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Perspectiva general


Iniciativas legislativas

Fitness to drive

Proyectos de investigación

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Currently, 110 different driving licence models circulate in the EU and EEA Member States. This manual aims to help controlling authorities, as well as the interested private person, to identify these many different types. It also enables licence holders to be aware of their rights, and national authorities to know the validity and extent of the rights associated with each model of licence.

Good management of driving licences is central to guaranteeing the freedom of movement. Mutual recognition of driving licences between the Member States of the EU, without any formalities, has been in full force since 1 July 1996. From that date all administrative obstacles have been eliminated for licence holders who go to or establish themselves in another Member State.

The goal for the European Commission is to introduce a single EU model. Until this is in place, Driving licences will remain an essential tool in identifying the aforementioned 110 models.

24/10/2005 A new section Fitness to drive was added with results of the medical working groups.
11/04/2005 Two projects (CAPTIVE, MERIT) were added to the Research Projects.
17/03/2005 RESPER

The Commission has launched an initiative to establish an EU-wide network for the exchange of driving licence related information between Member States  (RESPER - RESeau PERmis de conduire). Further information on this initiative may be found on the IDABC website.

Proposal for a new driving licence directive ("3rd directive on driving licences"):
Memo "Driving licences: ensuring security, safety and free movement"
- Press release "Driving licences: ensuring security, safety and free movement"

On 25 March 2002, the Commission adopted an Interpretative Communication on driving licences

This communication must ensure a coherent Community approach to the problems resulting from the lack of harmonisation of certain aspects in this area. It will have to reduce legal uncertainties both for the competent authorities of the Member States and for citizens, until Directive 91/439/EEC will be modified.

It is in two parts: the first is purely descriptive and gives a comparative view of the aspects not harmonised to date as regards driving licences. The second part is interpretative and should, as such, be regarded as the legal and formal standpoint of the Commission.

A book on driving licence models has been drawn up by the Commission. It indexes the various licence models which are still valid and in circulation

Directive 91/439/EEC established in its Article 1(2) the principle of mutual recognition of driving licences, which means that all 81 different licence models in circulation have to be recognized. This principle is also guaranteed by Commission Decision 2000/275/EC of 21 March 2000 on equivalences between certain categories of driving licences (this Decision has been rectified by Commission Decision 2002/256/EC of 25 March 2002).
If you wish to order the book describing all valid driving licences of the European Economic Area, you may contact the Office for Official Publications, quoting the corresponding reference number (for the English version of the book this is: ISBN 92-828-9537-8).

You may also order directly by clicking here.


A newer version was published in 2005. This book may be purchased at or downloaded freely from the  Office for Official Publications website. (English version: ISBN 92-894-8429-2). Other languages available.

You may also order directly by clicking here.


última actualización: 03-02-2009