Last Monday, the European transport ministers approved a common European driving license. It took three years of political negotiations between Germany, France, Austria, Poland and Denmark to come up with a common format.
The new, credit-card size, license will only be fully introduced AFTER 26 YEARS ! That is the time they think it will take to phase out the current licenses !!!! Talk about planning ! The new common license will replace the 110 existing models.
One of the biggest changes is the validity of the license. A license will remain valid for 10 years (in France a license is valid for life!), though member countries can extend the life of a license to 15 years.
To prevent people from obtaining a license in another country because they lost their own (speeding etc), an European wide exchange of driving license information will be setup.
Further more, the transport ministers have decided to tighten the rules with regards to motorcycle licenses, specifying a set of minimum requirements to be qualified to ride a motorcycles (not that I'm worried, since France has one of the strictest motorcycle exams around).
Also, a progressive motorcycle license is mandated. Starting with a moped, you can transition to a full motorcycle license when you reach 24 years old.
Click here to read the official press release.