A driver card is a personalised document that uses a memory chip to provide both data on the identity of the driver and data on driver activities. This stored data can be viewed by the authorities in the event of an inspection. Each driver must therefore have his or her own personal driver card. The use of such a card in conjunction with a digital tachograph has been legally mandated by the Driving Personnel Regulation (EC) 561/2006 since May 2006. The driver card is valid for a maximum of five years and must be re-applied for from the authorities after this period.
It is not enough to carry the driver card in your wallet: In order to be able to record the driver's activities, it must be inserted into one of the two card slots in the digital tachograph at the beginning of the working day. The card may only be removed again when the work is finished and the driver is off duty.
These data are stored on the driver card for at least 28 days. Once the maximum storage capacity is reached, the oldest data on the card is overwritten by the new data. Depending on how often the card is used, data older than 28 days may be available.