Twentieth Report of Session 2019–21 Contents

7Driver licensing changes48

This EU document is legally important because:

  • it will require transposition in the UK before the end of the transition period (as established under the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement).

Action

  • As the Government has provided an adequate response to the Committee’s questions on its plans for the transposition of the Commission Directive, no further action is deemed necessary.

Background

7.1The proposal under scrutiny was last considered by the Committee in its Eleventh Report of Session 2019–21.49 The proposal, a Commission Directive, has already been adopted at EU-level and will have to be transposed into domestic law by Member States by 1 November 2020.50 As this date falls before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020)—as established by the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement—the Directive will also require transposition into UK law.

7.2By way of background, the Commission Directive makes minor technical changes to Directive 2006/126/EC on driver licences.51 The Driver Licensing Directive establishes the model for driver licences in the EU and sets-out common standards for testing. These standards include the specification of vehicle categories, the minimum ages for licence acquisition, and test staging requirement. A full analysis of the proposal can be found in our Eleventh Report of Session 2019–21.

The Committee’s questions and the Government response

7.3The Committee wrote to Minister for Aviation, Maritime and Security, Kelly Tolhurst MP, on the proposal on 10 June 2020. We requested further information on the Government’s plans for the transposition of the Commission Directive and were interested, in particular, in whether the Government will make use of the option to decide that restrictions to vehicles with an automatic transmission need no longer be recorded on driving licences when an applicant already holds a driving licence obtained on a vehicle with a manual transmission. This was considered to be the most important change made by the Directive to the UK’s driver licensing framework.

7.4In response, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, wrote on behalf of the Government on 11 August 2020.52 The Minister confirms that the automatic restriction will not be recorded on a driver’s licence where existing entitlements are such that it is not required. The Minister provides further information on the domestic legislation that will be brought forwards to give effect to the Directive and the changes that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will make to its own testing processes to ensure compliance with its terms.

Action

7.5As the Government has provided an adequate response to the Committee’s questions on its plans for the transposition of the Commission Directive, no further action is deemed necessary.


48 Proposal for a Commission Directive (EU) .../… of XXX amending Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on driving licences; Council and COM number: 5166/20 + ADD 1 and Unnumbered; Legal base: Article 8 of Directive 2006/126/EC, special legislative procedure, majority voting in the European Parliament and QMV in the Council; Department: Transport; Devolved Administrations: Consulted; ESC number 41038.

49 Eleventh Report HC 229–viii (2019–21), Chapter 4 (11 June 2020).

50 Commission Directive (EU) 2020/612 of 4 May 2020 amending Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on driving licences (Text with EEA relevance).

51 Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on driving licences (Recast) (Text with EEA relevance) (the Driver Licensing Directive).

52 Letter from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to Sir William Cash MP, 11 August 2020.




Published: 16 September 2020