The European Driving Licence

Find out how long an EU-issued driver's licence is valid in Belgium..

The EU has worked to harmonise standards of the driving test and the appearance of the driving licence so that the licence issued in one country will be recognised by other member states. All driving licences issued since 1 January 1983 conform with the Community model, but they may be in paper or plastic form and can look quite different. In 2006 the Council of Ministers adopted a new directive, aimed at ensuring mutual recognition of driving licences by the Member States. The issuing of new licences is obligatory as of 2012. The validity of the new driving licence of category A and B will be 10 years - though Member States may extend it to 15 years. Categories C and D will only be valid for five years. People with EU-issued driver's licences who take up residence in Belgium are not required to exchange it for a Belgian licence. Belgian licence regulations apply to other EU licences used by residents of Belgium, regarding:
  • The period of validity of the licence
  • Medical checks
  • Minimum driver's age
  • Penalties and restrictions, including suspension, withdrawal and cancellation of the licence
Licenses to drive a lorry or a bus (categories C and D) are renewable every five years under Belgian law, and must be renewed five years after the driver registers in Belgium. If a driving infraction occurs, Belgium may require the holder to obtain a new licence. An exchange becomes compulsory if the licence holder commits a driving offence - this is so that points can be subtracted. The EU has set up an organisation specifically to share the information between member states with regard to driving licences. It is called RESPER (RĂ©seau permis de conduire). This helps to ensure that citizens disqualified from driving in one country are not simply able to get a licence in a new member state.