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Minimum ages

Article 6 of Directive 91/439/EEC lays down minimum age conditions for obtaining a driving licence.

  • 16 years:
    • for sub-category A1
    • for sub-category B1
  • 18 years:
    • for category A; however, access to the driving of motorcycles with a power exceeding 25 kW or a power/weight ratio exceeding 0,16 kW/kg (or motorcycles with sidecars with a power/weight ratio exceeding 0,16 kW/kg) shall be subject to a minimum of two years' experience on motorcycles with lower specifications under an A licence; this requirement as to previous experience may be waived if the candidate is at least 21 years old, subject to the candidate's passing a specific test of skills and behaviour;
    • for categories B, B+E
    • for categories C, C+E and subcategories C1, C1+E, without prejudice to the provisions for the driving of such vehicles in Council Regulation (EEC) 3820/85 of 20 December 1985 on the harmonization of certain social legislation relating to road transport;
  • 21 years:
    • for categories D and D+E and subcategories D1, D1+E, without prejudice to the provisions for the driving of such vehicles in Regulation (EEC) 3820/85.

Directive 91/439/EEC specifies that Member States may derogate from the minimum age requirements of laid down for categories A, B and B+E and issue such driving licences from the age of 17 years, except in the case of the provisions for category A laid down in the last sentence of the first indent of paragraph 1 (b).

Member States may refuse to recognise the validity in their territory of driving licences issued to drivers under 18 years of age.


last update: 03-02-2009