This section explains bus and Lorry driver licence procedures. Learn how to become a Lorry driver, or start driving a bus or coach for a profession.
BECOMING QUALIFIED: There are certain qualifications required before you operate a heavy goods vehicle or a passenger carrying vehicle.
The 3 steps of getting qualified and becoming a Lorry driver (or bus) are:
The full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is a requirement to drive a Lorry, coach, or bus as the main part of a profession.
As a rule, you need to pass four separate tests to get the CPC. Exceptions exist for certain cases of 'acquired rights'. This could be because of some existing experience in driving large goods vehicles.
Approved National Vocational Training (NVT) courses have different rules. It allows the driving of certain vehicles professionally for a period up to 12 months. Taking the NVT means part 2 and part 4 tests of the Driver CPC are not required.
Check the category of provisional licence you actually need. This will depend on the type of vehicle you want to drive. You will need to order two forms from the DVLA. They must include the D2 driving licence application form and D4 form.
A doctor (GP) or a private firm specialising in drivers' medical exams must fill in form D4. But, an optician may need to fill in the section on eyesight. They may charge a fee for this service.
Note: Apply for a provisional trailer (+E) licence after you get the full licence for the type of vehicle you will drive. Do not start driving a Lorry or bus on a car licence. Lose a car licence means you automatically lose the Lorry or bus licence as well.
Send off both forms with your photocard driving licence to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. There is no fee charged for this application.
Note: What if you have a paper driving licence? In this case include a passport-style colour photo with the original identity documents.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
DVLA usually return the driving licence within 3 weeks after receiving the application. It may take longer if they need to check your health information or personal details.
As a rule, the full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is not necessary if:
Note: You would still need to pass part 1 (theory) and part 3 (driving ability) tests of the CPC qualification.
How to Become a Lorry Driver: Licence Requirements for Driving Large Goods Vehicles