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Over 12,000 Belgians drive with an expired licence
More than 12,000 Belgians are in possession of an expired driving licence, according to figures requested by MP Marianne Verhaert (Open VLD), reports De Standaard.
A driving licence obtained in Belgium must be renewed, like identity cards, every 10 years. But unlike these cards, holders do not automatically receive an invitation from their municipality to get a new one when the old one is about to expire.
Data provided by minister of mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) indicates that of 23,706 driving licences issued in 2010 and 2011 with an administrative validity of 10 years, 12,139 had not yet been renewed, meaning those drivers are in possession of an expired licence.
If caught driving with an expired licence, violators risk a fine of between €1,600 and €16,000, a driving ban of between eight days and five years or a prison sentence of between eight days and two years.
If a driver were to get into an accident with an expired licence, there are also major consequences for his or her insurance company.
Gilkinet has already announced that a reminder system meant to alert people with soon-to-expire licences is underway, but Verhaert pointed out that it isn't operational yet and needs to be implemented quickly.