HC Deb 25 October 1985 vol 84 c269W
Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the implementation of the European Communities' directive of 4 December 1980 on the introduction of a Community driving licence (80/1263/EEC).

Mr. Michael Spicer

In compliance with the requirements of directive 80/1263/EEC, since 1 January 1983 we have been issuing equivalent exchange licences to EC licence holders becoming resident here. Britain already complied at that date with the directive's requirements on minimum driving test and medical standards.

The directive also requires member states to issue their national driving licences in a Community model format from the start of next year. Accordingly, Community-style British licences are being issued to run from 1 January 1986. But they are only to be issued to those applying for a new full licence or those whose existing licences need to be replaced. Existing green licences will continue to be valid both here and in other countrieds which recognise British licences.

The new licences are pink and carry on the front the internationally recognised "GB" symbol. Beneath the symbol the words "driving licence" appear in the various Community languages and also the words "EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES Model".

The driver and vehicle licensing centre at Swansea will continue to be responsible for issuing licences. Driving licence vehicle groups remain unchanged and provisional (learner) licences will still be green. Supplementary licences will still be needed to drive heavy goods and public service vehicles.

Apart from these specific requirements, the directive looks towards the further harmonisation of driver licensing within the European Community, and the United Kingdom is currently involved in discussions in Brussels on this subject.

Forward to