This email alert just came in. From 11 January 2013 (four days ago), the law has changed such that foreign drivers wishing to exchange their overseas licence for a UK one will have to prove that they have passed a test of comparable standard to the UK one.
This is a DVLA issue and nothing to do with the DSA.
Anyone from any EU member state can drive here and exchange their licence without having to take a test. There are also a number of ‘designated’ countries outside the EU which the UK has an arrangement with (typically, Commonwealth or former-Commonwealth countries, but not exclusively so – Korea is in there, and Switzerland).
But it seems that some of those countries allow foreign nationals from places where driving standards are poor to exchange their licences, and those people then have a shiny licence from a designated country to exchange over here. That’s the loophole that has been stopped by having to provide proof of having completed a test.
The only thing that’s niggling me is how they are going to police and enforce this.
Lying and fraud is second nature to some people and I don’t doubt for a moment that they will use such tactics to get the necessary “proof”. And how will the DVLA check?
Your guess is as good as mine.