I just read in the Guardian that GB stickers should be visible on cars when visiting the EU.

Renew your passport earlier than planned, buy a GB sticker for your car, and prepare to wait four months before you can take your ferret on holiday: these are all among the snippets of advice offered by the government’s new Brexit website for British citizens planning to travel to the EU after 31 October.

I am wondering if I therefore need to apply a 'D' sticker when I visit the United Kingdom?

I assume that there will a grace period but couldn't find any comment on this when doing a quick Google...

  • 1
    @Uciebila just a matter of time ;-)
    – paul
    Sep 2, 2019 at 10:52
  • When visiting UK when? UK is still in the EU and all EU regulations are in effect.
    – Neusser
    Sep 2, 2019 at 11:29
  • 1
    It is difficult to predict the future, but it should not be necessary, but with very old plates. The EU plates had the country code, and they were (later) standardized and recognized by the same international traety which defined the country stickers. Somebody should check, find references and fill the answer. Sep 2, 2019 at 12:04
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi I'm fairly sure (but not absolutely certain) that the relevant standardisation is a bit of EU law, namely this one eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/… while that should automatically become UK law when/if the UK leaves, it's also the type of thing a UK government minister will then be able to change.
    – origimbo
    Sep 2, 2019 at 12:53
  • 1
    The official symbol for UK cars is no longer 'GB', the government changed the rules on 28th September 2021, it is now 'UK'. “Changing the national identifier from GB to the UK symbolises our unity as a nation and is part of a wider move towards using the UK signifier across government. We notified the UN of our intention to make these changes in July and have been working with the sector to implement the change,” a spokesman for the Department of Transport said. I'm still trying to find the current legislation concerning foreign cars in UK. Of course things may change again once NI and Scotlan
    – Chris
    Sep 25, 2022 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


Probably you do not need a sticker. UK is a signatory of Vienna convention on Road traffic (list of signatory). The last annotation from UK were done this year (2019, mostly about status in Gibraltar, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey), so it seems that UK accept it.

The annex 3 defines the country identification, either with the sticker (article 2) or incorporated in the plate (article 3). So there should be no problems, if you car has a modern EU plate (which is compatible with above rules).

The contrary is more tricky (GB cars in EU): there are various types of plates. If the plate includes the GB the plates are OK [Note: GB and not UK is the official identifier for cars]. Without the letter GB (e.g. "Great Britain", "UK", "CYR", etc., or nothing), the plates are not valid without country stickers in EU. [See allowed design within UK for many variations, most are invalid outside UK: Wikipedia: Examples of British registration plates with national emblems

  • The contrary is indeed more tricky, but how does it change after Brexit? The existing situation is that unless you have the EU plate, you need a sticker, so how does this change after Brexit? Does this mean British cars even with an EU plate will need a sticker to drive in the EU?
    – MJeffryes
    Sep 2, 2019 at 13:59
  • @MJeffryes: There are already some registration plates without EU symbols, instead they have a Union Jack. I doubt that existing (EU) registration plates will become illegal. I just expect that no more plates with EU stars will be made, so with a long fade out. The convention, signed by all (?) European countries allows plates with country identification. The flag above the identification is insignificant for the treaty. So current registration plates with EU symbols will be valid. Note: the international car insurance (and Vehicle registration certificate) are IMO more problematic. Sep 2, 2019 at 14:24
  • @MJeffryes I think that’s the least of our brexit worries tbh
    – Notts90
    Sep 2, 2019 at 14:24
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi Yes I understand this, but what I'm saying is that the government has said, on the Brexit advice website, that after Brexit, you will need a sticker on your car regardless of its number plate. Which your answer contradicts. Indeed, I don't think that the UK will enforce any regulation against EU cars with country identifying plates, but the situation is pretty confusing.
    – MJeffryes
    Sep 2, 2019 at 14:32
  • @MJeffryes, right, gov.uk/displaying-number-plates/flags-symbols-and-identifiers says that one doesn't need GB sticker if it has the EU flag, which contradict you link (and my link is directly linked with yours). So "it is confusing" Sep 2, 2019 at 14:37

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