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Frequently asked questions

Renewal of driving licences

  1. My licence is about to expire; where do I have to apply for renewal ?

    You have to renew it before expiry by applying to the competent authorities of the state in which you have your normal residence.

  2. I am from the Netherlands and have a limited-duration licence of category B. I am moving to France where such driving licences are issued for an unlimited period. My Dutch licence is about to expire. What will be the period of validity of my new driving licence ?

    In order to renew your driving licence, you have to apply to the authorities of the state where you have your normal residence. These will then issue you with a national driving licence with all its specific features.
    In this example, when his licence expires, the Dutch citizen will have to apply to the French authorities. He will consequently obtain a French licence with an  unlimited validity.

  3. I am Belgian holding a licence with an unlimited validity. I am establishing my normal residence in the Netherlands. Will the validity of my driving licence become limited ?

    Directive 91/439/EEC provides for the application of the relevant national provisions. In the Netherlands the period of validity of driving licences is 10 years. The change of normal residence will therefore have effect on the period of validity of the Belgian licence. The validity will henceforth be 10 years as from the day of taking up residence in The Netherlands. After this period of ten years, the Belgian licence will have to be exchanged for a Netherlands licence with the same period of validity applicable to all citizens having their normal residence in the Netherlands.

  4. Having established my normal residence in another Member State, can I renew the driving licence in my country of origin?

    No, in such case it is no longer possible to apply to the country of origin for the renewal of a driving licence. You must address the authorities of the country of  normal residence. It is not possible to choose between the two states for the renewal of the licence.

  5. Do I have to undergo a medical examination to renew my licence when it expires?

    When the driving licence expires and has to be exchanged a medical certificate may be required. This requirement differs according to the Member State. You are therefore advised to contact national authorities of the country of residence.

  6. When renewing in another Member State, do I have to produce a translation of my driving licence?

    No, it is not necessary to provide a translation of your driving licence in the event of renewal in another Member State. Directive 91/439/EEC stipulates that the Member State effecting the exchange has to examine whether the licence submitted is still valid. It is, therefore, the host Member State's responsibility. However, Member States are bound to provide mutual assistance in the application of the directive and, where necessary, exchange information.

  7. When renewing, do I retain my acquired rights?

    As a principle, acquired rights are retained when a licence is renewed. Commission Decision 2000/275/CE of 21 March 2000 (as rectified by Commission Decision 2002/256/CE) on equivalences between the various categories of driving licence confirms this principle.
    However, national provisions do continue to apply in certain fields, such as medical examinations. You are advised to consultthe  national authorities.


last update: 03-02-2009