Changes To The Driving Licence

Changes To The Driving Licence

On 19 January 2013 the European Union Third Directive on driving licences comes into force. All new driving licences from this date will have to meet the terms of the Directive. The changes will mainly affect motorcyclists, lorry, bus and minibus drivers and those who tow trailers.


Your licence explained

Changes to the front of the licence

The following changes will apply to the front of new driving licences:
•all dates will be shown as DD.MM.YYYY
•categories shown will be separated by a slash
•the date in 4b will show the licence expiry date

Changes to the back of the licence

From the 15 October 2012 to 18 January 2013, you’ll be issued with either photocard licence example A or example B. From 19 January 2013 you’ll be issued a photocard licence showing example B only.

driving licence

Example A – issued from 15 October 2012 to 18 January 2013 1 – New design showing full table of categories, pictograms, start and expiry dates and any codes that apply 2 – Legend containing explanation of each field’s contents 3 – Overflow of information/restriction codes

EXAMPLE B

Example B – issued from 15 October 2012 to 18 January 2013 1 – New design showing full table of categories, pictograms, start and expiry dates and any codes that apply 2 – Legend containing explanation of each field’s contents 3 – Overflow of information/restriction codes

The expiry date of your licence will be shown on the front in section 4b and the expiry date of your entitlements will be shown on the back of your licence.

The new style licence will look different to the current licence. All vehicle categories will be listed on the back of your licence with dates against those you are entitled to drive or ride. You won’t be entitled to drive any category of vehicle that has lines instead of dates. However, if you have passed a test in a larger vehicle you may still be entitled to drive or ride smaller vehicles of that type which have lines shown instead of dates, eg holders of full category A would be entitled to ride a category A2 vehicle.

Licence counterpart

Your photocard licence is accompanied by a paper counterpart. The counterpart will contain your provisional driving entitlements, driving offences and other relevant information.

Lorry, bus and minibus licence holders

If you apply to claim your first lorry or bus test pass or renew your driving licence on or after 19 January 2013, the licence issued will be valid for a maximum of 5 years. This affects you if you have passed driving tests for categories C1, C, D1, D, C1E, CE, D1E or DE.

Once you’ve been issued with a 5 year licence you’ll need to renew the licence when it expires – the licence expiry date is shown in 4b. To renew the licence and to renew your lorry and/or bus entitlement you’ll need to fill in the application and medical questions on an ‘Application for a lorry, bus or minibus driving licence’ (D2) or the renewal reminder form which we send you.

If you’ve already passed a driving test in one of the above categories, the new rules will apply when you next renew your driving licence or when you renew your lorry and/or bus entitlement, whichever is earlier.

Your categories explained

Mopeds (AM and q)

All licences issued on or after 19 January 2013 will show moped categories as AM and q in place of category p. But if you held full category p before this date you’ll keep this entitlement and it will be shown on your licence together with new categories AM and q.

Motorcycles (A1, A2 and A)

There are different minimum age restrictions and power outputs for the different categories. If you are an existing tricycle rider you won’t lose the entitlement you currently hold.

Tests for mopeds with 3 or 4 wheels, A1 and A tricycles and sidecar combinations will only be offered to physically disabled drivers or riders.

Tricycles (AM, A and A1)

There are varied minimum age restrictions and power outputs for the different categories. If you are an existing tricycle rider with a full licence, you won’t lose the entitlement you currently hold.

Tests for mopeds with 3 or 4 wheels, A1 and A tricycles and sidecar combinations will only be offered to physically disabled drivers or riders.

Drivers who tow trailers

If you’ve passed your car (category B) test on or after 19 January 2013 and you want to tow a trailer weighing more than 3,500 kilograms with a car or small vehicle (category B and B+E), then you’ll need to pass a test for category C1E.

If you got your driving entitlement before 19 January 2013 you will retain it. There are no further changes to rules on towing trailers.

For further information on towing trailers please see booklet Requirements for towing trailers in Great Britain (INF30) (PDF 488kB).

04/08/2013 / by / in

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