Driving licence requirements
Driving licence requirements
The following information is for managers; staff and others involved in the operation of vehicles used for council business, and will assist managers to recruiting for posts likely to include driving duties.
Reference should be made to the Council's document "Regulations for the Use of Vehicles".
Regulations for the use of vehicles
UK drivers who passed their ordinary car driving test before 1 January 1997 will normally have been issued an old style UK Driving License showing vehicles of Group A, or a new style EC Driving License showing vehicles of Categories B, C1 and D1.
Drivers who passed their driving test after 1 January 1997 are only issued a Driving License showing vehicles of Category B (up to 8 passenger seats).
Passenger carrying vehicles (including minibuses) - category D/D1
All drivers of minibuses (9-16 passenger seats) must hold a valid driving license showing either Group A on an old style UK License or Category B and D or D1 on a new EC style License issued in any EU Country.
Drivers who passed their test (Category B) after 1 January 1997 and who wish to drive a minibus are required to take a further Statutory Driving test for vehicles in Category D or D1.
A further Driving Test may be required to tow a trailer (Category E).
However, drivers who passed the car test (Category B) after 1 January 1997 are permitted to drive a vehicle in Category D1 (minibuses) without a further test if the following conditions are met:-
- a full driving license has been held for at least two years
- the driver is aged 21 or over
- the driver receives no payment (or any other consideration) other than out of pocket expenses (i.e. they are a volunteer)
- the vehicle is driven for social purposes only
- there is no trailer attached
- the maximum authorised of the vehicle does not exceed 3.5 tonnes, or if fitted with specialised equipment used for disabled passengers, does not exceed 4.25 tonnes**
**Many standard minibuses (including those operated by the Council) have a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes and those fitted with specialised equipment used for disabled passengers usually exceed 4.25 tonnes maximum authorised mass.
Details of the maximum authorised mass can be obtained from the Vehicle Identification Number Plate, usually located within the engine compartment or the cab of the vehicle.
To avoid the risk of a driver who does not possess a suitable driving license driving a minibus, the Council requires that all drivers of minibuses possess an old style UK Driving License showing vehicles of Group A, or an EC Style Driving License showing vehicles in Categories B and D or D1.
Large goods vehicles - category C/C1
All drivers of goods vehicles with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not 7.5 tonnes must possess either an old style UK Driving License showing vehicles of Group A or an EC Driving License showing vehicles in Category B and C or C1.
Drivers of goods vehicles with maximum authorised mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes and no upper weight limit must possess an EC Driving License showing vehicles in Category B and C.
Drivers who passed their test (Category B) after 1 January 1997 who wish to drive any goods vehicle in excess of 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass must take a further Statutory Driving Test for vehicles in Category C or C1(up to 7.5 tonnes mam).
A further driving test may be required to tow a trailer (Category E).
Trailers - Category E
All drivers, irrespective of the date of their car test or completion of further tests for categories C/C1 and C/D1, must take a further Statutory Driving Test if they wish to tow a trailer exceeding 750k maximum authorised mass, to obtain Category E in addition to the main Category.
Drivers from Northern Ireland and all other countries should check the validity of their driving license for use within the United Kingdom by referring to the Direct Government web site dealing with Driving Licenses for visitors to the UK.
Taking a minibus abroad
Most organised trips with minibuses (including welfare vehicles) operated by County Council Establishments will fall within operations defined as hire and reward.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency defines hire and reward as encompassing any payment in cash or kind by (or on behalf of) passengers, which gives them a right to be carried. There is no distinction between commercial operations running at a profit and non-commercial operations using voluntary drivers without payment.
The fact that no profit is being made has no relevance to the definition of hire and reward. In the UK, a Minibus Permit is required for this type of operation and can be obtained from the Swan Rider Transport Services.
Minibuses being operated outside the UK on hire and reward operations must be driven by a driver who holds an EC style driving license showing Categories D or D1 without any restriction (101) regarding hire and reward.
All drivers, irrespective of the date they passed their test, must take a further Statutory Driving Test for vehicles of Category D or D1 without restriction 101 (for hire and reward).
If you intend to organise a trip abroad, you are recommended to seek advice about the driving license requirements from the Fleet Management Department.
When recruiting staff that may be required to drive vehicles, the candidate's Driving License must be checked, particularly if the candidate is required to drive a vehicle that is a large goods vehicle (Categories C & C1) or a passenger carrying vehicle (Categories D & D1).
Drivers who are not licensed to drive vehicles such as minibuses and goods vehicles will require training to take the Statutory Driving Test. The Council is unable to provide tuition for the test, and drivers are recommended to apply to a Commercial Vehicle Driving School.
It is necessary for foreign nationals to exchange their driving license for a UK Driving License before they can take a UK Statutory Driving Test.
County Council Driving Test
All drivers of vehicles which are insured by the County are required to complete and County Driving Assessment on the type of vehicle they intend driving.
All enquiries for the County Council Driving Test should be made to the Passenger Transport Manager.
However, drivers who have successfully completed a Statutory Driving Test (arranged by the County Council) for vehicles in Categories C/C1 & D/D1 will not be required to take the County driving assessment.
Similarly drivers wishing to drive minibuses who have passed the Midas minibus test are not required to take a County driving assessment.
Advice for the operation of vehicles and driver licensing can be obtained from the Fleet Management Department.
BCC Driving license checks after 8th June 2015
It has been confirmed by Central Government that from 8 June 2015, DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence. This means from that date, existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid.
Up to date driver license information will now only be held online. To provide evidence of a valid driving license and details of any endorsements follow the following instructions:
Drivers should use the “view driving license” service.
This allows GB driving licence holders to view their driving record online. The service is free and easy to use and available 24/7. Drivers can check what type of vehicles they can drive and any endorsements (penalty points) they may have.
- Click on “share your license”
- Click on “create a code”
- Click on “view, print or save your license info”
- Save or print your license details, ensuring any endorsements & convictions are listed.