Are Digital Driving Licenses the Future?

Are Digital Driving Licenses the Future?

In a never-been-seen-before move, the world may finally have digital driving licenses. As a result, obtaining a license in any EU member state would become easier for foreign drivers.

The European Commission presented a proposal this week for new driving license regulations. The bill seeks to upgrade the existing driving license rules completely.

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The Commission claimed in a statement that their proposal will “modernize driving license requirements” among member nations.

One of the proposed amendments would make it simpler for drivers from non-EU nations with similar road safety standards to exchange their current licenses.

Getting a new license, renewing, or exchanging one will be considerably simpler since the process will move online.

Zero-Emission Driving

New testing regulations will be implemented to account for the switch to zero-emission automobiles. For instance, they will evaluate the expertise related to automated technology and other sophisticated driving support systems.

New drivers will also learn how their driving habits, such as when to shift gears, affect their emissions. 

Existing Laws

People with driving licenses from non-EU countries often need to retake their tests under current regulations. Subsequently, many times seasoned drivers need to spend time & money to obtain an EU driving license.

If the bill is passed, foreign drivers from eligible countries will have an easier time.

Selecting Eligible Countries

According to the proposal, the process for approving a non-EU or third country for the scheme would involve the following steps:

  • The Commission will first identify the country.
  • Each EU member state would be given six months to discuss eligibility regarding driving license standards, road infrastructure, & more of the particular country. 
  • The eligible country would be notified when they have been considered.

Additionally, eligible nations would also be re-evaluated every four years. The Commission will also update a list of approved nations on its website.

Language Barriers

Yet another component of the program may benefit international residents. 

The people who do not have a high enough level of proficiency in the official language of the country where they are taking their test will be permitted to do so in a different country where they do. 

For instance, someone who is living in Germany with a good level of proficiency in English, and not in German, would be eligible for a test in any EU country whose official language is English. This is proposed considering that driving tests involve technical knowledge.

Accompanied Driving Scheme

The proposed regulations also include a provision for “accompanied driving schemes” for new drivers. As a result, learner drivers will be able to receive a license at the age of 17. But until they are 18 years old, they cannot drive alone. 

Drivers who pass their driving test at age 17 can start driving on their own when they turn 18 and can start working as professional drivers as soon as a particular employment permits it. According to the Commission, this will aid in addressing the present driver shortage.

Some of the member states, like Germany and Austria, already have regulations that permit accompanied driving at the age of 17.

The removal of “obstacles to cross-border mobility” is one of the goals of the extensive package, said EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean.

“Today’s package of proposals seeks to simplify rules on driving licenses while adapting them to technological and medical progress,” Vălean said.

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