What are the Driving Licence Requirements?
The regular car driving test results in a category B on a driver licence. That means the holder would have entitlement to drive:
- Agricultural tractors (which are category f)
- Mowing machines or pedestrian-controlled vehicles (category k)
So, you must have the correct full licence for all other driving licence categories (e.g. to drive a tractor or special vehicle on the road).
The first step is to apply for the appropriate provisional driving licence entitlement. Following that you would need to pass a driving test relevant to the tractor type or the specialist vehicle.
Driving Licence Exemptions
Other than driving quad bikes on the road, there is no licence requirement to drive or to operate certain kinds of specialist vehicles, such as:
Driving Road Rollers or Tracked Vehicles
You would need to hold a full category B car licence, that also has provisional entitlement for licence categories G and H, to drive:
- Road rollers (category G)
- Tracked vehicles (category H)
Important: A different section explains the proper procedure of adding higher categories to your driving licence.
Age Limits to Drive Specialist Vehicles
- Licence category F: Minimum age to drive agricultural tractors is 16/17*
- Licence category G: Minimum age to drive road rollers is 21**
- Licence category H: Minimum age to drive tracked vehicles is 17/21***
- Licence category K: Minimum age to drive mowing machines or pedestrian-controlled vehicles is 16
*As a sixteen year old, you can only drive tractors that are less than 2.45 metres wide and tow trailers that are less than 2.45 metres wide with 2 wheels, or 4 wheels close-coupled (close together).
**The vehicles must be small road road-rollers with metal or hard rollers if you are aged between 17 and 20. The vehicles cannot be steam powered, weigh over 11,960kg, or made for carrying loads.
***The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the vehicle cannot be more than 3,500kg if you are aged between 17 and 20.
Rules for Driving a Tractor at 16
In fact, once you reach 16 you can get a provisional licence to drive a tractor or a specialist vehicle. But, you must wait until you are 17 years old to practise driving them on a public road.
Note: An exception to the age rule will apply if you are driving the vehicle to (or from) your practical driving test.
A qualified driver must be with you if the vehicle had a passenger seat when it was manufactured. But, you must not remove passenger seats from these types of vehicles while practising driving.
Practising Driving a Tractor or Specialist Vehicle
You must display the correct size L plates (L or D plates in Wales) when practising driving a tractor or specialist vehicle on public roads. You must also make sure the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition and has insurance.
Using an Approved Driving Instructor
The driving instructor might need to walk alongside the vehicle as you practice. They can call out advice to you if the vehicle only has space for one person on board.
Note: The short video [4:55 seconds] shows young teenagers learning to drive a John Deere tractor in Northern Ireland.
Driving Tests for Tractors
The type of driving test that you would need to complete for driving agricultural tractors and specialist vehicles varies according to the type of vehicle.
Category F, G, H, or K Vehicles
During the test you will get your instructions from an examiner standing at the side of the road. They will watch your driving to see how you:
- Drive the vehicle around left and right circuits.
- Turn the vehicle around using the forward and reverse gears.
The examiner may walk close by to watch you driving a very slow vehicle (e.g. a pedestrian-controlled vehicle).
At the end of the driving test for category f, g, h, or k vehicles, you will also be asked: