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Frequently asked questions

The vehicle categories

  1. I already have a driving licence issued by a Member State and would like to obtain an additional category. How should I proceed?

    You should submit your request to the competent authority of the state where you have your normal residence. Your original licence will be exchanged at the time of obtaining the new category.

  2. By exchanging my old driving licence for a new one, will I be able to continue driving the same vehicles ?

    In case an old licence is exchanged for a new one or in the event of a duplicate being issued (in the event of loss or deterioration), the categories validated on the new model are identical with on the old ones. You are entitled to drive exactly the same categories of vehicles as before.

  3. I am driving a vehicle for which I hold a category B driving licence (< 3500 kg). What type of trailer may I attach to this vehicle without having to obtain a category B+E driving licence ?

    The category B driving licence is sufficient if the maximum authorized mass (MAM) of the combination does not exceed 3500 kg and if the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the tractor vehicle.

    A B+E driving licence is required if the combined MAM exceeds 3500 kg or if the MAM of the trailer exceeds the unladen mass of the tractor vehicle.

    The following table gives some examples of the kind of driving licence requested in different situations:

    Category B vehicle        
    Unladen mass MAM MAM of the trailer MAM of the combination Driving licence required Comments
    1025 kg 1450 kg 850 kg 2300 kg B Unladen mass of the towing vehicle > MAM trailer and MAM of combination < 3500 kg
    890 kg 1375 kg 925 kg 2300 kg B+E Unladen mass of the towing vehicle < MAM trailer; MAM trailer > 750 kg
    1875 kg 2955 kg 745 kg 3700 kg B MAM trailer < 750 kg
    1875 kg 2850 kg 850 kg 3700 kg B+E MAM trailer > 750 kg and MAM of combination > 3500 kg

  4. May Member States impose more restrictive criteria for the issue of certain categories ?

    For category A1, Directive 91/439/EEC stipulates that Member States can impose additional restrictive standards.

  5. Is it possible to drive a category B1 vehicle with a category A1 or A licence?

    Member States may grant this entitlement but it is valid on national territory only.

  6. Is it possible to drive a category A1 vehicle with a B licence?

    Directive 91/439/EEC establishes the possibility for the Member States to grant certain equivalences, such as, for example, the right to drive light motorcycles with a category B licence. However, if a state has granted such equivalences, its effects are limited to the national territory. They do not have to be recognised in other Member States.

  7. May I drive a heavy motorcycle without restrictions ?

    Normally, two years prior experience is required to drive a heavy motorcycle. However, this may not be required if the candidate is at least 21 years old, subject to the candidate's passing a specific test of skills and behaviour (Member States are free to decide whether they wish to grant this so-called "direct access").



last update: 03-02-2009