Driving licence: the European Commission proposes new rules


The Commission presented on 1st March a number of proposals to modernise current driving licence rules. These proposals include the introduction of a digital driving licence valid throughout the EU, and new provisions to facilitate the enforcement of traffic rules across borders.


The proposal on driving licences amends existing EU law and is inspired by best practices already in force in several EU Member States. A key objective of the new rules will be to improve road safety, with measures such as:

  • A probation period of at least two years for novice drivers after passing the test, and a zero-tolerance rule on drink-driving.
  • Adapting driver training and testing to better prepare drivers for the presence of vulnerable users on the road. This will help improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, as well as users of e-scooters and e-bikes as the EU transitions to more sustainable urban mobility.
  • A more targeted assessment of medical fitness, taking into account advances in medical treatment for diseases such as diabetes.
  • Driver disqualifications with EU-wide effect: an end to impunity for severe offences. To prevent impunity among road traffic offenders, a new system will be put in place, allowing for an EU-wide driving disqualification when a Member State decides to disqualify a driver because of an offence committed on its territory.

We have started to discuss this revision with our members. There are concerns about digital accessibility that needs to be addressed to avoid people being left out when requesting or renewing their driving license. We will also carefully check whether none of the provisions of the new directive could be ageist, notably in relation to the medical fitness assessement, both physical and mental. We will address these issues at the next meeting of the EU High Level Group on Road Safety to which we have been invited.

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Photo (cropped) from Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

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