Teenage Drivers

Information on the regulations affecting teenagers behind the wheel in Belgium...

The Belgians drive on the right and the legal minimum age to drive a car or motorbike is 18 years of age.

Like other European countries, a driving licence (or passport if it is not a photo licence), vehicle registration papers and insurance documents must be carried at all times.

Anyone coming from another country who is under 18 and already holds a driving licence will not be permitted to drive in Belgium until they reach age 18.

Learning to drive

For teenagers learning to drive in Belgium, there is a choice between a driving school or an independent instructor. Some people use a combination of the two. In both cases there are two tests to pass before a licence will be issued. Firstly a theory test (which examines knowledge of the Belgian highway code) and secondly a practical examination. The instructor and the examiner are both in the car during this second test.

Having passed the theory test the new driver receives a certificate which is given to their local authority. They will then be issued with a provisional driving licence. Provisional licences come in several types and are issued according to age and how the driver is being taught. The validity period of the provisional licence also depends on the type of licence and the learner may have anything from three to eighteen months to take the practical test.

While learning to drive anyone under 24 years of age is not allowed to drive at certain times - for example, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - and additional restrictions apply on or around public holidays. They may only drive if accompanied by their instructor (or guide) and may not carry any other passengers. There are further restrictions on who may be classed as a guide.

Belgium makes full use of speed cameras and there are no excuses for those caught speeding. Fines are on-the-spot and heavy. Front and rear seat belts must be worn. It is compulsory to have at least third party insurance cover.