COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 2012/26/EU
of 19 November 2012
amending Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on driving licences
CONVENTION ON ROAD TRAFFIC
(done at Vienna on 8 November 1968)
A vehicle is said to be “in international traffic” in the territory of a State if:
(i) It is owned by a natural or legal person normally resident outside that State;
(ii) It is not registered in that State; and
(iii) It is temporarily imported into that State;
provided, however, that a Contracting Party may refuse to regard as being “in international traffic” a vehicle which has remained in its territory for more than one year without a substantial
interruption, the duration of which may be fixed by that Contracting Party.
A combination of vehicles is said to be “in international traffic” if at least one of the
vehicles in the combination conforms to the above definition.
CONDITIONS FOR THE ADMISSION OF MOTOR VEHICLES
AND TRAILERS TO INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC
1. (a) In order to be entitled to the benefits of this Convention, every motor vehicle in international traffic, and every trailer, other than a light trailer, coupled to a motor vehicle shall be registered by a Contracting Party or a subdivision thereof, and the driver of the motor vehicle shall carry a valid certificate of such registration issued either by a competent authority of such
Contracting Party or subdivision thereof or on behalf and by authorization of such Contracting
Party or subdivision thereof by an association duly empowered thereto by that Contracting Party or subdivision thereof. This certificate, to be known as the registration certificate, shall bear the
following particulars at least:
A serial number, to be known as the registration number, composed in the manner indicated
in Annex 2 to this Convention;
The date of first registration of the vehicle;
The full name and home address of the holder of the certificate;
The name or the trademark of the maker of the vehicle;
The serial number of the chassis (the maker’s production or serial number);
In the case of a vehicle intended for the carriage of goods, the permissible maximum mass;
In the case of a vehicle intended for the carriage of goods, the unladen mass;
The period of validity, if not unlimited.
The particulars entered in the certificate shall either be in Latin characters or so-called
English cursive script only, or be repeated in that form.
(b) Contracting Parties or subdivisions thereof may, however, decide that the year of
manufacture, instead of the date of first registration, shall be entered on certificates issued in their territories.
(c) In the case of motor vehicles of categories A and B as defined in Annexes 6 and 7 to this Convention and, if possible, for other motor vehicles:
(i) The certificate shall be headed with the distinguishing sign of the State of registration as defined in Annex 3 to this Convention;
(ii) The letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H respectively shall be placed before or after the eight items of information which are required under subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, to be shown on all registration certificates;
(iii) The words Certificat d’immatriculation in French may be placed either before or after the title of the certificate in the national language (or languages) of the country of registration.
(d) For trailers, including semi-trailers, imported temporarily into a country by a mode of
transport other than road transport, a photocopy of the registration certificate, certified as a true
copy by the authority which issued the certificate, shall be considered sufficient.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, an articulated vehicle which is
not disassembled while in international traffic shall be entitled to the benefits of the provisions of
this Convention even if it has only a single registration and a single certificate for the drawing
vehicle and semi-trailer composing it.
3. Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as limiting the right of Contracting Parties or
subdivisions thereof to require, in the case of a vehicle in international traffic which is not
registered in the name of a person travelling in it, proof of the driver’s right to be in possession of the vehicle.
4. It is recommended that Contracting Parties should set up, if they have not already done so, a
service responsible for keeping, at the national or regional level, a record of motor vehicles
brought into use and a centralized record, for each vehicle, of the particulars entered in each
certificate of registration.
1. Every motor vehicle in international traffic shall display its registration number at the front
and at the rear; motorcycles, however, shall only be required to display this number at the rear.
2. Every registered trailer in international traffic shall display its registration number at the
rear. Where a motor vehicle draws one or more trailers, the sole trailer or the last trailer, if not
registered, shall display the registration number of the drawing vehicle.
3. The composition of the registration number referred to in this Article, and the manner of
displaying it, shall conform to the provisions of Annex 2 to this Convention.
Distinguishing sign of the State of registration
1. (a) Every motor vehicle in international traffic shall display at the rear, in addition to its
registration number, the distinguishing sign of the State in which it is registered.
(b) This sign may either be placed separately from the registration plate or may be
incorporated into the registration plate.
(c) When the distinguishing sign is incorporated into the registration plate, it must also
appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle if such is obligatory.
2. Every trailer coupled to a motor vehicle and required under Article 36 of this Convention to
display a registration number at the rear shall also display at the rear, either separately from its
registration plate or incorporated into it, the distinguishing sign of the State where the registration number was assigned.
The provisions of this paragraph shall be applicable even if the trailer is registered in a State
other than the State of registration of the motor vehicle to which it is coupled; if the trailer is not
registered, it shall display at the rear the distinguishing sign of the State of registration of the
drawing vehicle except when it is travelling in that State.
3. The composition of the distinguishing sign, and the manner of displaying it or its
incorporation into the registration plate, shall conform to the conditions laid down in Annexes 2
and 3 to this Convention.
Every motor vehicle and every trailer in international traffic shall bear the identification
marks specified in Annex 4 to this Convention.
Technical requirements and inspection of vehicles
1. Every motor vehicle, every trailer and every combination of vehicles in international traffic
shall satisfy the provisions of Annex 5 to this Convention. It shall also be in good working order.
2. Domestic legislation shall require periodic technical inspections of:
(a) Motor vehicles used for the carriage of persons and having more than eight seats in
addition to the driver’s seat;
(b) Motor vehicles used for the carriage of goods whose permissible maximum mass
exceeds 3,500 kg and trailers designed to be coupled to such vehicles.
