UK Rejects Zimbabwean Metal Driver’s Licences
The United Kingdom (UK) is refusing to recognise metal driver’s licences for Zimbabweans living in that country.
This comes after the Zimbabwean Government recently launched plastic driver’s licences to replace metal discs.
The new licence has 13 categories which conform to the requirement of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic International Organisation for Standardisation and International Electro-Technical Commission.
NewsDay has established that Zimbabweans living in the UK are failing to get their metal licences converted for use in that country.
The UK’s Driver’s Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is refusing to convert the licences saying the old metal licences no longer meet the criteria set by the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) in Zimbabwe.
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Zimbabweans are now required to obtain an original “Certificate of Competency” to have their licences converted for use in the UK.
A certificate of competency is a temporary licence valid for 30 days which is issued to drivers who have passed the practical test at the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID).
A Zimbabwean living in the UK told NewsDay that the development has affected a lot of care workers. Said the Zimbabwean national:
Affected are a lot of care workers who have to drive from client to client to provide their services.
Also affected are Zimbabwean drivers in the UK who had been using their licences temporarily before converting.
Responding in an email to Zimbabweans who had sought the embassy’s assistance, the consular officer for Ambassador Tendai Chimbandi said:
The embassy has been consulting with DVLA and they have specified that for purposes of converting a licence they will only accept the Certificate of Competency (Blue paper issued by CVR to a person who has completed their driving test in Zimbabwe) and without it, they are not prepared to convert.
Regrettably, most people discard this document upon issuance of the metal disc.
Without the Certificate of Competency, UK DVLA has insisted that to drive in the UK, an applicant will have to complete the practical and theory tests.
The Government says the plastic licence enables Zimbabweans to drive in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia, without conversion.
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