This section explains the bus and Lorry driver qualifications and licence procedures. Learn how to become a Lorry driver, or start driving a bus or coach for a job.
The full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is a requirement to drive a Lorry, coach, or bus as the main part of 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:
As a rule, you will need to pass four separate tests to get the CPC. Exceptions exist for certain cases of 'acquired rights' (see driver CPC training for qualified drivers). 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 Driver CPC part 2 and CPC module 4 tests are not required.
Note: You can apply to defer taking the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 2 and 4 tests if taking a National Vocational Training (NVT) programme.
There are some situations when you do not need a CPC qualification to drive haulage vehicles. As a rule, the full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is not necessary if:
DVLA driver CPC exemptions also apply the vehicle is:
Check the driving licence categories for the provisional licence that you would need. It would depend on the type of vehicle you want to drive. You will need to order two forms from the DVLA. They must include HGV 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. Loss of a car licence means an automatic loss of a Lorry or bus licence as well.
There is no fee for the HGV licence application form. Send off both forms with your photocard driving licence to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
DVLA usually return the driving licence within three (3) weeks after receiving the application. It may take longer if they need to check your health information or personal details.
Note: The prices quoted are for booking the tests using the official service. Unofficial websites may charge more. Extra charges may also apply for weekdays, evenings, and during UK bank holidays.
The driving theory test for lorries, buses, and coaches includes part one of the CPC. Part 1a and part 1b make up the first module of a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence.
Once you have a provisional licence you can book the CPC part 2 case studies test. It does not matter if you have yet to pass the Driver CPC part 1 theory test.
The Driver CPC part 3 tests your driving abilities and practical road driving skills. You must already have passed the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence part 1 theory test.
The Driver CPC part 4 test is a practical demonstration of vehicle safety checks. You must already have passed the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence part 2 test case studies.
Once you pass all 4 Driver Certificate of Professional Competence tests you will get your Driver CPC card after qualification (DQC). Find out what a DQC card is and how to make a CPC change of address.
The Lorries used for practical driving tests must meet certain rules and regulations. In some cases, the vehicle and trailer must also be carrying a minimum weight.
How to Become a Lorry Driver: Licence Requirements for Driving Large Goods Vehicles