Prerogatives of the Member State of
As driver licensing matters have
not been the subject of exhaustive harmonisation, Member States have
residual competence on various points.
Therefore, when the holder of a driving licence resides in the
territory of a Member State which is not the state that issued the
licence, that host country can require his compliance with certain
rules, for example:
- National provisions on the period of validity of driving
- The frequency of medical examinations: Annex III of Directive
91/439/EEC places drivers into two groups. With
regard to medical examinations, different arrangements apply to
each of them.
Group 1 includes the drivers of vehicles in
categories A, B and B+E and in sub-categories A 1 and B 1.
Candidates have to undergo a medical examination if it appears,
at the time of completion of the necessary formalities or during
the tests that they are required to undergo before obtaining a
licence, that they are suffering from one or more of the
incapacities mentioned in the annex.
Group 2 includes the drivers of vehicles in
categories C, C+E, D, D+E and in sub-categories C 1, C 1+E, D 1
and D 1+E.
Candidates have to undergo a medical examination before the
first issue of a licence and, thereafter, drivers have to
undergo the periodic examinations which will be prescribed by
At the time of issue or at the time of any subsequent renewal of
a driving licence, Member States will be able to require
stricter standards than those mentioned in the annex.
Moreover, national legislation may provide for the provisions
for Group 2 to apply to drivers of Category B vehicles using
their driving licence for professional purposes (taxis,
Moreover, other fields are not harmonised by the Community
legislation and fall within the residual competence of the
- States can take measures on taxation (connected with holding a
- They can impose sanctions (e.g. penalty points).
- Member States can, for reasons of safety and of road traffic,
apply their national provisions on withdrawal, suspension and
cancellation of the licence, to any licence holder having taken
up his normal residence on their territory. The host country
can, in certain cases, call for exchange of the licence.
- With regard to the provisions on the minimum age, Directive
91/439/EEC stipulates that Member States may derogate from the
conditions laid down for categories A, B and B+E and issue these
categories from the age of 17.
- Sub-categories are optional. The decision whether or not to
establish them is the prerogative of the Member State.
- Member States may grant certain equivalences for driving in
their territory, such as motor-powered tricycles and
quadricycles under a category A or A1 licence and light
motorcycles under a category B licence
- The choice of a "plastic" or "paper"
driving licence model is the prerogative of the Member State.
- National vehicle categories still exist. This is the case, for
example for agricultural tractors or mopeds. A moped licence,
issued by one Member State is not automatically valid on the
territory of another Member State.
For more information, see: