for some countries

If you’re towing a trailer or a caravan, you will need an additional ‘green card’ for the towed vehicle.

If you’re hiring a vehicle abroad, you do not need a green card or GB sticker.

Check if you need an IDP on the Post Office website. You can get them over the counter in participating branches if you do. Each permit costs £5.50.

Check if you need to act now to make sure you can travel as planned by visiting gov.uk/brexit-driving.


Pet travel to the EU after Brexit

To make sure you can travel with your pet after Brexit, you should start to prepare at least four months before your travel date by visiting your vet for advice.

In a No Deal, current EU pet passports issued in the UK will not be valid for entry to the EU.

Pet owners need to complete the following steps before travel:

  • Get your pet microchipped
  • Ensure your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date
  • Allow at least 30 days after your pet’s last rabies vaccination before returning to a vet for a blood test to check it’s worked
  • Wait three calendar months after a successful blood test before travel
  • Return to a vet within ten days of travel for an animal health certificate

If your pet’s vaccinations are kept up to date you won’t need to repeat the blood test for each journey.

Stay informed – To prepare for changes visit gov.uk/brexit-pet-travel