3. Domestic legislation shall, as far as possible, extend the provision of paragraph 2 to the
other categories of vehicles.
1. For a period of 10 years from the entry into force of this Convention in accordance with
Article 47, paragraph 1, trailers in international traffic, whatever their permissible maximum mass, shall be entitled to the benefits of the provisions of this Convention even if they are not registered.
2. The registration certificate shall conform with the provisions of the amendment to Article
35, paragraph 1 within five years from the date of its entry into force. Certificates issued during
that period shall be mutually recognized until the expiry date inscribed therein.
DRIVERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES
1. (a) Every driver of a motor vehicle must hold a driving permit;
(b) Contracting Parties undertake to ensure that driving permits are issued only after
verification by the competent authorities that the driver possesses the required knowledge and
skills; the persons authorized to check if drivers have the necessary knowledge and skills must
have appropriate qualifications; the contents and procedure of both theoretical and practical exams are regulated by national legislation;
(c) Domestic legislation must lay down requirements for obtaining a driving permit. In
particular, it shall specify the minimum ages for holding a permit, the medical conditions to be
fulfilled and the conditions for passing the theoretical and practical exams;
(d) Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as preventing Contracting Parties or
subdivisions thereof from requiring driving permits for other power-driven vehicles and mopeds.
2. (a) Contracting Parties shall recognize:
(i) Any domestic permit conforming to the provisions of Annex 6 to this Convention;
(ii) Any international permit conforming to the provisions of Annex 7 to this
Convention, on condition that it is presented with the corresponding domestic
as valid for driving in their territories a vehicle coming within the categories covered by the
permits, provided that the permits are still valid and that they were issued by another Contracting
Party or subdivision thereof or by an association duly empowered thereto by such other
Contracting Party or one of its subdivisions;
(b) Driving permits issued by a Contracting Party shall be recognized in the territory of
another Contracting Party until this territory becomes the place of normal residence of their holder;
(c) The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to learner-driver permits.
3. Domestic legislation may limit the period of validity of a domestic driving permit. The
period of validity of an international permit shall be either no more than three years after the date
of issue or until the date of expiry of the domestic driving permit, whichever is earlier.
4. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2:
(a) Where the validity of the driving permit is made subject by special endorsement to
the condition that the holder shall wear certain devices or that the vehicle shall be equipped in a
certain way to take account of the driver’s disability, the permit shall not be recognized as valid
unless those conditions are observed;
(b) Contracting Parties may refuse to recognize the validity in their territories of driving
permits held by persons under eighteen years of age;
(c) Contracting Parties may refuse to recognize the validity in their territories, for the
driving of motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles in categories C, D, CE and DE referred to in Annexes 6 and 7 to this Convention, of driving permits held by persons under twenty-one years of age.
5. An international permit shall be issued only to the holder of a domestic permit for the issue
of which the minimum conditions laid down in this Convention have been fulfilled. An
international driving permit shall only be issued by the Contracting Party in whose territory the
holder has his normal residence and which issued the domestic driving permit or which recognized the driving permit issued by another Contracting Party; it shall not be valid for use in that territory.
6. The provisions of this Article shall not require Contracting Parties:
(a) To recognize the validity of domestic permits issued in the territory of another
Contracting Party to persons who had their normal residence in their territories at the time of such issue or whose normal residence has been transferred to their territories since such issue;
(b) To recognize the validity of domestic permits issued to drivers whose normal
residence at the time of such issue was not in the territory in which the permit was issued or who
since such issue have transferred their residence to another territory.
Suspension of the validity of driving permits
1. Contracting Parties or subdivisions thereof may withdraw from a driver the right to use his
domestic or international driving permit in their territories if he commits in their territories a
breach of their regulations rendering him liable under their legislations to the forfeiture of his
permit. In such a case the competent authority of the Contracting Party or subdivision thereof
withdrawing the right to use the permit may:
(a) Withdraw and retain the permit until the period of the withdrawal of use expires or
until the holder leaves its territory, whichever is the earlier;
(b) Notify the withdrawal of the right to use the permit to the authority by or on behalf of
which the permit was issued;
(c) In the case of an international permit, enter in the space provided for the purpose an
endorsement to the effect that the permit is no longer valid in its territories;
(d) Where it has not applied the procedure for which provision is made in subparagraph
(a) of this paragraph, supplement the communication referred to in subparagraph (b) by requesting the authority which issued the permit, or on behalf of which the permit was issued, to notify the person concerned of the decision taken with regard to him.
2. Contracting Parties shall endeavour to notify the persons concerned of the decisions
communicated to them in accordance with the procedure laid down in paragraph 1 (d) of this
3. Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as prohibiting Contracting Parties or
subdivisions thereof from preventing a driver holding a domestic or international driving permit
from driving if it is evident or proved that his condition is such that he is unable to drive safely or if the right to drive has been withdrawn from him in the State in which he has his normal
1. Contracting Parties shall issue domestic driving permits in accordance with the new
provisions of Annex 6 at the latest five years after their entry into force. Domestic driving permits issued in accordance with the earlier provisions of Article 41, Article 43 and Annex 6 to this Convention prior to the expiry of this period shall be recognized as long as they are valid.
2. Contracting Parties shall issue international driving permits in accordance with the new
provisions of Annex 7 at the latest five years after their entry into force. International driving
permits issued in accordance with the earlier provisions of Article 41, Article 43 and Annex 7 to
this Convention prior to the expiry of this period shall be valid according to the conditions defined in Article 41, paragraph 3.