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Driving licence

A single driving licence for the whole EU

The EU has introduced a harmonised licence model and further minimum requirements for obtaining a licence. This should help to keep unsafe drivers off Europe's roads - wherever they take their driving test.

This won't affect your driving entitlements – you will still be able to drive the same vehicles as before.

Some standard EU requirements

Since 19 January 2013, all driving licences issued by EU countries have the same look and feel. The licences are printed on a piece of plastic that has the size and shape of a credit card.

Safety & security

Harmonised administrative validity periods for the driving licence document have been introduced which are between 10 and 15 years for motorcycles and passenger cars. This enables the authorities to regularly update the driving licence document with new security features that will make it harder to forge or tamper ­- so unqualified or banned drivers will find it harder to fool the authorities, in their own country or elsewhere in the EU.

The new European driving licence is also protecting vulnerable road users by introducing progressive access for motorbikes and other powered two-wheelers. The "progressive access" system means that riders will need experience with a less powerful bike before they go on to bigger machines. Mopeds will also constitute a separate category called AM.

Medical checks

The EU has also harmonised the frequency of medical checks for lorry and bus drivers, which need to be carried out every time their driving licence is renewed.

European legislation on driving licencespdf

Driving licences in the EU – replacing, renewing, FAQs