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Convention on Driving Disqualifications
To create a binding legal framework among the Member States such that drivers disqualified from driving in a Member State other than that in which they are principally resident may not escape the effects of disqualification when they leave the Member State in which the offence was committed.
Convention 98/C 216/01 drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on Driving Disqualifications * [Official Journal C 216 of 10.07.1998].
The Convention establishes a mandatory legal framework between the Member States so that drivers disqualified in a Member State other than the one where they have their principal residence cannot circumvent the disqualification when they leave the State where the offence was committed.
Enforcement of driving disqualifications
The State of the offence * notifies the State of residence *, without delay, of any driving disqualification imposed for an offence arising from conduct referred to in the Annex to the Convention. The offences covered involve:
- reckless or dangerous driving of a motor vehicle *;
- hit-and-run driving;
- driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances affecting or diminishing the driver's mental and physical abilities;
- driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed.
The State of residence * must without delay give effect to the decision imposing the disqualification from driving taken in the State of the offence in one of the following ways:
- by directly executing the decision imposing disqualification from driving;
- by executing the decision imposing disqualification from driving via a judicial or administrative decision (while taking into account any part of the period of disqualification which has already been served and without extending the duration of disqualification);
- by converting the decision imposing disqualification from driving into a judicial or administrative decision of its own (the State of residence is bound by the facts as established in so far as they are stated explicitly or implicitly in the decision imposing disqualification from driving in the State of the offence, and must take into account any part of the period of the driving disqualification which has already been served in that State. The State of residence may reduce the duration of the driving disqualification but may not extend it or replace it by a fine or any other measure).
Each Member State indicates in a declaration which of the procedures it intends to apply in its capacity as a State of residence.
Mandatory and optional refusal to enforce the decision
The State of residence must refuse to give effect to the driving disqualification where:
- the driving disqualification has already been fully enforced in the State of the offence;
- the offender has already had a driving disqualification imposed on him in the State of residence for the same acts;
- the offender would have benefited from a general pardon or amnesty in the State of residence if the acts had been committed within the territory of that State;
- the period of limitation for the measure would have expired under its own legislation;
- the person concerned has not had an adequate opportunity to defend himself.
The State of residence may refuse to give effect to the driving disqualification if:
- the conduct for which the driving disqualification has been imposed in the State of the offence is not an offence in the State of residence;
- the remaining period of disqualification which could be enforced in the State of residence is less than one month;
- driving disqualification is not a measure available under the legislation of the State of residence for the acts giving rise to the driving disqualification.
Notification of decision
The notification is accompanied by:
- details serving to locate the person disqualified from driving;
- the original or a certified copy of the decision imposing a driving disqualification;
- a brief statement of the circumstances and a reference to the legal provisions in the State of the offence on the basis of which the driving disqualification was imposed, if these are not given in the decision;
- an attestation that the disqualification is final;
- information regarding the enforcement of the driving disqualification in the State of the offence, including the length of the disqualification and, where known, the dates on which the disqualification starts and expires;
- the driving licence, if it has been seized.
Where the State of residence refuses to give effect to a driving disqualification, it must notify the State of the offence of the reasons for its refusal.
The right of the State of the offence to execute in its territory the full period of the driving disqualification determined by the State of the offence is not affected by the decision of the State of residence.
Costs incurred in implementing this Convention are borne in the Member State in which they arise.
The Court of Justice of the European Communities has jurisdiction to rule on any dispute between Member States or between Member States and the Commission regarding the interpretation or the application of this Convention whenever such dispute cannot be settled by the Council within six months of its being referred to the Council by one of its members.
Any Member State may, through a declaration made when giving the notification of adoption of the Convention or at any later date, accept the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice to give preliminary rulings on the interpretation of the Convention.
This Convention is open to accession by any State that becomes a member of the European Union.
The Convention enters into force with respect to any Member State that accedes to it 90 days after the deposit of its instrument of accession or on the date of entry into force of the Convention if it has not already entered into force at the time of expiry of those 90 days.
|Key terms used in the act|
|Driving disqualification: any measure related to the commission of a road traffic offence which results in withdrawal or suspension of the right to drive of a driver of a motor vehicle and which is no longer subject to a right of appeal. The measure may constitute either a primary, secondary or supplementary penalty or a safety measure and may have been taken either by a judicial authority or by an administrative authority;
State of the offence: the Member State within the territory of which the road traffic offence that has given rise to a driving disqualification was committed;
State of residence: means the Member State within the territory of which the person who has been disqualified from driving is normally resident within the meaning of Article 9 of Directive 91/439/EEC;
Motor vehicle: means any vehicle covered by the definition in Article 3(3) of Directive 91/439/EEC.
Further information can be found on the driving licence page of the Directorate-General for Energy and Transport's website.