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Changes to HGV and bus driving licences and tests from 15 November 2021
Find out what’s changed with how driving licences work for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and bus drivers and how driving tests are changing.

Contents

 

  • What you can learn to drive and take your driving test in
  • How to upgrade your provisional licence
  • Changes to the Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test 

Some rules about learning to drive an HGV and bus or coach changed on 15 November 2021. The changes affect:

  • what you’re allowed to learn to drive and take your driving test in
  • how the driving test works

What you can learn to drive and take your driving test in

 

Lorries

 

You can now:

  • learn to drive in an articulated lorry (category CE) if your provisional lorry licence was issued from 15 November 2021 (if you had a provisional licence before this date, you need to take extra steps to upgrade your provisional licence)
  • take your test in a large articulated lorry without having to pass one in a large rigid lorry (category C) first

 

You can still learn to drive and take a driving test in a large rigid lorry (category C) if you do not want to drive anything larger.

 

When you pass your test in a large articulated lorry, you’re allowed to drive:

  • a medium-sized lorry (C1)
  • a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer (C1E)
  • a large rigid lorry (C)
  • a large articulated lorry (CE)

 

Medium-sized lorries

This change also applies to medium-sized lorries towing a trailer (category C1E).

This means you can learn to drive a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer (category C1E) and take your test in one, without having to pass a test in a medium-sized lorry (category C1) first.

 

When you pass your test in a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer, you’re allowed to drive:

  • a medium-sized lorry (C1)
  • a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer (C1E)

 

Buses and coaches

 

You can now:

  • learn to drive in a bus or coach towing a trailer (category DE) if your provisional bus licence was issued from 15 November 2021 (if you had a provisional licence before this date, you need to take extra steps to upgrade your provisional licence)
  • take your test in a bus or coach towing a trailer without having to pass one in just a bus or coach (category D) first

 

You can still learn to drive and take a driving test in a bus or coach (category D) if you do not want to tow trailers.

 

When you pass your test in a bus or coach towing a trailer, you’re allowed to drive:

  • a minibus (D1)
  • a minibus towing a trailer (D1E)
  • a bus or coach (D)
  • a bus or coach towing a trailer (DE)

 

Minibuses

This change also applies to minibuses towing a trailer (category D1E).

This means you can learn to drive a minibus towing a trailer (category D1E) and take your test in one, without having to pass a test in just a minibus (category D1) first.

 

When you pass your test in a minibus towing a trailer, you’re allowed to drive:

  • a minibus (D1)
  • a minibus towing a trailer (D1E)

How to upgrade your provisional licence

 

If you got your provisional lorry or bus entitlement before 15 November 2021, you may be entitled to additional provisional entitlements. You need to apply to get the additional provisional entitlements added to your licence.

If your provisional lorry or bus entitlement was issued from 15 November 2021, you’ll have the extra provisional entitlements added to your licence automatically.

Changes to the Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test

 

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 3 (driving ability) test is 1 of the 4 tests you have to pass to drive a lorry or bus for a living.

 

The test will be split into 2 parts from 29 November 2021:

  • Driver CPC part 3a test: off-road exercises
  • Driver CPC part 3b test: on-road driving

 

If you take a test up to and including 28 November 2021

 

You will still take a single Driver CPC part 3 test (driving ability) test if you have an appointment booked up to and including 28 November 2021.

However, you can choose to take a Driver CPC part 3a (off-road exercises) test with an approved training organisation before your main test. They can charge you up to £40 for the test itself, but this does not include the cost of training and vehicle hire.

When you come for your full Driver CPC part 3 test appointment, the examiner will check if you have a part 3a pass certificate.

DVSA will then only carry out the on-road part of the test, including the ‘show me, tell me’ safety questions.

If you have not passed a Driver CPC part 3a test, you’ll do the full test, including the off-road exercises.

 

If you want to take a test from 29 November 2021 onwards

 

You need to book and take your test in 2 parts if you want to do it from 29 November 2021:

 

If you already have a test booked from 29 November 2021 onwards

 

Your appointment from 29 November onwards will be changed into the new Driver CPC part 3b (on-road driving) test type. Your appointment time will slightly change because of this. You will:

  • need to ask your trainer to check the new time if they booked the test for you
  • get an email from DVSA with the new appointment time if you booked the test yourself

 

You must book and pass a Driver CPC part 3a test before you take your part 3b test.

If you cannot find a Driver CPC part 3a test before your appointment, you’ll need to move your part 3b test to a later date.


From: Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency


Published 17 September 2021

Last updated 16 November 2021

 

 

Updated the information about the changes to the Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test to confirm that tests taken from 29 November will be split into 2 parts. Added links to information about how the 2 parts of the test will work.

 

Updated information about adding provisional entitlements to your licence.

 

Added a link to apply to get additional provisional entitlements added to your lorry or bus licence if it was issued before 15 November 2021.

 

Updated to confirm that DVSA will continue to provide full single Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) tests until further notice.

 

Added information about changes to the driving test booking service from 15 November 2021, and what happens if you've already booked a Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test. Added more information about how the Driver CPC part 3a (off-road exercises) test will work, including how long the pass certificate will be valid for and how long you had to wait before taking the test again if you fail it. Added more information about how the Drier CPC part 3b (on-road driving) test will work, including what to take to the test and the pass mark.

 

Updated to confirm that the rules will change on 15 November 2021, subject to Parliamentary approval. Added information about what you need to do about your provisional licence.

 

First published.

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