Motorists in 2023 are waiting not only for changes that will lead to fines and penalties. The European Union (EU) wants to launch a special directive this year that will bring about both changes to driving licenses and innovations in driving testing for novice drivers. The fourth driving license directive is coming – what will change for motorists?
According to the ADAC, the EU is currently in the process of “drastically revising the current third driving license directive”. However, according to the regulation, the changes must first be “transferred into national law” before they can enter into force in Germany.
The fourth driving license directive mainly concerns the increase in the total authorized mass that can be moved, the recognition of a certain class of driving license abroad, the digitization of the driving license and, among other things, the recognition of the withdrawal of a driving license abroad.
In 2023, regular class B driving licenses will have more freedom. Until now, drivers who obtained a class B license after January 1, 1999 were allowed to drive vehicles with a maximum authorized weight of 3.5 tonnes. The new directive considerably expands the possibilities.
Until now, it was usually difficult to get a “motorhome” (Wohnmobil) corresponding to the registered weight category. In future, all holders of a class B driving license will be able to drive vehicles weighing up to 4.25 tonnes.
License for light motorcycles throughout the EU
According to the ADAC, the B196 driving license will now also be recognized abroad. Those who renew their license in this class will be able to drive light motorcycles up to 125cc. see Until now, this rule only applied in Germany. Once the changes are made, this will be possible throughout the EU.
Driving licenses will go digital
According to the report, the purpose of the dematerialization of rights is to be able to use the appropriate application on a smartphone in the event of a police check or car rental. “The possibility of using a QR code (instead of the current chip) on the driver’s license control card is also being considered to make it more secure against counterfeiting.”
The road to the driving test is getting tougher
While it will become easier to “pass the theoretical and practical driving test in different Member States of the European Union”, the path to practical training is likely to become more difficult. The Fourth Directive provides the following: Before you get the right to drive a car, you must first pass the theory. In addition, “in the future, the driving test can be taken at least partially on simulators”.
On the recommendation of many road safety experts, newcomers will have to take a so-called refresher course after one year. This should help reduce the number of accidents.
Uniform bans in Europe
For drivers deprived of a driving licence, there will be more uniform rules in Europe. According to the ADAC report, this means: “The driving ban imposed in Italy will also apply in Germany.” In addition, uniform restrictions on the consumption of alcohol and drugs will be introduced. To do this, it is planned to harmonize points systems in different countries, and “driving license data of all EU citizens will be stored in a pan-European database”.
Overview of the planned changes to the driving license in 2023:
In future, with a class B license, you can drive a 4.25 tonne vehicle Recognition of the B196 license, also abroad Digital driving license and QR code In future, learner drivers will switch from first theory then practice Withdrawal of driving licence: recognition throughout the EU Truck and bus class (C, D): lowering of the minimum age to 18 years