New EU Driving Licence Now In Force 

In 1903 the first driving registration came into force as part of the Motor Car Act which meant that for the first time ever you needed to register to be able to drive or steer a car. The rules changed a few times up to 1934 when the first driving test came into force. This was suspended for the war years and the Suez Canal crisis when many drivers were needed for the conflict. The only person not required to hold a driving licence to be able to legally drive is the Queen of England.

The rules have changed several times over the years and now include many vehicles including,

Cat P – Motorcycles (50KM per hour)

Cat A1 – Motorcycles up to a 125cc

Cat A – Motorcycles

Cat B1 – Motor Trikes, Quad Bikes, 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles not weighing more than 550kg

Cat B – Car & Vans (8 seats  & 3500kg MAM)

Cat B+E – Cars & Trailer

Cat C1 – Large vehicles (lorries) weighing between 3500 & 7500 kg

Cat C1 +E – Large vehicles (Lorries) weighing between 3500 & 7500 kg & Trailer

Cat C – Large vehicles over 3500kg (trailer up to 750kg)

Cat D – Bus with more than 8 seats (trailer up to 750kg)

Cat D+E – Bus with more than 8 seats with a trailer over 750kg

Cat D1 – Minibus with between 9 & 16 seats

Cat D1+E – Minibus with between 9 & 16 seats with trailer over 750kg

Cat F – Agricultural Tractor

Cat G – Road Roller

Cat H – Tracked Vehicles

Cat K – Mowing Machine or Pedestrian Controlled Vehicle

Cat L – Electronic-propelled Vehicle 

This is all now due to change on the 19th January 2013. This is due to the agreed changes on the 20th of December 2006 under new EU rules all members states will have a single type of driving licence with just the members states flag distinguishing which country the person is from.

The changes are being bought into uniform the licence processes and to help reduce fraud, guarantee true movement of European drivers and reinforce safety on European roads. It will also mean that all driving licences will need to be renewed every 10 or 15 years, this is already the case in the UK, as the photo card part of your driving licence is only valid for 10 years. All UK licence holders need to pay £20.00 each 10 year period to update /renew their driving licence.

For most UK licence holders the new driving licence will not mean much of a change as we already have adopted many of the rules for the differing categories but the EU have adopted a 2micro car group system which bundles together one change is that quadracycles can now be driven by 16 year olds and if the new micro cars weigh under 550kg a 16 year old will be able to drive a car on the road, in fact there is a new micro car that does 28mph and is under 550kg. Would you allow your 16 year old to drive on a car. The new groups are,

Group 1    

Cat P – Motorcycles (50KM per hour)

Cat A1 – Motorcycles up to a 125cc

Cat A – Motorcycles

Cat B1 – Motor Trikes, Quad Bikes, 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles not weighing more than 550kg

Cat B – Car & Vans (8 seats  & 3500kg MAM)

Cat B+E – Cars & Trailer

Group 2    

Cat C1 – Large vehicles (lorries) weighing between 3500 & 7500 kg

Cat C1 +E – Large vehicles (Lorries) weighing between 3500 & 7500 kg & Trailer

Cat C – Large vehicles over 3500kg (trailer up to 750kg)

Cat D – Bus with more than 8 seats (trailer up to 750kg)

Cat D+E – Bus with more than 8 seats with a trailer over 750kg

Cat D1 – Minibus with between 9 & 16 seats

Cat D1+E – Minibus with between 9 & 16 seats with trailer over 750kg

All other categories are to be administered by the member state.

For drivers who live abroad, in the EU, it does mean that if they commit an offence and that country are aware that you live in that country they can add penalty points and even withdraw the licence and if they wish insist that you convert your licence to a licence of that country/state which means they may be able to charge a tax on your licence if they do for all licence holders.

All EU countries will now need to abide by the age limit of 17 for all B and B+E category vehicles and where necessary (Group 2) all licence holders will need to take a medical and may be only valid for 5 years.

These changes will affect some 300 million drivers across Europe and will help combat common problems like being banned in one country only to gain another driving licence in another. With all member states sharing information people who have driving licences from EU states that no longer exist will need to requalify.

With the new standards being rolled out across all EU countries anyone who thinks they can get aware with poor or illegal driving should think again, no longer will I didn’t understand the rules be a defence as you will be expected to know the adopted rules for all of the European Union.