December 2012 Campaign Update on new Rider Licencing from Jan 2013

MAG CAMPAIGN UPDATE – December 2012:

New Rider Licensing Rules effective from 19 January 2013

New riders trying to gain a full licence to ride a moped, motorcycle or trike will face a minefield of new rules that come in to force on 19 January 2013. 

NB: any existing entitlements gained by a rider under the old rules should NOT be affected.

The 3rd EU Driving Licence Directive creates a new category of motorcycle licence, bringing the total number of bike tests / licence categories up to four.

  • Moped (category AM) – up to 50cc, 45 km/h (also three-wheelers under 4 kW (5.4 bhp) and quads up to 50cc, under 350 kg). From age 16.
  • Light (category A1) – up to 125cc, 11 kW (14.6bhp), 0.1 kW per kg. From age 17.
  • Medium (category A2) – up to 35 kW (46.6bhp), 0.2 kW per kg, not derived from vehicle more than twice its power. From age 19.
  • Large (category A) – unrestricted bikes, trikes, etc. From age 21 IF they have held an A2 licence for two years, OR from age 24 by ‘Direct Access’.

Current rules for mopeds and 125s remain largely unchanged.

However, passing the test on a 125 no longer allows the rider to use anything bigger (currently most of the riders that pass the test on a 125 are then allowed to ride bikes bigger than 125cc, but restricted to 33bhp for the first two years).

Under the new rules, an A2 licence allows the rider to use bikes up to 47bhp.

Larger motorcycles (and trikes over 20bhp) can only be ridden on a Category A licence.

Provided a rider has already held an A2 licence for two years, it is possible for them to gain a licence to ride an unrestricted motorcycle by 21 years.  However, the minimum age at which new riders can gain a licence to ride an unrestricted motorcycle by ‘Direct Access’ rises to 24 years (previously the minimum age was 21 years). 

Younger rider can progress to ride an unrestricted motorcycle or trike provided they have held and A2 licence for at least two years.

The Motor Cycle Industry Association has compiled a helpful diagram which is available here.

Any entitlements currently held will not be affected, but the DVLA have now clarified that any provisional entitlements, such as provisional B1 which did entitle trike use, will not transfer beyond January 19th and have now been lost.

The minimum requirements for a vehicle on which to take each test, do differ from those of the bikes a rider will be entitled to ride on each new category of licence. See here for minimum test vehicle requirements.