Issued in 2013.
Each licence holder in England, Scotland and Wales has a unique driver number, which is 16 characters long. The characters are constructed in the following way:
EUROPEAN DRIVING LICENSE
- 1–5: The first five characters of the surname (padded with 9s if fewer than 5 characters)
- 6: The decade digit from the year of birth (e.g. for 1987 it would be 8)
- 7–8: The month of birth (7th character incremented by 5 if driver is female i.e. 51–62 instead of 01–12)
- 9–10: The date within the month of birth
- 11: The year digit from the year of birth (e.g. for 1987 it would be 7)
- 12–13: The first two initials of the first names, padded with a 9 if no middle name
- 14: Arbitrary digit – usually 9, but decremented to differentiate drivers with the first 13 characters in common
- 15–16: Two computer check digits.
- 17–18: Appended, two digits representing the licence issue, which increases by 1 for each licence issued.
The European driving licence is a driving licence replacing the many driving licence styles already in use in the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). It has the credit card-style with a photograph and possibly a microchip. They were introduced to replace the 110 different plastic and paper driving licences of the 300 million drivers in the EEA. The main objective of the licence is to decrease the risk of fraud.
A driving license issued by a member state of the EEA, is recognized throughout the EEA and can be used as long as it is valid, the driver is old enough to drive a vehicle of the equivalent category and the license is not suspended or restricted and has not been revoked in the issuing country.
In March 2006, the Council of Ministers adopted a Directive proposed by the European Commission to create a single European driving licence to replace the 110 different models currently in existence throughout the EU/EEA. The European Parliament adopted the Directive in December 2006. Directive 2006/126/EEC was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 30 December 2006. Its provisions took effect on 19 January 2013; Directive 91/439/EEC was then concurrently repealed.
The licence is a credit-card-style, single plastic-coated document, very difficult to falsify. The document will be renewable every 10 or 15 years depending on the member state. Several member states will have the option to include a microchip containing information about the card holder on the card.
Some categories like C and D will be issued for five years only. After expiration, a medical check-up is necessary in order to renew the licence for another five years.