Announcing the changes , EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas said: " Fake driving licences are a licence to kill and this is why we need licences which are easy to read, easy to understand and very difficult to falsify."
Measures are also being introduced to protect the most vulnerable road users putting the emphasis on experience.
These mean a higher age limit of 24 years for direct access (ie via practical and theory testing) to licences for the most powerful of motorbikes and 21 years for progressive access (ie previous A2 licence for minimum of 2 years). A minimum age of 16 for moped users in the EU is also introduced for the first time.
- No motorist will have to change their licences immediately
- Administrative renewals do not require additional testing
- The upper age limit for driving is specified and remains the sole responsibility of national authorities
- No EU-wide harmonisation of sanction or points system
- National symbols are permitted and will be decided by member states.
The new format replaces more than 100 different paper and plastic models used by the 300 million drivers in the European Union.