Assignment of Card Number

A 16-digit digital tachograph card number must be assigned automatically on every card issued. The number must be visibly displayed on the card itself and also on the chip. Digits 14, 15 and 16 have to be set to zero on first issue of the card.


Replacement means the issue of a smart tachograph card in replacement of an existing card which has been declared lost, stolen or malfunctioning and has not been returned to the issuing authority. However, Regulation (ECC) n° 3821/85 and the AETR state that malfunctioning cards should be replaced, therfore ALL malfunctioning cards would be Replacements.Replacement always implies a risk that two valid cards may co-exist.


Renewal means the issue of a new smart tachograph card when an existing card’s expiry date comes to a close, or is malfunctioning and has been returned to the Issuing Authority. Renewal always implies the certainty that two valid cards do not co-exist.


Exchange is an application to modify administrative data (i.e. change of name, address etc). However, if change of address is because of a move to another National Authority then an Exchange is handled as a First Issue.

Driver Card Suspension & Withdrawal 

Regulation (EEC) n°3821/85 and the AETR clearly defines the reasons why National Card issuing authorities can be authorised to suspend or to withdraw driver cards.

The principle is that the driver card “may not during its official period of validity, be withdrawn or suspended for whatever reason” unless the competent authority of a [national authority] finds that:

  • The card has been falsified, or
  • The driver is using a card of which he is not the holder, or
  • The card held has been obtained on the basis of false declarations and/or forged documents.

No such provisions exist in Regulation (ECC) n°3821/85 or in AETR as last amended as far as company, control and workshop cards are concerned.
For these particular types of card, please contact your national Card Issuing Authority.