Flanders’ driving test centers soon to be stricter against fraud
From 1 September, driving test centers will temporarily exclude people who commit fraud during the exam. This is what Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), has announced. However, until now, the centers were quite powerless against such practices.
According to Minister Peeters, consultations with the sector have shown that people and organizations are becoming increasingly inventive to pass the exam.
From 1 September, new regulations make it possible to punish irregularities and fraud – or attempts to do so – more severely before, during, or after the theoretical or practical exam.
For example, verbal or physical aggression or failure to comply with guidelines or instructions from examiners or other staff may lead to temporary exclusion from the examinations. This applies to both candidates and supervisors.
Certificates will be checked
Driving schools responsible for administering the exams are from 1 September also required to send the skills certificates documents electronically to the Department of Mobility and Public Works.
This measure is being taken because fraud involving such certificates, which are issued after twenty hours of training and with which a provisional driver’s license can be requested, has been detected in the past.
From now on, holders of a non-recognized foreign driving license will no longer be granted an exemption. Still, they must undergo compulsory training before they can take the theoretical and practical driving exam.
This is also the case for people with a recognized foreign driving license who do not meet the theoretical and practical driving test exemption conditions. Through this change, holders of a non-recognized foreign driving license will be subject to the same obligations as all other applicants.
No delay for a refresher course
It is also explicitly stipulated that the examination centers and the institutions that offer the refresher course must make reasonable adjustments for candidates and participants with a disability. Novice drivers must follow a refresher course six to nine months after obtaining their final B driving license.
At the moment, almost 16 000 people still have to take the refresher course by 30 September. Because of the stricter corona measures, the approved institutions for the mandatory refresher course had to close their doors for a few months in 2020 and a few weeks in 2021.
Many novice drivers have, therefore, been given extra time until 30 September this year. Again, however, there is procrastination: people wait to make an appointment for their compulsory follow-up test.
The Minister, who recently extended the theoretical driving test’s validity again, is asking everyone not to procrastinate and register in time. “In this way, you can avoid a surcharge and possible fines,” she concludes.