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Updated : 01/10/2014

vehicles

Driving licence validity in the EU

I'm living in another EU country

From January 19th 2013, all new driving licences issued across the EU must be in the form of a plastic "credit card," with a standard European format and tougher security protection.

Existing licences are not affected, but will be changed to the new format at the time of renewal or at the latest by 2033.

More information
Validity in EU countries

EU driving licences

Before you move to a new country, make sure your driving licence has not expired.

Provisional licences or certificates issued in your home country will not be recognised in other EU countries.

If you move to another country, you can drive there with your current
licence as long as it remains valid.

The following categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE, B1, B1E, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE are recognised throughout Europe.

EU countries must ensure that all driving licences in circulation are in the new EU standard format by 2033 at the latest.

If you have a driving licence for life, you will be informed by your EU country of residence when to exchange your driving licence for one in the EU standard format.

Renewing / exchanging licences

You can have your licence renewed (or exchanged from a licence issued by another country) only by the authorities of the country where you are resident.

They will exchange your original driving licence for a local one. You will then be subject to the same rules as nationals of that country regarding validity periods, medical checks and so on.

EU driving licences issued in exchange for a non‑EU licence

If you have an EU driving licence that has been issued in exchange for a non‑EU licence in the country where you now live, and you wish to move to another EU country with your converted licence, you cannot assume that your new licence will be recognised there as this is up to each EU country.

You will need to check with the local authorities in your new country which conditions apply for recognising non-EU licences.

The EU driving licence you were issued when handing over your home licence should contain a code indicating the country that originally issued it (for example: 70.0123456789.NL).

Sample story

Angeles is a Chilean who moved to Spain a few years ago. Since Spain recognises Chilean driving licences, Angeles was able to exchange hers for a Spanish one after meeting a few administrative formalities.

With this new licence, Angeles can drive around the EU. However, if she ever moves from Spain to another EU country, she will have to check with the authorities there whether they recognise her Spanish licence.

If the new country also recognises the original Chilean licence automatically, she will be able to continue driving with her converted Spanish licence. If not, she may have to have her Chilean licence formally recognised or exchanged in the new country.

I'm a tourist

From January 19th 2013, all new driving licences issued across the EU must be in the form of a plastic "credit card," with a standard European format and tougher security protection.

Existing licences are not affected, but will be changed to the new format at the time of renewal or at the latest by 2033.

More information

Before you go, make sure your driving licence has not expired. You cannot drive to another country on just a provisional licence or certificate.

EU driving licences

If your licence is from an EU country, you can use it throughout the EU.

The following categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE, B1, B1E, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE are recognised throughout Europe.

EU driving licences (issued in exchange for a non‑EU licence)

If you have exchanged your non‑EU licence for an EU licence in the country where you now live, you can drive with this throughout the EU.

Non-EU driving licences

If you want to drive in the EU on a licence from outside the EU, please contact the authorities of the country you are visiting, or contact your embassy or consulate in that country.

Sample story

Teenagers: Watch out for different age restrictions between EU countries

Sofia is 14 and got her moped licence in Italy. She would like to drive a moped in Belgium, but the minimum driving age for mopeds there is 16.

Sofia will have to wait until she is 16 before driving her moped in Belgium. On that day, her Italian driving licence will become valid and she will be able to drive without having to pass a Belgian test.

Help and advice

Help and advice

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Footnote

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Retour au texte en cours.

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Retour au texte en cours.