Photo credits @ AdobeStock

Hungary simplifies CE driving licence acquisition to tackle driver shortage

To tackle the shortage of drivers in Hungary, the government is streamlining the acquisition process for CE driving licences, enabling learners to obtain both category C and C+E licences simultaneously.

You can read this article in 3 minutes

The Hungarian Ministry of Construction and Transport (ÉKM) has announced measures to accelerate the acquisition of large-category driving licences. This initiative aims to support the domestic freight forwarding and haulage industry and address the sector’s labour shortage.

Under the new regulations, the CE category driver’s licence, which permits driving vehicle assemblies with a heavy trailer, can now be obtained simultaneously with the C category licence. Previously, the CE licence could only be obtained after completing the C category licence, resulting in longer training times.

The recent decree issued by the Minister of Construction and Transport amends the detailed rules for the training and examination of road transport drivers and traffic specialists. This amendment allows candidates with a valid category B licence to follow a combined course covering both category C and CE, enabling them to obtain both licences at the same time.

Hungary faces an 8% shortage of lorry drivers, equating to around 9,000 drivers. To mitigate this, the government is offering 1,000 individuals the opportunity to obtain a C+E licence through a programme funded with HUF 1.7 billion.

The training programme, announced in April 2024, allows participants to obtain C, C+E, and D category licences. Applicants must be Hungarian citizens with at least a two-year B category licence, meet medical fitness requirements, and have a suitability decision depending on the type of training. The programme is open to jobseekers, inactive labour market participants, and employed individuals.

However, the scheme is only conditionally free; participants must cover up to 30% of the course cost initially. The fee is fully reimbursed after 12 months of employment in a corresponding driving position following successful training.

As road freight transport and logistics is a priority strategic sector for the Hungarian government, alleviating the driver shortage is also a priority. In addition to the free training scheme and the newly introduced shorter way to obtain a CE driving licence, the Ministry of Transport has already made it possible to obtain a refresher training for the driving licence without an examination (the so-called GKI training, the Hungarian equivalent of the CPC training).