The UK Rules
Old Categories

Old Driving Licence Categories

Over the years there have been several big changes to the way driving licences look. Use the information in this section to compare old and new driving licence categories.

The tables list the groups and categories of driving licences issued before the 15th of October 2012. Review the equivalent new licence categories to see what vehicles you can drive.

Old vs. New Categories | Table of Contents

Did the DVLA issue your full driving licence before 2013? If so, the 'groups' or 'categories' are likely to have changed.

The European Union Third Directive on driving licences came into full force on the 19th of January 2013. From this date, all new driving licences must meet the terms of the Directive.

Most of the category changes affect lorry, bus, and minibus drivers, motorcyclists, and anyone who uses a vehicle for towing a trailer.

Even though driving licence categories changed in January 2013, it was not the first time that it happened. The types of vehicles you could drive before June 1990 were called 'groups'. But, current driving licences now show them as 'categories'.

Use the tables below to find the equivalent new category if DVLA issued an old full driving licence before January 2013. You can also check what types of vehicles your new licence allows you to drive.

Note: The information on what vehicles you can drive, and comparison of old and new driving licence categories, differs in Northern Ireland.

Licences Issued January 1997 to 14 October 2012

Licence Category What Types of Vehicles You Can Drive Category Since 2013
P Moped up to 50cc (max speed 50km/h) AM, p, and Q
A1 Motorbikes with engine size up to 125cc, power output up to 11kW and power/weight ratio up to 0.1kW/kg. A1
A Motorbikes up to 25kW power output and power weight ratio up to 0.16kW/kg; motorbikes with sidecar and power weight ratio up to 0.16kW/kg; any size motorbike, with or without a sidecar if you completed the large motorbike direct access scheme. A
B1 3 or 4-wheeled vehicles up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if intended to carry goods. B for 4-wheeled vehicles; A (restricted to trikes).
B Vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM and up to 8 passenger seats with trailer up to 750kg; trailers over 750kg if combined weight of vehicle and trailer is not over 3,500kg. B
B auto Automatic category B vehicles (you cannot drive manual category B vehicles with this entitlement). B (with restriction code 78)
BE Category B vehicles with trailer when combined weight of vehicle and trailer is over 3,500kg. BE
C1 Vehicles weighing 3,500 to 7,500kg MAM with trailers up to 750kg. C1
C1E Category C1 vehicles with trailers over 750kg; the combined weight of vehicle and trailer cannot be over 12,000kg. C1E
C Vehicles over 3,500kg with trailers up to 750kg. C
CE Vehicles over 3,500kg with trailer over 750kg. CE
D1 Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. D1
D1E Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver with trailer over 750kg, if combined trailer and vehicle weight is not over 12,000kg. D1E
D Bus with more than 8 passenger seats, with trailer up to 750kg. D
DE Bus with more than 8 passenger seats, with trailer over 750kg. DE

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Licences Issued June 1990 to December 1996

Licence Category What Types of Vehicles You Can Drive Category Since 2013
A Motorbike with maximum speed of more than 50km or with engine over 50cc. A1, A2, and A (determined by size of motorbike)
B1 Vehicle with 4 wheels up to 400kg unladen, or 550kg if intended to carry goods. B1
B Vehicle up to 3,500kg MAM carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg (or with trailer over 750kg if combined vehicle and trailer weight is not more than 3,500kg MAM). B
BE Category B vehicle with trailer, when combined weight of vehicle and trailer is over 3,500kg. BE
C Vehicle over 3,500kg MAM carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. C
CE Vehicle over 3,500kg MAM carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer over 750kg. C
C1 Vehicle between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. C1
C1E Vehicle between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer over 750kg and a combined weight of no more than 8,250kg. C1E (with restriction code 107)
C1E Vehicle between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer over 750kg and a combined weight of no more than 12,000kg. C1E
D Bus with more than 8 passenger seats with trailer up to 750kg. D
DE Bus with more than 8 passenger seats with trailer over 750kg. DE
D1 Vehicle with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. D1 (with restriction codes 101 and 111)
D1 Vehicle with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. D1
D1E Vehicle with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer over 750kg. D1E (with restriction codes 101,111 and 119)
D1E Vehicle with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer over 750kg. D1E
f Agricultural tractor. f
G Road roller. G
H Tracked vehicle. H
k Mowing machine or pedestrian-controlled vehicle. k
l Electrically propelled vehicle. l
P Moped up to 50cc (max speed 50km/h). Am, p and Q
M Vehicles that are limited to trolley vehicles. M
n Vehicles (exempt from duty). n

