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As of 1 April 2011, to obtain a licence to drive mopeds riders must pass a riding test (riders who were eighteen or over on 30 September 2005 are exempt) in addition to the written test required since 2005 whose contents are identical to those for Italian A and A1 licences. An extra house of lessons has been added to the classes for the written test related to the operation of mopeds in the event of an emergency, bringing the course duration to 13 hours instead of 12.

Italian Legislative Decree no. 59 of 18 April 2011 implements the European Directive 2006/126 on driving licences and will come into force on 19 January 2013. The following are introduced with the new law:

·the current licence to ride mopeds has been turned into an AM category licence;

·an A2 category licence has been created, for riders of motorcycles with a maximum power 35 kW, a power/weight ratio below 0.2 kW/kg and which do not derive from a version that is over 70 kW. The minimum age for this licence is 18 years;

·at 24 years of age, riders can directly apply for an A category licence, without having had previous riding experience, or at 20 years of age, if they already have an A2 category licence.

·riders can ride a motor tricycle with a maximum power above 15 kW in Italy, at 21 years of age, with either a category A or B licence.

These new aspects introduced by the Directive will only concern licences issued from 19 January 2013 onwards, and will not affect the rights of riders who already hold a licence.

The Gazzetta Ufficiale no. 76 of 2 April 2011 published the decree requiring owners of mopeds with old vehicle ID (registered prior to 14 July 2006), to obtain the number plates currently required by the Highway Code, as well as vehicle transit documents, based on specific deadlines, in order to ride on roads.

Italian Legislative Decree no. 68 of 6 May 2011, on tax federalism, published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale of 12 May 2011, introduces a number of amendments concerning provincial registration taxes (IPT). Registration taxes for new vehicles and for the transfer of owned vehicles in some categories (cars and motor tricycles) will be increased. It is possible that decrees implementing the abovementioned Law Decree apply tax increases to motorcycles “above a certain power” (which is not specified), presumably starting from 2012.

In May 2011 the Gazzetta Ufficiale published legislative decree no. 55 of 31 March 2011, which introduces a system to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and criteria for biofuel sustainability, implementing Directive 2009/30/EC of 23 April 2009. As a result, new fuels may be available in future at commercial depots and fuel stations, including E10 (petrol with an ethanol content up to 10%). Fuel stations will also have to keep a list indicating vehicles which are compatible with this fuel, for customers to consult.


The draft European Regulation on the type approval of two-, three- and four-wheelers - submitted by the European Commission at the end of last year - is now being evaluated by the European Parliament and Council. The proposal includes new requirements which concern in particular, the reorganisation of current two- and three-wheelers and quadricycles, simplification of the current legal framework, a reduction in pollution levels based on steps that will introduce increasingly stricter emission levels, new requirements for vehicle design and construction focussed on safety, and new administrative and technical requirements to increase member state surveillance of non-EU vehicles.

An initial vote from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee is expected after the summer, while plenary session voting should take place at the end of the year.

At the end of March 2011 the European Commission published its White Paper on Transport, a document that includes a far-reaching strategic plan that aims to revolutionise the European transport system over the next 40 years, increasing the competitive edge of mobility in Europe and reducing dependence on conventional energy sources.

In Spain,following the early implementation of the new European Directive on driving licences, regulations have already come into force that will become mandatory for the rest of the EU from 19 January 2013. Therefore, the licences recently issued by Spain will not be recognised in the rest of the European Union for another year and a half, creating a restriction on the right of Spanish citizens to move freely within the European Union.

In addition, the Spanish government is evaluating the possibility of making current regulations for obtaining licences to ride motorcycles of an unlimited power even stricter.

In France, as established by decree no. 201-1390, as from 1 January 2011 persons wishing to ride mopeds/motorcycles with an engine capacity up to 125 cc and with a power up to 11 kW or a tricycle have to hold a category B licence for at least two years and attend a 7-hour course at a driving school; alternatively they must prove they have already been riding a vehicle for the 5 years prior to the decree coming into force, with proof from their insurance company.

France's Interministerial Committee for Road Safety (CISR) is considering the possibility of making licences invalid if the rider cannot prove he/she has ridden and therefore insured their vehicle in the previous 5 years.


In Taiwan, the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is assessing the possibility of setting pollution limits equivalent to Euro 4 limits of EU member states for motorcycles, from 2014 onwards.

In Vietnam, vehicle type approval tests will include evaporative emission testing, as from 19 May 2012.