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You are in the Drivers License & ID. If you are looking for Drivers License & ID information dvlaguide.com is the right site for you. In this section you'll find out how to apply, renew and replace your drivers license, how to update any name or address changes, how to apply motorcycle license, or what medical rules apply to drivers
This site, dvlaguide.com, also covers the specifics for learners and new drivers, vehicle registration, taxing your vehicle, MOTs, how to SORN a vehicle, what forms you need and DVLA hours and locations.
Direct access is a scheme which allows a person over the age of 21 to avoid the two year/25 kW restriction by taking a test on a machine of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. Any instruction given on a machine that exceeds the normal learner motorcycle specification must be supervised at all times by a certified motorcycle instructor who should be in radio contact. You should also wear fluorescent or reflective clothing and follow all other provisional licence restrictions.
Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25 kW (33 bhp) machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). They may practise on bikes over 25 kW (33 bhp) under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practising (on a motorcycle greater than 25 kW (33 bhp)) although test failure will not affect your existing licence.
Mopeds and Tractors
If you want to ride a moped you can take your theory test when you are 16, but again you must make sure you have a valid provisional licence.
If you are 16 and already have a provisional licence for an agricultural vehicle or a moped, this will give you provisional entitlement to drive a car when you are 17.
Compulsory basic training (CBT) was introduced in 1990 to help reduce the very high accident rate among inexperienced motorcyclists. CBT must be completed before a learner moped or motorcycle rider is allowed to ride on the road with L-plates or D-plates in Wales.
You will need to complete CBT if:
If you obtained your car licence before 1 February 2001 you do not need to complete a CBT to ride a moped.
The CBT course involves five elements:
The five elements have to be completed in sequence, although the order of the exercises within the element can be varied. You will only move on to the next element when your instructor is satisfied you have learnt the necessary theory and demonstrated the practical skills to a safe basic level. Trainees must, by law, receive a minimum two hour on-road ride in Element E.
When all five elements have been satisfactorily completed, a certificate of completion, called the DL196, is issued. This is a legal document which validates the relevant entitlements on your driving licence. It is important that the holder of a DL196 considers the following points:
Once you have your certificate you are advised to take additional training to pass your theory and practical tests and qualify for a motorcycle or moped licence. You must take the DL196 certificate with you when you go to your practical test.
Only instructors certified by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) can teach CBT at an approved training body (ATB). ATBs must have instructors who have successfully completed a two day assessment and have sites approved by DSA for off-road training.
The cost for the course varies typically from ?70 to around ?100. Most ATBs offer the loan of machines and helmets for the course. The cost of CBT may be incorporated into the cost of a full training course that leads to a motorcycle test.
A moped has a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km/h (approx. 31 mph). It has an engine capacity no greater than 50 cc and can be moved by pedals, if first used before 1 August 1977. A learner motorcycle has an engine up to 125 cc and a power output not exceeding 11 kW
There are two types of full motorcycle licence:
Note: The BMW C1 motorcycle is not a suitable machine for a practical test.
Riders age 21 or over, or those who reach 21 before their two year restriction ends, have other options.
After taking CBT and the theory test, the practical test may be taken on a motorcycle with a power output of at least 35kW. A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. All or part of the CBT course may be taken on either a learner bike or a large bike. You may practice for the practical test on bikes larger than the learner bike specification provided:
Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25 kW machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35 kW. They may practice on bikes over 25 kW under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practicing (on a motorcycle greater than 25 kW) although test failure will not affect your existing licence.
Learners who wish to ride with a sidecar can practice on a combination with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW/kg. On obtaining a standard licence, you will be restricted to a combination with the same power/weight ratio for two years. At age 21 learners may, only within direct or accelerated access, practice on a larger combination, but the test must be taken on a solo bike (although physically disabled riders can use a combination).
When riding mopeds or motorcycles it is always very important that you wear the correct protective clothing in order to protect you from the weather and also to help other road users to see you.
Without the right clothing you can get very cold and wet when riding a motorcycle. Special motorcycling clothing is available which:
By law you must wear a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle on the road. You should also consider using the following items of clothing when riding a motorcycle:
By law you must wear a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle on the road. All helmets sold in the UK must either:
Damage to Helmets
If your helmet receives any serious impact you should always buy a new one. Damage won't always be visible to the naked eye. For this reason you should never buy a second-hand helmet.
Visors and Goggles
A visor or goggles are vital to protect your eyes from wind, rain, insects and road dirt. All visors or goggles must comply with a British Standard and display a BSI kitemark, or they must comply with a European standard which offers a level of safety and protection at least equivalent to the British Standard and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI kitemark (ECE 22-05).
If you need glasses or contact lenses to read a numberplate at the prescribed distance then you must wear your glasses or contact lenses when you ride. You should not wear tinted glasses, visors or goggles if you are riding in the dark or conditions of poor visibility.
It is very important that you keep your visor or goggles clean. You must have a clear view of the road ahead at all times. To clean your goggles or visor wash them with warm soapy water. Do not use solvents or petrol.
Motorcycle clothing is of two main types:
When you are choosing protective motorcycle clothing make sure you look for additional protection for the shoulders, elbows and knees.
Gloves and gauntlets
Good gloves or gauntlets are essential when your ride a motorcycle. Never be tempted to ride without gloves. If you fall off you could seriously injure your hands.
It is important to wear good boots or footwear when you ride a motorcycle. If you wear sandals or trainers your feet will have little protection if you fall off.
When riding in very cold weather your hands and feet can become painfully cold. No matter how good your gloves or boots, the cold will eventually get through. If you're serious about motorcycling in cold weather you should consider buying electrically heated inner gloves or electrically heated handlebar grips. However, these accessories put a large demand on your motorcycle's electrical generator so you should check that it can cope with the extra demands before you buy and fit them.
Many road accidents involving motorcyclists occur because another road user didn't see them. Using some form of visibility aid will help others to see you. Remember you need to be visible from the side as well as the front and back.
Wearing fluorescent orange or yellow clothing in daylight will improve your chances of being seen.
Other methods you could use to help other road users to see you in daylight include:
To improve visibility in the dark you need to wear reflective material. They work by reflecting the light from headlamps of other vehicles. This makes you much more visible from a long distance away.