I have recently made a huge mistake and drove my car in the Netherlands while I was over the legal drinking limit. They took my license from me but I need to drive home, will I be able to get onto the ferry in my car if I drive and if so will I be able to drive in the UK if I am banned in the Netherlands?

I do have a spare copy of my licence is this allowed to be used?

Edit: My licence is a UK license and the vehicle is registered in the UK so nothing is registered in the Netherlands.

  • 5
    If they took your driving license you are not allowed to drive. Having a spare copy does not change that. You will have to ask the police or the judge for your license back. If you are stopped and caught driving before you have been handed back your license you are in a lot of problems.
    – Willeke
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 16:14
  • How do you propose to drive your car to the ferry if you are banned? Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 16:14
  • i was hoping to have someone else drive me and my car to the ferry which i know i can do but if they know that i will be the one driving off the ferry will they not let me on board
    – josh
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 16:20
  • also when i do get my license back will the driving ban in the Netherlands also apply in the UK?
    – josh
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 16:31
  • I'm not sure if it matters, but is (or was?) your driving licence a EU or a national licence? Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


Under Dutch law, your license was taken as part of a driving ban. This ban starts immediately, which means that there's no judicial decision taken yet.

The UK recognizes Irish driving bans, specifically. Dutch driving bans do not apply. You can therefore request your license back from the Dutch "Openbaar Ministerie", as you need your license to legally drive in the UK.

As you figured out in the comments, chances are pretty high that you will need a driver to put your car on the ferry.

In the mean time, the legal process will continue. The Dutch courts will almost certainly not convict you before Brexit, so it's a guess whether that information will be shared with the UK.

  • Probably easier to just apply for a new one because you "lost" your licence when you come back to the UK.
    – BritishSam
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 10:55
  • 2
    @BritishSam: While the UK does not recognize Dutch bans, the information is shared across EU members. And as the offense predates Brexit, chances are that that the UK gov will learn about it. I.e. the fraud you're proposing has a high chance of being discovered.
    – MSalters
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 11:21
  • 1
    But if OP will never be banned in the UK for this offence, OP has lost their licence, getting a new one will be much easier wont it? What if the Dutch authorities refuse to return it?
    – BritishSam
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 11:34
  • 1
    @BritishSam: Do you mean "lost" as in "misplaced" or "lost" as in "surrendered"? Because the UK will ask what happened to your old one. And you must answer that question truthfully. Also Dutch authorities are not randomly going to refuse returning a foreign license. Most are returned within 10 days.
    – MSalters
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 11:44
  • 2
    They don't ask why you need a new licence in the UK, it just costs £20, so why it was lost is irrelevant, could be lost or damaged, I've lost mine a couple of times. If it's easy and free to get it back from the Netherlands then probs best to do that.
    – BritishSam
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 11:49

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