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Expiry warning as Belgian driving licences no longer automatically renew

08:54 31/01/2023

An estimated 425,000 people have an expired Belgian driving licence and may not know it.

In previous years, licences were paper-based and did not need to be renewed. After the switch to new licences with digital components in 2013, this changed.

People are being urged to check the date on their licence to see if they are among the 425,000 people with an expired one. Unlike with soon-to-expire identity cards, no warnings were sent.

“It is and remains the responsibility of every driver to have a valid driving licence,” the office of federal mobility minister Georges Gilkinet told Het Nieuwbslad.

Fines for driving with an expired licence could be as high as €16,000, with the additional penalty of loss of licence for up to five years.

Getting involved in a car accident with an expired licence can also have serious implications when it comes to insurance coverage.

While emphasising that it is the driver’s responsibility to mind their licence’s expiration date, given the high number of people affected by the switch, the government has commissioned a private company to send out warnings.

It is expected that even more drivers will be affected in 2024.

Written by Helen Lyons