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RESPER: Réseau permis de conduire

    Around 250 million EU citizens hold a valid driving licence. All of these driving licences have to be recognized throughout the EU without any formality and are thus an essential tool for facilitating the free movement of such a large number of citizens. Although driving licences have to be mutually recognized, the continued existence of more than 100 different models, differing in inherent rights, validity periods, language and layout renders such recognition difficult. The lack of communication between issuing authorities adds to this difficulty. RESPER aims both at facilitating free movement of citizens by ensuring the proper recognition of their acquired rights and at enhancing administrative efficiency by sharing information on driving licences between Member States.

What is RESPER?
How does it work?
Who benefits?
The role of IDA
Technical information

What is RESPER?

RESPER is a telematic network to be established across the EU. It shall act as a hub for the exchange of information between national authorities responsible for issuing driving licences, in particular to guarantee recognition of documents and acquired rights originating in other Member States, combat document fraud and avoid the issuance of multiple licences. Moreover, the European Court of Justice has recently identified an obligation for Member States to exchange information on driving licences under certain circumstances.

In view of the very large number of documents in circulation and licence holders changing normal residence between Member States each year, only a telematic network such as RESPER will be able to carry out the above tasks systematically and efficiently.

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RESPER is being created with the following objectives:

  • to increase document security by effectively verifying the validity of licences issued by other Member States and thus combating document fraud;
  • to facilitate free movement of licence holders by recognizing their acquired rights in other Member States;
  • to enhance road safety by facilitating voluntary cross-border enforcement of sanctions for traffic violations.

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    How does it work?

     RESPER will be based on a system of message-exchanges between the EU Member States. A feasibility study will determine the system architecture in detail.

    Member States are responsible for storing data on the driving licences they issue in the national register; in case the licence holder changes residence, such a move per se will not trigger licence-related network activities, unless a document has to be issued in the new Member State of residence (be it an expired, stolen or lost licence).

    • RESPER will facilitate exchange of information and/or store keyed information on licence holder data after s/he is first issued with a licence; such information will thus become available to all Member States.
    • RESPER will enable the transmission of information on driving licence status modification, even if such modification is carried out in another Member State.
    • RESPER will inform that a driving licence has been subsequently exchanged or renewed in another Member State.
    • RESPER will be capable of broadcasting status check requests to all Member States, in particular where an issuing authority has to verify, before a driving licence is first issued, whether the holder has or not already obtained a licence elsewhere.
    • RESPER may also facilitate the verification of whether a driver was subject to any restrictive measures (such as driving bans), to allow the Member State of residence to draw the relevant conclusions (such as the refusal to issue a driving licence outside the State of the offence for the duration of a driving ban).

    A practical example illustrates the intended system functionalities:

    A German driving licence holder establishes his normal residence in Spain. He has a car licence (category B) valid for life and a truck licence (category C) valid for 5 years. His licence is stolen one year after he established his residence in Spain. Spanish issuing authorities are the only ones competent for issuing driving licences to their residents, including holders of foreign EU licences. RESPER shall facilitate the verification, in all other Member States, if the applicant already held a licence in another Member State and, in the affirmative, to verify which categories have been issued to this person to guarantee that he is again issued the equivalent entitlements. In the example, the results will be “found” (from Germany), “category B” and “category C”, with further indications relating to the remaining validity of these licences and eventual driving restrictions.

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    The feasibility study will be finalized in the spring of 2005, identifying the functional and non-functional requirements.

    A development and implementation phase will follow the feasibility study in 2005.

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    Who benefits?

    Citizens: the full recognition of their acquired rights will be enhanced. In view of the importance of individual means of transport, free movement will thus be facilitated.

    Public Administrations: all national, regional and local driving licence issuing authorities will profit from more efficient and complete information on licences issued by other Member States. In this way, document security can be enhanced, fraudulent activities can be combated and the acquis can be properly implemented.

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    The role of IDA

    IDA finances the development of RESPER, which will make use of the TESTA network.

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    Technical information
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    Project start date


    Project completion date

    to be determined

    Project status


    IDA budget

    2004 € 97,000

    Responsible service

    DG Transport and Energy

    Project coordinator

    René PLANK


    Countries involved

    EU Member states

    Background documents

    Directive 91/439/EEC
    ECJ case C-476/01 (point 48)



    Document created: 03/2005


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