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The issue and renewal of licences

1. Requirements for the issue of a licence

Driving licences are issued by the Member States according to their national regulations. However, these must respect the minimum requirements laid down by Directive 91/439/EEC.

With regard to the issue of a driving licence, the "normal residence" must be in the Member State where the application is made. It is necessary to pass a practical and theory examination. Annex II of Directive 91/439/EEC sets minimum requirements such as the duration of the examination, the theoretical knowledge required and the manoeuvres to be carried out by the candidate (this Annex has been adapted to technical progress by Commission Directive 2000/56/CE, which will enter into force on 30 September 2003).

Minimum standards of physical and mental fitness must also be met as defined in Annex III of Directive 91/439/EEC.

For every vehicle category minimum age conditions must be met.

There is a formal ban on holding more than one licence, even if it is temporarily suspended or withdrawn.

2. Definition of "normal residence"

Article 9 of Directive 91/439/EEC defines "normal residence".

It is laid down that "normal residence" means the place where a person usually lives, that is for at least 185 days in each calendar year, because of personal and occupational ties, or, in the case of a person with no occupational ties, because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he is living.

However, the normal residence of a person whose occupational ties are in a different place from his personal ties and who consequently lives in turn in different places situated in two or more Member States shall be regarded as being the place of his personal ties, provided that such person returns there regularly. This last condition need not be met where the person is living in a Member State in order to carry out a task of a definite duration. Attendance at a university or school shall not imply transfer of normal residence.

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last update: 03-02-2009