European Parliament: Driving disqualification in one EU country shall be valid throughout the EU

Serious traffic offences, such as excessive speeding or drink driving, should lead to EU-wide driving disqualifications, members of the European Parliament said on February 6.

Currently, if a driver loses their licence following a traffic offence in a different EU country to the one which issued their licence, in most cases the sanction will only be applicable in the country where the offence was committed, and entail no restrictions in the rest of the EU.

To ensure that suspension, restriction or withdrawal of a non-resident’s driving licence is applied across all EU countries, the new rules demand that this decision is passed on to the EU country which issued the driving licence.

MEPs suggest to add driving without a valid licence to the list of severe traffic offences, such as drink driving or fatal traffic accident, which would trigger the exchange of information on driving disqualification.

Driving 50 km/h faster than the speed limit is also one of the severe traffic offences that could result in driving disqualification.

MEPs set a lower speed limit for residential areas, meaning that driving above the speed limit by 30 km/h on those roads could result in a driver losing their licence or having it suspended.

The European Parliament suggest setting a deadline of 10 working days for EU countries to inform each other about decisions on driver disqualification and another deadline of 15 working days to decide if a driving disqualification will apply throughout the EU. The driver concerned should be informed of a final decision within seven working days, MEPs add.

The draft rules on European Union-wide effect of certain driving disqualifications were adopted by 372 votes to 220 and 43 abstentions.

The European Parliament has now closed its first reading and as the Council of the EU has not yet adopted its position, the new European Parliament to be elected in June 2024 will continue the work on this law.

(Photo: Peter Suneson/

The Sofia Globe staff

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