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International road haulage: HGV driver documents
Check which documents you need to carry if you're the driver or a passenger in a lorry or other heavy goods vehicle (HGV) that crosses international borders.

Contents

 

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) test requirements for some journeys
  • Driving licences and international driving permits
  • Driver CPC for lorry drivers
  • Drivers’ hours documents and tachographs
  • Vehicle and trailer insurance (green cards)
  • Passport
  • Visas
  • Healthcare
  • Check your HGV is ready to cross the border (Kent Access Permit)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) test requirements for some journeys

Several countries have introduced COVID-19 testing requirements for hauliers. The rules are different in each country.

Check the COVID-19 testing rules before you travel and take the necessary action.

 

You must carry certain documents with you if you drive or travel as a passenger in a commercial vehicle carrying goods between countries. These include:

  • a valid UK driving licence
  • an international driving permit (IDP) if you need one for the countries you’re travelling in
  • a valid Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card
  • a valid passport
  • healthcare documents

 

There’s separate guidance about the HGV and trailer documents you need, and the rules about taking food and drink into EU countries for your own use.

Driving licences and international driving permits

 

You will need to carry your UK driving licence with you. You must have the right category of licence for the vehicle you’re driving.

You do not need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

 

You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

 

Check with the embassy of the country you will be driving in.

 

You will not need an IDP to drive in Ireland if you have a UK driving licence.

Driver CPC for lorry drivers

 

You need a Driver CPC qualification to drive a lorry professionally in the UK, the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You must carry your Driver CPC card (sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’) with you.

 

If you work for a UK company and have a UK Driver CPC card

 

You can still use your UK Driver CPC card to drive to or through EU countries for all international journeys that UK companies are allowed to make.

 

If you work for an EU company and have a UK Driver CPC card

 

Your UK Driver CPC card may no longer be recognised in EU countries.

Check with the relevant organisation in the country where you live and work to find out what you need to do.


Drivers’ hours documents and tachographs

 

If you drive a goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes on international journeys you must follow the rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph use.

 

You must have:

  • tachograph charts and any legally required manual records for the current day and the previous 28 calendar days
  • the driver’s digital smart card, if you have one

 

If you’ve been sick or taken other time off in the 28 days before your journey carry a form (called an ‘attestation form’) from your employer.


Vehicle and trailer insurance (green cards)

 

A ‘green card’ is proof of motor insurance cover when driving abroad.

You should carry one for the vehicle you’re driving in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.

 

You will need to carry more than one green card if:

  • you have fleet or multi-car insurance - you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
  • your vehicle is towing a trailer - you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer or caravan (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)
  • you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey

 

You must carry a physical copy of your green card when driving abroad. Electronic versions of green cards are not acceptable.

 

Make sure your employer has got green cards

 

Make sure your employer either:

  • contacts their vehicle insurance provider at least 6 weeks before you travel to get a copy
  • prints green cards their insurance providers electronically send to them (this does not need to be printed on green paper)

 

When you will have to show your green cards

 

You will need to show green cards if you’re involved in an accident.

 

You may need to show green cards at police checks and at the border when:

  • you enter the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
  • move between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

 

This will depend on the border authorities of each country.

Find out more about vehicle insurance.

 

If you’re involved in a road accident

 

Contact your insurance provider if you’re involved in a road accident in the EU.

Any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurance provider of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway where the accident happened. You might have to make your claim in the local language.

You will not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.

Get legal advice if you need more information about this.

 

Passport

 

You must have a valid passport - even if you’re a passenger or crew member.

Check the expiry date and the entry rules of the countries on your route.

 

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

 

If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.

These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

 

Visas

 

You can work in the EU without a visa if do not spend more than 90 days in the EU within any 180-day period.

Check the ‘entry requirements’ section for the countries you’re planning to visit.

 

Healthcare

 

You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.

A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the EU country.

You can continue to use an EHIC. If you apply for a card now, you’ll get a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of an EHIC.

GHICs and most UK EHICs will not cover you in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. If you’re visiting those countries, make sure you have travel insurance with health cover.

Leave photocopies of all medical, insurance and legal documents as back-up with family or friends in case you need copies outside of your company’s normal business hours.

Find out about buying travel insurance with the right cover.


Check your HGV is ready to cross the border (Kent Access Permit)

Use the service to check your HGV is ready to cross the border to make sure you have the right paperwork to cross the Great Britain-EU border. You can do this for all ports in Great Britain.

 

You must use the service for HGVs travelling via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel to get a ‘Kent Access Permit’ before you enter Kent.

 

As the driver, you’re responsible for doing the check, but it can be done on your behalf by your manager.

 

You can be fined £300 if you do not use the service to check an HGV is ready to cross the border when you travel via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, or if you provide a fraudulent declaration.


From: Department for TransportDriver and Vehicle Standards Agency, and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency


Published 3 September 2012

Last updated 18 January 2021

 

Updated the section on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to link through to a list of countries which require negative test results before you enter them.

 

Updated the section on international driving permits (IDPs) to confirm that you will usually not need one to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzlerland. Updated the Driver CPC section to make it clear you can still use your UK Driver CPC card in the EU if you're employed by a UK company. Updated the healthcare section to confirm that UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still accepted in EU countries, and there will be different rules for people travelling to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Added a section on carrying green cards to prove you have vehicle and trailer insurance. Added a section on coronavirus (COVID-19) test results for journeys from England to France. Added a section on checking your HGV is ready to cross the border and getting a Kent Access Permit.

 

First published.

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