Changes to driving licence warning

Three Wheeler Driving Licences

 In December 2012, the EU issued Directive 2006/126 EC, which tried (and failed) to “harmonise” driving licences across the EU.    If you have the energy to try to make sense of it, this is available at:-

This defined three-wheelers as “motor tricycles”, significantly changed the requirements for licences to drive them and divided them into two classes:-

  • Those with engines under 15kW (20BHP), which doesn’t concern us.
  • Those with engines over 15kW, which does.

Firstly, you now have to be over 21 to drive a three-wheeler of over 15kW (unlike many of us, who started diving our Mogs on a motorcycle licence at 16) and, unless you are disabled, you cannot learn to drive or take a test in a three-wheeler.

There are now three ways in which EU residents can qualify to drive a three wheeler over 15kW (and, so far, post-Brexit, this still applies in the UK):-

  • If they were entitled to drive one before 19th January 2013, they continue to hold this right.
  • If they hold a full, Class A motorcycle licence and are over 21.
  • If they hold a full, Class B car licence and are over 21.

Option (3) is a concession in the EU Directive (taken up by the UK and, I believe, Germany), which states that individual Member States may permit their residents to drive motor tricycles on a car licence but only within their territory and that this entitlement should not be shown on their driving licence.

This implies that, unless you qualify under (1) or (2) above, if you drive your three-wheeler in another EU country, you may not be licensed to do so.

As motor insurance policies customarily include a clause stating that the policy is only valid if the driver holds an appropriate licence to drive, it also means that, in the event of an accident, your insurance company could tell you that you were driving uninsured. This could obviously have serious legal and financial consequences.

I have been able to find no evidence that this EU legislation has been subject to any further concession (e.g. for short-term holiday visits).

If you know of any evidence which demonstrates that this understanding of the situation is incorrect, please let me know.

I would not wish to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of their Morgan, wherever they wish to drive it, but I would suggest caution if you plan to drive your Mog outside your country of residence and do not qualify for a licence under options (1) or (2) above until we can fully clarify this situation.

Dave Anscombe

30th May 2022