03 March 2023


The European Commission adopted on 1st March a proposal revising the Driving License Directive, as port of a broader Road Safety Package. The measures are aimed to improve safety for all road users and alleviate the shortage of professional drivers.

Among other measures, the Commission proposes to allow young people to take their test and commence accompanied driving of lorries from the age of 17, to gain driving experience. Those who pass the driving tests at 17 would be able to drive alone from their 18th birthday, and to work as a professional driver as soon as a specific job allows. In addition, the proposal contains provisions on the introduction of a digital driving licence. This would make it easier to replace, renew or exchange a driving licence since all procedures will be online. In the same vein, it will also be easier for citizens from non-EU countries with comparable road safety standards, to exchange their driving licence for an EU one.

The proposal also adapts the rules to take the increase of alternatively fuelled vehicles in the EU fleet into account: two years after a B driving license has been granted, it shall be valid for driving the alternatively fuelled vehicles with a mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes, up to 4.25 tonnes. Member States were already given the possibility to do so in the current Directive, but it was not implemented throughout the EU. The proposal will now be discussed by the Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure.

CLECAT welcomes the Commission proposal, as a good step forward in alleviating the shortage of professional drivers. We are particularly pleased that the proposals we suggested together with EEA and ESC in a joint letter sent early February have been taken on board by the Commission. In the coming days, CLECAT will prepare a more detailed policy response in view of the upcoming political proceedings.

Source: European Commission