The Spanish Congress has approved two proposals which will for the first time ever allow the issuing of bilingual identity cards and driving licenses in the autonomous communities which have a second official language. The initiative came from the majority Partido Popular (PP) group, but also incorporated amendments from the socialist and Catalan nationalist parties. Following the approval, new bilingual identity cards will be available in six months. It will take only three months in the case of driving licenses. The new regulation will affect the Catalan communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia, the Basque areas of Navarre and the Basque Country and the north-western community of Galicia. Some of these territories' parliaments had in the past adopted resolutions requesting such bilingual documents. Although the original proposal stated that bilingual documents would be issued only on a voluntary basis, pressure by nationalist groups forced a change in PP policy. Therefore, all identity cards and driving licenses in these territories will be bilingual.


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