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Monaco

Under current Monaco laws, the operation of self-driving vehicles on a public road is not allowed. Indeed, Monaco legislation requires the presence of a human driver for any type of vehicle and the driver would be characterized as the individual present in the car who exercises control over the vehicle.

Monaco ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1979 including article 8.1 which defines a “driver”. To operate a vehicle the driver must have a valid driving license, a certificate vehicle registration obtained under certain conditions and the vehicle must be compliant.

In summary, Monaco has the following rules and regulations relating to autonomous vehicles.

Regulatory framework currently enforceable in Monaco: the current legal landscape to operate self-driving vehicles in public road traffic

The Geneva Convention on road traffic: not ratified

Monaco has not signed the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and only became a member of the United Nations on May 28, 1993.

The Vienna Convention on road traffic: ratified (with reservations)

Monaco ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic on June 6, 1979. It was ratified with some minor reservations and declarations. However, please note that none of these reservations or declarations are related to the notion of a “driver”.

Monaco also ratified the European Agreement supplementing the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic on June 7, 1979 without reservations or declarations.

The UNECE regulations: not ratified

Monaco has not signed the UNECE Regulations and Monaco is not a member of the European Union.

Domestic law (in place)

The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is directly applicable in domestic law as incorporated into the Traffic Code (“Code de la route”), which was first implemented under Ordinance n°1.691 of December 17, 1957.

Pursuant to article 2 of the Traffic Code “All vehicles must have a driver.” However, the notion of “driver” is not defined in the Traffic Code or any published case law to date. Please note that the Traffic Code refers to the driver as being liable for the behavior of the car and its consequences. It also imposes certain obligations on the driver as to safety (e.g. the driver must remain at all times in control of his/her speed …).

  • Motor Vehicle registration: required

Under Monaco law, to operate a motor vehicle on public roads, the vehicle itself must have been registered with the Circulation Registration Services (“Service des titres de la circulation”). The conditions of a certificate of registration are codified in the Monaco Order n°4670.

Can benefit from a vehicle registration:

  • Individuals domiciled in Monaco further to articles 78, 79, 80 and 81 of the Civil Code (“Code civil”) and justifying of a Monaco identity card or a valid resident permit.
  • Individuals justifying in their own name of title to property or a rental lease in Monaco could be delivered one or more vehicle registrations, renewable annually.

For professional use by individuals or legal entities authorized to practice and a practicing professional, commercial, or industrial activity, except civil real estate partnerships. The words “company car” will be registered on the certificate of registration of such company vehicles.

  • Brake regime

Under Monaco law, all motor vehicles must have two braking devices that are totally independent. The brakes must have a rapid action and be powerful enough to stop and maintain the vehicle in a stationary position.

Please note that the conditions of the independence and efficiency of brakes in motor vehicles are specified by the Minister of State.

  • Reception of vehicle regime

Monaco has a specific regime concerning the technical reception of a vehicle. In fact, when the reception is not in the manufacturing state, all vehicles must be verified before they can be driven by the Circulation Registration Services. The purpose of this verification is to ensure that the vehicle meets with the technical criteria (e.g. pollution, visibility from the inside …). We are not in a position to ascertain if the self-driving vehicles at stake would meet with such criteria.

  • Driver’s license: required

Under Monaco law, to drive a motor vehicle on public roads, the driver must have a valid driver’s license, which entails being over 18 years of age.

Current obstacles

The operation of self-driving vehicles is not allowed under Monaco law because the Traffic Code demands that a motor vehicle must be driven by a driver and the driver would be characterized as the individual present in the car who exercises control over the vehicle.

Exceptional permissions

To date, there have been no exceptions but the regulator is willing to study any projects or experimentations in Monaco.

Special requirements regarding low-speed vehicles

There is no definition under Monaco law of a “low-speed-vehicle” so that all vehicles are treated under the same provisions of the Traffic code.

The regulator is willing to study projects and experiment in Monaco

Current legal landscape to operate self-driving vehicles in public road traffic

In Monaco, the rules for testing low-speed vehicles are the same as for roll-out of full-speed vehicles. Only a change of article 2 et seq. of the Traffic Code would allow their operation.

Current and future trends, including initiatives and potential barriers

An in-depth revision of the Traffic Code would be necessary as the entire approach of the Monaco legislator is based on the premise that a vehicle is driven by someone with a driving license. Contrary to France, for example, it is possible for learners between 16 and 18 years of age who have their theoretical part of the driving license exam to drive accompanied by someone who has held his/her driving license for a certain number of years. As another example, it is not possible either to drive certain types of vehicles which are limited in their speed. It seems the regulator has not begun any study group on this issue but is fully open to discussion.

Annex: One-page summary Monaco

Please note that this summary provide a simplified insight into the legal systems.
For more details, please see the memorandum above.

Top-Line Conclusion

Under current Monaco law the operation of vehicles in public road traffic is possible as by definition a “driver” with a valid driving license must be responsible for the behavior of the vehicle. Indeed, the driver would be characterized as the individual present in the car who exercises control over the vehicle. However, so far no exceptions have been granted but the regulator is willing to study any projects or experimentations in Monaco.

List of applicable Laws

International / European:

Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (June 6, 1979)

European Agreement which complements the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (June 7, 1979)

National:

Code de la route

Phase 1: Testing of Low-Speed Vehicles

Current Legal Landscape:

All vehicles must have a driver who is liable for the car’s behaviour and its consequences.

Competent authorities
for (exceptional)
permissions and
respective contact
persons:

Mrs. Aurélie PERI
SERVICE DES TITRES DE CIRCULATION
23, Avenue Albert II, BP 699, MC 98014 MONACO CEDEX
Telephone: (+377) 98 98 80 14 / Fax: (+377) 98 98 40 36
E-mail: aperi@gouv.mc

Laws that need to be amended:

Traffic Code

Any references to the notion of driver concerning the behaviour of the vehicle in the Traffic code.

Phase 2: Roll-out of Full-Speed Vehicles

Current Legal Landscape:

All vehicles must be under the control of a driver.

Current and future trends including initiatives and potential barriers:

The philosophy underlying current legislation is very much focused on the driver as opposed to the vehicle but it seems the regulator is willing to open a dialogue.