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26/02/2015

European Commission asks 18 Member States to correctly apply EU rules on driving licences

The European Commission has requested Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, France, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia to correctly implement the EU Directive on driving licences (Directive 2006/126/EC ). These updated rules on driving licences have introduced among others new driving licence categories, a harmonised validity of the driving licence document and established a network to exchange driving licence information (RESPER). These new rules will help reduce the possibility of fraud, guarantee the freedom of movement for EU drivers and reinforce safety on European roads.

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, France, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia are requested to connect to the EU driving licence network. Use of this network is central to effectively ensure that a person is not issued more than one licence, which is important for the key objective to improve road safety.

The Czech Republic is also asked to take further measures to ensure that licences are only issued to persons with normal residence in the Czech Republic. This is to combat so-called driving licence tourism which poses a risk to the credibility of the EU driving licence system. The Czech Republic is furthermore asked to ensure that their categories for trucks (category C1 and C) and small buses (category D1) correspond to those of the Directive, that driving of small motorcycles (category A1) is only authorised with the appropriate licence, that driving test examiners as part of their quality assurance are observed during tests, that the driving test include all elements required by the Directive, and that the appropriate minimum health requirements are required for driving of medium powered motorcycles (category A2).

Austria is also asked to impose minimum age of 21 for driving tricycles exceeding 15 kW, to define category D1 in line with the Directive, not to lower the minimum age for driving trucks and buses (category C and D) in situations not envisaged by the Directive, to authorise holders of a truck licence (category C or CE) to only drive vehicles set out by the Directive. Furthermore, Austria is asked to ensure that licences are only issued to persons with normal residence as defined in the Directive, to include all required elements in the theory test and to make sure that driving examiners have the required driving licence and that they are yearly supervised.

Bulgaria is also asked not to recognise a licence issued by another Member State to a person whose licence is restricted, suspended or withdrawn in Bulgaria.

Germany is also asked to define the category for medium powered motorcycles (category A2) and trucks (category C1 and C) in accordance with the Directive, to only authorise truck and bus drivers (categories CE, D1E and DE) to drive vehicles laid down in the Directive and to limit the administrative validity of a licence to drive small trucks (category C1 and C1E) to five years.

Spain is also asked to authorise holders of a moped licence (category AM) to drive also with passengers, to ensure that the national category "BTP" does not overlap with EU harmonised categories and to guarantee that no more than one licence can be issued and held.

Finland is also asked to issue duplicate licences with administrative validity not exceeding the period prescribed by the Directive, to require appropriate training or testing for driving of heavy trailers under a car licence (category B with code 96), to recognise experience with a car licence (category B) also below 18 for the purpose of acquiring a light truck licence (category C1), to ensure the appropriate entitlements for holders of licence for cars (category B), trucks (category C and CE) and buses (category D1E and DE), to prohibit the holding of more than one licence, not to recognise a licence issued by another Member State to a person whose licence is restricted, suspended or withdrawn in Finland and to properly encode exchange of third country licences on the driving licence document.

Italy is also asked to authorise holders of licences for mopeds, small motorcycles and quadricycles (category AM, A1 and B1 respectively) above the age of 16 to drive with passengers and to require examiners for tests for motor cycle licences (categories A1, A2 and A) to have the appropriate licence.

Ireland is asked to ensure that the administrative validity of driving licences for trucks and buses (categories C, C1, C1E, D, D1 and D1E) do not exceed five years.

Poland is asked to raise the minimum age for driving motorcycles (category A) for vehicles operated by the State Fire Department in the course of regular firefighting activities and to ensure that licences are only issued to persons with normal residence as defined in the Directive.

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