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Belgian driving licences get a makeover

Specimen driving licence © FOD Mobility

The federal mobility ministry has announced it will begin rolling out a new-look driving licence from the middle of this month.

According to the announcement, the new design not only gives the licence a new more modern look, it also incorporates more advanced security features to prevent fraud and counterfeiting. The changes concern the bank-card style licence, both the full version and the provisional.

Older versions of the driving licence remain valid, the ministry said, and there is no need to change an existing licence until it reaches the end of its validity period. As well as previous versions of the bank-card style licence, paper licences continue to be valid in Belgium until 2033. Any licence that runs out before that time will be replaced by the new model.

The paper version continues to be more common among Belgian drivers, with 3,902,832 examples still in circulation, compared to 2,074,273 examples of the EU mandated bank-card style, introduced in July 2010.

As the ministry website explains, a driving licence should be renewed when the original is lost or stolen, when it is damaged and becomes illegible, when the photograph no longer resembles the holder, and when the original has been seized by an authority in another country.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times