Note: M category vehicles are limited to trolley vehicles. n category vehicles (exempt from duty) retain the same category letter.


Licences Issued between 1986 and June 1990

Licence Category What Types of Vehicles You Can Drive Category Since 2013
A Vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg; trailers over 750kg if combined vehicle and trailer weight is not more than 3,500kg MAM. B
A Category B vehicles with trailer, when combined weight of vehicle and trailer is over 3,500kg. BE
A Vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. C1
A Vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer over 750kg if combined vehicle and trailer weight is not more than 8,250kg. C1E (with restriction code 107)
A Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. D1 (with restriction code 101)
A Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer over 750kg. D1E (with restriction codes 101, 111 and 119)
A Vehicles in groups B, C, E, f, k, l, and n below. Details below
B Group A vehicles excluding automatic motor trikes. Above categories (with restriction code 78 and excluding B1)
C Vehicle with 4 wheels up to 450kg unladen. B1
D Motorbike. A1, A2 and A (depending on size of the motorbike)
E Moped up to 50cc (max speed 50km/h). AM, p and Q

Note: Groups f, G, H, k, l, M, n, retain the same driving licence category letters.


Licences Issued between 1976 and 1986

Licence Group What Types of Vehicles You Can Drive Category Since 2013
A Vehicles up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg; trailer over 750kg if combined vehicle and trailer weight is not more than 3,500kg MAM. B
A Category B vehicles with trailer when combined weight of vehicle and trailer is over 3,500kg. BE
A Vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. C1
A Vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers plus driver with trailer over 750kg, if combined vehicle and trailer weight is not more than 8,250kg. C1E (with restriction code 107)
A Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg. D1 (with restriction code 101)
A Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer over 750kg. D1E (with restriction codes 101, 111 and 119)
A Vehicles in groups B, C, E, f, k, l, and n below. Details below
B Group A vehicles. Above categories (with restriction code 78)
C Any motor trike less than 410kg (500kg laden). B1 (excluding quad bikes)
D Motorbike. A1, A2 and A (depending on size of the motorbike)
E Moped up to 50cc (max speed 50km/h). AM, p and Q
J Invalid carriage (powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters). B1 (limited to invalid carriages)

Note: Groups f, G, H, k, l, M, n, retain the same driving licence category letters.


Separate Licence for Larger Vehicles

Did you get your driving licence before June 1990? If so, it is likely to show your entitlement to drive larger vehicles on a separate licence.

Licence Group What Types of Vehicles You Can Drive Category Since 2013
HGV 1 Vehicle over 3,500kg with a trailer over 750kg. CE
HGV 2 or 3 Vehicle over 3,500kg with a trailer up to 750kg. C
HGV 2 or 3 Vehicle over 3,500kg with a trailer up to 750kg. CE (with restriction code 102)
PSV 1 or 2 Passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) (more than 8 passenger seats) with trailer over 750kg. DE
PSV 3 PCV (more than 8 passenger seats) with trailer up to 750kg. D
PSV 4 PCV (more than 8 passenger seats) and less than 5.5 metres long. D (with restriction code 105)
HGV 1-3A Vehicles only in group HGV 1-3. C or CE (with restriction code 78)
PSV 1-4A Vehicles only in group PSV 1-4. D or DE (with restriction code 78)


Related Content and Information

The main section covers all the important topics about driving licence rules and regulations for motorists in Great Britain.


Old and Equivalent Driving Licence Categories in United kingdom

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