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Could EU Licence proposals affect the UK?

The EU is considering wide reaching changes to driving licence rules, including a digital licence, more opportunities to ride a 125 on a car licence and the possibility of cross-EU driving bans. Since Brexit, the UK is no longer part of the EU, but it may still align many of its own laws with those of Europe, for simplicity.

The digital licence would be available on smartphones, and valid at police checkpoints or for identification. Also under consideration is retaining the physical licence (possibly with a QR code to combat counterfeiting) and using a copy on the phone.

On the 125cc entitlement on a full car licence, this is currently only available to riders in their home country, notably in Germany where it is known as the B196. New proposals would see this rolled out to cover the whole EU, so any holder of a full car licence would be able to ride a 125 anywhere in Europe. UK riders could also benefit, with a provisional licence and CBT pass being acceptable for European trips. Touring on a 125? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried.

Finally, the changes (collectively known as the 4th Driving Licence Directive) consider making driving bans applicable across the EU. So a German rider banned in France would find him or herself unable to ride at home either. However, this change would be more complicated, requiring EU members to align their laws on dangerous driving, speeding etc – they would also need to accept licence data being held on a central database.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “The BMF are currently working with the DVSA to review Training and Testing, particularly at CBT level, where changes have been ‘on the books’ for some time , waiting to be enacted, delayed by the pandemic. The 4th Driving Licence Directive is supposed to address some of the things that the 3rd Driving Licence Directive didn’t, we’ll see.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Streetsmarts