• Time to read 7 minutes
Become a qualified dangerous goods (ADR) vehicle driver
How do I become qualified to drive dangerous goods?



  • Get qualified to drive dangerous goods
  • How to qualify
  • Finding a training course
  • Taking a training course
  • Taking a test
  • After you've qualified
  • Staying qualified
  • Add extra dangerous goods classes to your ADR driver card

 Get qualified to drive dangerous goods


To become a dangerous goods (ADR) vehicle driver you need to:

  • train and pass exams to get an ADR driver card
  • complete any additional training you need depending on what dangerous goods you want to carry


If you want to transport dangerous goods in a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) as the main part of your job, you need to be qualified as a HGV driver and have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).


If you qualify as an ADR driver, you’ll be able to transport one or more of these dangerous goods:

  • explosives
  • gases
  • flammable liquids
  • flammable solids
  • oxidising substances
  • toxic substances
  • radioactive substances
  • corrosive substances
  • miscellaneous substances


If you want to transport petrol and any other petroleum-based fuels such as diesel, you’ll also need to get a Petroleum Driver Passport.

You can qualify as an ADR driver even if you have a criminal record - check with your employer what dangerous goods you’ll be allowed to transport.

There’s no minimum time that you need to have had your full HGV driving licence before you can start training for an ADR licence.


If you’re qualifying for the first time


To become a dangerous goods (ADR) vehicle driver you need to:

  1. Find out how to qualify for different types of dangerous goods.

  2. Book a training course.

  3. Take the training and pass the training tests.

  4. Wait to get your ADR card after you’ve qualified - you must have your card to drive any dangerous goods, and keep your details up to date.

  5. Take refresher training and tests to stay qualified - your qualifications only last for 5 years.


Your card will show what dangerous goods you are allowed to carry. You can add extra dangerous goods classes to your ADR driver card at any time by taking optional training modules and tests.

You can update the details on your ADR card, or replace a lost, stolen or damaged card if you need to.


If you have qualified as a driver of dangerous goods before


If you have previous experience as a qualified dangerous goods driver and your card is still valid, you do not need to take the training again.

You’ll still need to do refresher training and exams every 5 years to stay qualified.

How to qualify


You’ll need to book and take a training course to qualify to transport dangerous goods. What training course you take depends on what dangerous goods you want to transport.


All the training courses are made up of:

  • a core module
  • additional modules


The additional modules you should take depend on:

  • the types or combinations of dangerous goods you want to transport
  • how they’re transported - in packages or in tanks


You’ll need to spend a minimum amount of time training on each module, and have to pass a test at the end.


What you can qualify for


Some types (classes) of dangerous goods have common characteristics - training to carry one of them will allow you to carry others.


You can train to transport:

  • one or a small number of dangerous goods classes
  • groups of similar dangerous goods
  • explosives or radioactive materials


You can choose to train for one or more of these groups at a time, or add more at a later date.

Finding a training course


Check the list of official training centres to find out if they provide the course you need to take.

Not all training providers run courses for explosives and radioactive materials.

You need to get training from an approved training provider if you want to become a qualified dangerous goods (ADR) vehicle driver.


Download the spreadsheet below to find out:

  • how to contact the training provider to book a training course
  • whether they offer online training remotely


Approved training providers for dangerous goods driver training


Types of training


All training providers offer training in:

  • Class 2: gases
  • Class 3: flammable liquids
  • Class 4: flammable solids
  • Class 5: oxidising substances
  • Class 6: toxic substances
  • Class 8: corrosive substances
  • Class 9: miscellaneous substances


Some training providers also offer specialist training in:

  • Class 1: explosives
  • Class 7: radioactive materials


How much it costs


Training providers set their own prices for courses - there’s no maximum price.

Find out more about Skills Bootcamp courses.

Taking a training course


The training courses can last up to 5 days, depending on which qualification option you choose. This includes the time to take the exams at the end of the course.


You will need to show one of the following forms of ID to take your training course:

  • a photocard driving licence
  • a valid passport
  • a Driver CPC card
  • professional body photo ID card
  • an HM Services ID card


What the training course covers


The training course covers the core module and additional modules for each qualification. For example, training to transport explosives will involve taking the core module and the Class 1: explosives module.

If your course is delivered remotely, the practical exercises will be replaced with discussions and demonstrations.


One or a small number of dangerous goods classes


You’ll need to take:

  • the core module
  • the packages module or tankers module (or you can take both)
  • the module for the dangerous goods class or classes you want to qualify in


Module name Minimum training time
Core 9 hours
Packages 1 hour 30 minutes
Tanks 7 hours 30 minutes
Class 2: gases 1 hour 30 minutes
Class 3: flammable liquids 1 hour 30 minutes
Class 4: flammable solids 45 minutes
Class 5: oxidising substances 45 minutes
Class 6: toxic substances 45 minutes
Class 8: corrosive substances 45 minutes
Class 9: miscellaneous substances 45 minutes


Groups of similar dangerous goods


Some dangerous goods classes have common characteristics. They’re split into 2 groups:

  • group A classes (2, 3, 6, 8)
  • group B classes (4, 5, 9)


You can qualify for these groups rather than taking the individual modules for each class within the group.


