Regulation – transport, storage and distribution sector


LGV and PCV driver licensing

Drivers of minibuses, buses, coaches and lorries must hold the appropriate driving licence for the type of vehicle they drive. There are also restrictions on the age at which these vehicles can be driven.

Minibuses, buses and coaches

You must be 21 or over to drive a minibus – with between 9 and 16 passenger seats – or any coach or bus. Drivers must have either:

  • a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) driver’s licence, or
  • a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) driving entitlement – for licences issued after 1991

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issues licences for drivers in Great Britain and the category of licence depends on the size and weight of the vehicle. Find out about the different licence categories on the DVLA website.

PCV licences are valid until the driver’s 45th birthday. After that date the licence must be renewed every five years until the driver reaches 65. After that it must be renewed every year.

Large goods vehicles

You must be 21 or over to drive a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) such as an articulated lorry or one that can carry goods in excess of 3.5 tonnes. The appropriate LGV licence must be obtained for the category of vehicle that you will drive. Licences for drivers in Great Britain are issued by the DVLA and are valid until the driver’s 45th birthday. After that date the licence must be renewed every five years until the driver reaches 65. After that it must be renewed every year. To obtain the licence, a large goods vehicle driving test must be passed and this includes a theory test. Drivers must also pass a medical examination.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) operates a voluntary register of LGV instructors as part of an initiative to raise the standard of training for learner lorry drivers. The instructors on the register are closely monitored by DSA to make sure that they provide high quality training services. Obtain details on getting a licence from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) website.

For LGV and PSV licensing you can:

Motorcycle riders

The minimum age for riding a large motorcycle – over 33bhp – is 21 and to obtain a full licence riders must take Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and pass a theory and a road test. The standard category A motocycle test allows riders to ride any motorcycle up to 33bph, with a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 0.16W/kg. You will be entitled to ride larger powered motorcycles after two years as a full motorcycle licence holder. Read about minimum licence ages on the DVLA website .

In Northern Ireland the Department of the Environment (DOE) licenses drivers of PSVs and LGVs. The application for the licence must be accompanied by a doctor’s medical report. This is also required for licence renewals once the driver reaches 45 years old. Find out about driver and motorcycle rider licensing from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI) website.

On the DVLNI website you can:

This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2011
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