After introducing the driver's license in credit card format, the EU is now planning the next innovation for all drivers.
Brussels – After the paper driver's license, the check card is now also to become obsolete: the EU wants to introduce the digital driver's license in all member states.
This would make it possible to call up the driver's license on a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device in the future.
The aim is also for this form of driver's license to be issued as standard at some point - the card driver's license would then only be available on application.
Digital driver's license: data exchange between EU countries
According to the EU, the introduction of the digital driving license is intended to pursue several goals.
On the one hand, the digitization of driving licenses would make a lot easier when exchanging or reporting a loss.
Everything could be processed online, annoying administrative procedures would be done away with.
The new EU driving license directive could come into force before the end of this year.
In addition, the digital driver's license should also help in the prosecution of traffic offenses, especially if an EU citizen breaks the traffic rules in another EU country.
Anyone who would have their driving license withdrawn due to serious traffic violations will in future be banned from driving anywhere in the EU.
This is intended to end the so-called "driver's license tourism".
However, according to the EU proposal, the protection of personal data must always have priority when exchanging data between countries and storing driving licenses.
An “EU wallet” is currently being developed for this purpose, i.e. a wallet that is downloaded as an app and saves the data stored there.
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E-driving license in the EU: What if you don't have a smartphone?
Exactly when the digital driver's license will be introduced depends on how quickly the law is approved.
However, the draft stipulates that the first digital driving licenses should be issued within 18 months of the law being approved.
The digital driving license should be the EU-wide standard no later than four years after the introduction of the EU directive.
On average, the legislative process in the EU takes 18 months.
So if the driving license directive is passed in 2024, we could expect the first digital driving licenses as early as 2025.
From 2028 they would then have to set the standard.
If you don't have a smartphone or similar, you can still have a driver's license in card format.
When a new driver's license is issued, it will only be available in digital form by default;
but it should still be possible to get a physical certificate.
In the future, this will feature a QR code that traffic authorities can scan during checks to gain access to the digital driver's license.
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