You must take:

  • the core module
  • the packages or tankers module (or you can take both)
  • the common characteristics module
  • the group A classes module or group B classes module (or you can take both)


Module name Minimum training time
Core 9 hours
Packages 1 hour 30 minutes
Tanks 7 hours 30 minutes
Common characteristics 1 hour 30 minutes
Group A classes (2, 3, 6, 8) 3 hours 45 minutes
Group B classes (4, 5, 9) 1 hour 30 minutes


Explosives or radioactive materials


You must take:

  • the core module
  • the class 1 module or class 7 module (or you can take both)


Module name Minimum training time
Core 9 hours
Class 1: explosives 6 hours
Class 7: radioactive materials 6 hours


If you qualify to transport explosives and radioactive materials and want to add extra dangerous goods classes at a later date, you’ll then need to train and pass the exam for the packages or tankers module (or both) as well as the modules for the extra classes you want.


Problems with a training course


You can email SQA if you think the training provided was not to the right standard, for example the course did not last as long as it should have.

SQA dangerous goods training complaints
[email protected]


You can also email DVSA with complaints.

DVSA complaints
[email protected]

Taking a test


You’ll take the exams at the end of your course - usually on the last day. The exams are always done in person at the training centre.

The exams are multiple choice and are usually online, but they can also be on paper. The training centre will provide you with all of the necessary learning materials.

You’ll have to take an exam for each module you trained for.


Your test results


Your training provider should give you your test result.

When you’ll get your test result depends on the format of your test.

If you take a test online, you’ll get your result immediately after your test

If your test is on paper, you’ll get your result within 20 working days. Contact your training provider if you have not had your result in that time.


If you fail your test


You can retake the test for the module that you’ve failed within 16 weeks without retaking the training - you can take the test as many times as you want to.

If your test is online, you can take it again on the same day as the one you failed.

If your test is on paper, you’ll need to wait to receive your results before retaking the test.

After you've qualified


You’ll get your dangerous goods (ADR) driver card within 28 working days of the exam if you pass it.

The back of your ADR card will show the classes you are qualified to carry.

You must not transport dangerous goods while you’re waiting for your card to arrive - if you drive without a card, you could be taken to court and receive a fine.


How the card is sent to you


The card will be sent to the address that your training provider registered for you. This could be either:

  • your address
  • your training provider’s address


Ask your training provider which address it will be sent to.


If your card does not arrive


Email SQA if your card has not arrived after a week.

SQA ADR team
[email protected]


Replace a lost, stolen or damaged dangerous goods (ADR) driver card


Email SQA to replace your driver card if it’s lost, damaged or stolen.

SQA ADR team
[email protected]


It costs £10 to apply to get a replacement card, which you can pay by debit or credit card.

You should get your replacement card within 10 working days.


Change the name on your card


You can email or write to the ADR team to apply to change the name on your driver card.


SQA ADR team
58 Robertson Street
G2 8DQ
[email protected]


You must send evidence of the change. You can send copies of the documents.


You can use:

  • your passport
  • your driving licence
  • a deed poll certificate (or marriage certificate for surname change)


Change your address


Your driver card does not include your address.

However, you should tell SQA your new address so they can update their records.

SQA ADR team
[email protected]

Staying qualified


Your qualification lasts for 5 years. You have to take refresher training and exams to stay qualified. The expiry date is printed on your driver card.

If your ADR card has expired you’ll need to take the training and tests to qualify again.


When you can take refresher training


You can start your refresher training one year before your current dangerous goods driver card expires. When you pass the exam, your qualification will be extended for 5 years from the expiry date of your current card.

If you start it more than one year before and take the exam, your new dangerous goods (ADR) driver card will last for 5 years from the date you pass the refresher exam.


Find and take refresher training


You must take refresher training for the classes of dangerous goods already on your driver card - check how you can find a training provider above.

You must take the refresher exam at least 6 weeks before your current card expires.

If you fail a refresher test for a module, you can retake the test within 16 weeks without taking the refresher training for that module again.


Counting your refresher training towards Driver CPC training


Up to 14 hours of dangerous goods training can also be counted towards the 35 hours of Driver CPC training you have to do every 5 years.

You need to email DVSA to get the training counted towards your Driver CPC training.

[email protected]

Add extra dangerous goods classes to your ADR driver card


You can add extra classes of dangerous goods to your ADR driver card.

You must take the training module and module exam for each of the extra classes you want to get.

You’ll get a new ADR driver card after you’ve passed the exam. It will still have the same expiry date as your original card.

Any new classes you’ve got will only be valid for this date. You’ll need to take refresher training to stay qualified with the new classes.

You should destroy your old and outdated cards.



Approved training providers for dangerous goods driver training


Source: www.gov.uk

Load Exchange Platform (Register Free)
Exclusive HGV Alliance Hero Discounts
Logistics Industry Articles and News
HGV Alliance Library