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Success: Romanian car drivers will be able to ride light motorcycles

In few weeks, a new law will enter in force in Romania: driving licence B will also be valid for 125 cc motorcycles with an automatic transmission. Oana Radu, from the Romanian motorcyclists’ organisation – and FEMA member – MotoADN, explains.

What is the new rule?
Driving licence B will also valid for motorcycles with an automatic transmission with a maximum displacement of 125 cc, with a maximum power of 11 kW and a power-to-weight ratio of no more than 0.1 kW/kg, category A1. License holders must be at least 24 years old, have a category B license for at least 3 years and provide proof of having completed 10 hours of practical training at an authorized vehicle driver training facility. The new law will be applicable as soon as technical rules for driving schools will be published, and police will start building the data base mentioned in the law.

Why was the 125B bill proposal sent to the Constitutional Court of Romania?
In July 2023, the President of Romania requested the re-examination of the normative act behind Law 125B based on the wrong placement of the legislative intervention, respectively due to a lack of clarity regarding how the proof of completion of the 10 hours of practical training will be fulfilled. More specifically, it was not clear in the proposed law whether the graduates of that course have to physically carry the proof of completion of those practical courses in the eventuality of a possible check by traffic police agents. In addition, the President also cited a lack of clarity in the legislator’s intention regarding the right of holders of driving licenses of category B to drive only motorcycles with automatic transmission of the A1 category.

Oana Radu: “MotoADN has been struggling for almost five years to make it possible for B licensed drivers to be able to ride 125 cc scooters (after some practical lessons). Today is a big day for the Romanian motorcycle market and for all those who want to switch cars with small scooters. We are talking about motorcycles with an automatic transmission, which have a maximum cubic capacity of 125 cc and a maximum power of 11 kW, respectively a power-to-weight ratio of at most 0.1 kW / kg. These vehicles fall under the A1 license category, but those who obtain a category 125B license will not be allowed to ride any A1 category motorcycle. Please keep this in mind if you already have a category B driving license and are looking for a scooter or even a 125cc motorcycle, that does not have an automatic gearbox.”

Following this request, the law went back to Parliament for reconsideration. In the second part of December 2023, the Parliament submitted for promulgation the 125B bill to complete the GEO 195/2002 (Romania’s Highway Code). At the beginning of January 2024, the law was contested at the Constitutional Court of Romania by the Presidency of Romania. We presented above the reasons for the contestation.

What did the Constitutional Court of Romania decide?
On March 20, 2024, the Constitutional Court of Romania discussed the referral to the Presidency regarding the constitutionality of Law 125B. The judges of the Constitutional Court of Romania rejected the referral of the President, which means that 125B bill will go to promulgation. In other words, the 125B bill proposal will become law, but that doesn’t mean that you can get on a 125 cc scooter tomorrow and drive it if you only have a category B license. The most difficult and most important steps have now been taken. From this moment, law 125B will become a reality in Romania, and all we have to do is wait for its publication in the Official Gazette (Monitorul Oficial).

When will drivers with a B licence be able to ride 125 cc scooters?
As in the case of any other law in Romania, its application begins only after the publication of its complete form in the Official Gazette. This will also apply to the 125B law, so first all the rules related to its application must be created and then published in the Official Gazette. Only then will driving schools be able to offer courses for 125B. After driving schools offer these courses, those who are eligible to enroll in these courses must attend them and complete the respective practical training hours. Once the mandatory minimum training period is completed, a document certifying the completion of that training course will be issued. Based on that document, the holder will have the right to ride scooters up to 125 cc on public roads in Romania as long as he also holds a category B driver’s license.

This last part is important to mention – if a driver’s right to drive is suspended for a period, it is suspended for all the categories that the person holds on their driving license, not just for the one that they were using when this right was suspended.

For more background information, click here to read an article by MotoADN we published in November 2023.

Written by Oana Radu (MotoADN)

Top photograph courtesy of Yamaha

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