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Mutual recognition

  1. I already have a driving licence issued by a Member State and I am taking up residence in another Member State. Will my licence be recognised ?

    According to Article 1(2) of Directive 91/439/EEC, the licence must be recognised in the host Member State. Therefore, you are no longer obliged to exchange it if your normal residence is henceforth in a Member State other than that which issued your driving licence.

    However you have to be aware that, if your licence has been issued in exchange of a driving licence of a third country, Member States are not obliged to recognise such a licence. It is necessary to contact the competent national authority in order to determine whether the licence is recognized.

  2. Will old driving licence models still be recognised ?

    Yes, the old driving licence models have to be mutually recognised by the Member States.
    Despite Directive 91/439/EEC having established a principle of mutual recognition of licences, the periods of validity of driving licences are not harmonised by Community legislation. This means that a very large number of different driving licences (more than 80 models) are still valid and circulating in the countries of the Union and of the European Economic Area. The majority do not ressemble the Community model.

  3. I have changed my normal residence. Does the Member State have the right to apply more restrictive validity rules or medical examinations ?

    Article 1.3 of Directive 91/439/EEC enables Member States to apply the same periods of validity and the same frequency of medical examinations for holders of driving licences issued by another Member State and having taken up normal residence in their territory as are applied to holders of national licences. The new period of validity is to be applied with effect from taking up residence. For determining the applicable validity period you are adviced to consult the comparative view of validity periods in part I, section B.1. of the Commission Interpretative Communication on Community driver licensing, (which has been published on 28 March 2002) and the local issuing authorities in your country of residence.


last update: 03-02-2009