The UK Rules
Categories and Codes

Licence Categories and Codes

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.

Driving Licence Category: Table of Contents

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.

Mopeds

Category AM

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).

Category P

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.

Category Q

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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Motorcycles

Category A1

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.

Category A2

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.

Category A

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

Category B1

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.


Cars

Category B (passed the test before 1 January 1997)

As a rule, you can drive a vehicle and a trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). The information on driving licences will confirm it.

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.

Category BE

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.

Medium-sized Vehicles

Category C1

Category C1 means you can drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg MAM (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C1E

C1E entitlement means you can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg. But, the combined MAM of both cannot exceed 12,000kg.


Large Vehicles

Category C

You have entitlement to drive vehicles over 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg MAM).

Category CE

The class CE means you can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.


Minibuses

Category D1

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.

Category D1E

You can drive D1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg MAM. But, the combined MAM of both cannot exceed 12,000kg.


Buses

Category D

You can drive any bus with more than eight (8) passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg MAM).

Category DE

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
  • l: Electrically-propelled vehicle
  • M: Trolley vehicles
  • n: Vehicles exempt from duty

Note: There is no requirement to have a driving licence for electric bikes, mobility scooters, or powered wheelchairs. Some of the driving licence categories and what they mean differ in Northern Ireland.


Driving Licence Codes

You will find a number of codes printed on the back of your driving licence. The purpose is to inform you what conditions you need to meet to drive particular types of vehicles.

The list of driving licence codes and their meanings, include:

  • 01 - Eyesight correction (e.g. spectacles or contact lenses)
  • 02 - Hearing or communication aid
  • 10 - Modified transmission
  • 15 - Modified clutch
  • 20 - Modified braking systems
  • 25 - Modified accelerator systems
  • 30 - Combined braking and accelerator systems (for drivers licences issued before the 28th of November 2016)
  • 31 - Pedal adaptations and pedal safeguards
  • 32 - Combined service brake and accelerator systems
  • 33 - Combined service brake, accelerator, and steering systems
  • 35 - Modified control layouts
  • 40 - Modified steering
  • 42 - Modified rear-view mirror(s)
  • 43 - Modified driving seats
  • 44 - Modifications to motorbikes
    • 44 (1) - Single operated brake
    • 44 (2) - Adapted front wheel brake
    • 44 (3) - Adapted rear wheel brake
    • 44 (4) - Adapted accelerator
    • 44 (5) - (adjusted) manual transmission and manual clutch
    • 44 (6) - (adjusted) rear-view mirror(s)
    • 44 (7) - (adjusted) commands (e.g. direction indicators, braking light)
    • 44 (8) - Seat height allowing the driver, in sitting position, to have two feet on the surface at the same time and balance the motorcycle during stopping and standing
    • 44 (11) - Adapted foot rest
    • 44 (12) - Adapted hand grip
  • 45 - Motorbikes only with sidecar
  • 46 - Tricycles only (for driver licences issued before the 29th of June 2014)
  • 70 - Exchange of licence
  • 71 - Duplicate of licence
  • 78 - Restricted to vehicles with automatic transmission
  • 79 - Restricted to vehicles in conformity with the specifications stated in brackets on your licence
    • 79 (2) - Restricted to category AM vehicles of the 3-wheel or light quadricycle type
    • 79 (3) - Restricted to tricycles
  • 96 - Allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer where the trailer weighs at least 750kg, and the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is between 3,500kg and 4,250kg
  • 97 - Not allowed to drive category C1 vehicles which are required to have a tachograph fitted
  • 101 - Not for hire or reward (i.e. not to make a profit)
  • 102 - Drawbar trailers only
  • 103 - Subject to certificate of competence
  • 105 - Vehicle not more than 5.5 metres long
  • 106 - Restricted to vehicles with automatic transmissions
  • 107 - Not more than 8,250 kilograms
  • 108 - Subject to minimum age requirements
  • 110 - Limited to transporting persons with restricted mobility
  • 111 - Limited to sixteen (16) passenger seats
  • 113 - Limited to sixteen (16) passenger seats except for automatics
  • 114 - With any special controls required for safe driving
  • 115 - Organ donor
  • 118 - Start date is for earliest entitlement
  • 119 - Weight limit for vehicle does not apply
  • 121 - Restricted to conditions specified in the Secretary of State's notice
  • 122 - Valid on successful completion: Basic Moped Training Course 125 - tricycles only (for licences issued before the 29th of June 2014)

Note: You can compare old and new driving licence categories in a different section. Some descriptions of the information codes appearing on a driving licence will be different in Northern Ireland.


Driving Licence Categories and Codes Explained for United kingdom

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