Fleet News

Driving licence loophole closed

Loopholes that have allowed drivers disqualified in one country to apply for a new clean driving licence in another are rapidly being closed.

Following on from last week’s announcement that there will be mutual recognition of disqualifications between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that motorists who have had their licences confiscated by a court cannot apply for a driving permit in another foreign EU country.

This loophole was being exploited by German drivers who had been disqualified by the and were then applying for and securing a replacement in the Czech Republic.

Because there is mutual recognition of driving licences across the EU, the disqualified drivers were able to drive again in Germany.

In a case involving the regional government of Baden-Württemberg, the ECJ ruled: “Germany may refuse to recognise those licences if…those nationals were not normally resident in the Czech Republic when those licences were issued.”

The ruling means British drivers losing their licence in the courts here cannot apply for a new licence in a country where they do not live.

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