The list of driving licence categories shows all the different classes - from mopeds to buses. The explanations of category meanings describe the entitlements on a licence and what vehicles it allows you to drive.
The DVLA also places codes on a driving licence with conditions that the holder must meet. The explanations will help you understand what the different driving licence codes mean.
So, how exactly do licence categories work on a driver's licence? Well, you need to have the correct 'entitlement' on your licence that corresponds to the type of vehicle that you want to drive.
There is a way to check online by inspecting your driving licence information. The service permits you to see what vehicles your licence allows you to drive.
Note: The entitlements might also have extra restrictions and conditions attached. Check the section explaining what driving licence restriction codes mean on drivers licences.
Having the category AM on your licence means you can drive 2-wheeled or 3-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of over 25km/h (15.5mph) but not more than 45km/h (28mph).
The same class also includes light quad bikes with:
Unladen mass not more than 350kg (does not include batteries for electric vehicles).
Maximum design speed of over 25km/h (15.5mph) but not more than 45km/h (28mph).
With licence category P you are allowed to drive 2-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of over 45km/h (28mph) but not more than 50km/h (31mph). But, the engine size must not be over 50cc if it is powered by an internal combustion engine.
If you see category Q on your licence you can drive 2-wheeled and 3-wheeled vehicles without pedals:
With an engine size not more than 50cc if it is powered by an internal combustion engine.
With a maximum design speed not more than 25km/h (15.5mph).
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The class A1 means you can drive light motorbikes with:
An engine size up to 125cc.
A power output of up to 11kW.
A power to weight ratio not more than 0.1kW/kg.
Note: The same category also includes motor tricycles with power output up to 15kW.
Class A2 means you can drive motorbikes in category A1 and drive motorbikes with a:
Power output up to 35kW.
Power to weight ratio not more than 0.2kW/kg.
Note: The motorbike must also not be derived from a vehicle of more than double its power.
Seeing category A on your driving licence means you can drive motorbikes in categories A1 and A2 and drive:
Motorbikes with a power output more than 35kW or a power to weight ratio more than 0.2kW/kg.
Motor tricycles with a power output more than 15kW.
Light Vehicles and Quad Bikes
Driving licence category B1 means you can drive motor vehicles with four (4) wheels up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if designed for carrying goods.
Category B (passed the test before 1 January 1997)
Note: You can also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.
Category B (passed the test since 1 January 1997)
This class means you can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM with up to eight (8) passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg). You can also tow heavier trailers providing the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer is not over 3,500kg.
If you are over 21 years old you can drive motor tricycles with a power output higher than 15kW.
Note: Physically disabled drivers with provisional category B entitlement also have provisional entitlement to ride category A1 or A motor tricycles. But, able-bodied drivers can no longer ride motor tricycles with a provisional category B licence.
Category B Auto
Providing it is an automatic one, you can drive a category B vehicle.
It entitles you to drive a vehicle with a MAM of 3,500kg with a trailer. The size of the trailer would depend on the BE 'valid from' date shown on the licence. If the date is:
Before the 19th of January 2013 you can tow any size of trailer.
Since the 19th of January 2013 you can tow a trailer with a MAM of up to 3,500kg.
Category C1 means you can drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg MAM (with a trailer up to 750kg).
C1E entitlement means you can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg. But, the combined MAM of both cannot exceed 12,000kg.
You have entitlement to drive vehicles over 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg MAM).
The class CE means you can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.
The D1 driving licence category means you can drive vehicles with:
No more than sixteen (16) passenger seats.
A maximum length of eight (8) metres.
A trailer up to 750kg.
You can drive D1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg MAM. But, the combined MAM of both cannot exceed 12,000kg.
You can drive any bus with more than eight (8) passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg MAM).
You would be allowed to drive D category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.
Other Driving Licence Categories
f: Agricultural tractor
G: Road roller
H: Tracked vehicles
k: Mowing machine or pedestrian-controlled vehicle