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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 November 2012

Driving licences: Commission proposes reduced fine for Cyprus

The European Commission decided today to amend its decision referring Cyprus to the European Court of Justice for not fully transposing the Directive on driving licences. Since the previous court referral decision in June (IP/12/642), Cyprus has notified a measure that partially transposes Directive 2006/126/EC. To take these new developments into account the Commission has reduced the proposed daily penalty payment to € 6504.96. The directive should have been transposed by 19 January 2011. Failure to fully implement the directive may affect road safety and makes it difficult for the Cypriots to exchange the relevant driving licences in other parts of the EU.

The EU rules

Directive 2006/126/EC1 on driving licences daily affects more than 350 million European citizens. A great number of Europeans make cross-border trips within the Union for private or professional purposes and every year many Europeans and their families move to another EU country. This legislation is therefore very important for the free movement of drivers as it would abolish one of the last obstacles.

Directive 2006/126/EC updates Directive 91/439/EC2 on driving licences and further enhances the harmonisation of the European driving licence system by for example introducing new driving licence categories and a harmonised period of validity of the driving licence document.

The directive aims also at improving road safety by setting minimum standards for medical checks on professional drivers and for qualifications and continuous training for driving examiners. It also requires drivers of category AM to pass a theory test, which was not mandatory beforehand.

Another objective of the directive is to reduce the risks of fraud by using plastic card model, with the option to use a microchip.

The practical effect of non-implementation

This directive is essential as it guarantees the mutual recognition of driving licences within the EU, including the new driving licence categories. Partially implementing this Directive could affect road safety and make it difficult for Cypriots to exchange their driving licence for a new one in other parts of the EU or for other Europeans to exchange their driving licence for a Cypriot one.

For more information on this month's infringement decisions see 1, and on general infringement procedures see 1

1 Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on driving licences, OJ L 403, 30.12.2006, p. 18–60

2 Council Directive 91/439/EEC of 29 July 1991 on driving licences, OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 1–24

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)


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