Monday

22nd Jan 2018

Member states to approve EU driving licence

EU ministers are set to hammer out a plan to replace the 110 existing types of driving licence with a single document recognised across the bloc, at a meeting on 27 March.

The move comes after member states' officials agreed a compromise text following months of wrangling over details of the legislation - criticised mainly by Germany and Austria.

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Berlin had objected to a proposal that the new driving licence should be valid for only ten years, but under the deal reached last week national capitals can choose between ten and fifteen years for the validity of the documents - expected to be issued from 2012.

German transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said "the agreed proposal is a good middle way between a boost to security and bureaucracy," according to APA agency.

The Austrian EU presidency has indicated that the compromise version has the informal backing of both the European Commission and the European Parliament, which should secure its speedy adoption.

The old types of driving licence are expected to completely disappear by around 2032.

The new document will have the form of a credit card with a regularly updated photo and some anti-falsification measures - possibly a microchip.

Drivers will only be allowed to hold a single driving document which should prevent cases of "driving licence tourism" where drivers get new licences from other EU member states if they have been banned from getting one in their own country.

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