Passenger transport

This chapter covers the additional, specific requirements for operating passenger vehicles, including permits, drivers’ hours exemptions, registration of services, passenger behaviour and vehicle specifications.

Updates for 2020:

  • Comprehensive changes to the permit scheme.
  • Clarification on speed limiters.
  • Chapter features a new table for Certificate of Professional Competence exemptions.
  • New guidance on drivers’ hours.
  • Changes to Section 19 exemptions.

Updates for 2021:

  • Clarification from DfT on non-commercial definitions and how this impacts CPC &

  • O Licence requirements.

  • Clarification on short distance exemption also added as legislation passed late 2019.

  • Update on the consultation regarding potential changes to PSV operator licence procedures and the introduction of formal tribunal rules to the Traffic Commissioner’s tribunal function.

  • Latest developments on Public Service

  • Vehicle Accessibilty Regulations exemptions.

Download the passenger transport chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


  • Definitions.
    • PCV.
    • Minibus.
    • Coach.
    • Bus.
  • Operator licensing.
    • The definition of hire or reward.
    • Types of PSV O licence.
  • Drivers’ licences.
    • Car licence holders.
    • Holders of vocational entitlement.
    • Age limits.
  • Permit operations.
    • Voluntary group/Section 19 permits.
    • Community bus permits.
    • Proposed changes to the permit rules.
  • Main occupation.
  • Short distance.
  • Drivers’ hours rules.
    • Drivers’ hours for passenger operations.
    • EU rules.
    • Special rule for single international journeys.
    • Domestic rules.
    • Exemptions to domestic rules.
  • Registration and excise duty.
  • Marking of school buses.
  • Outside lane ban on motorways.
  • Speed limits.
  • Speed limiters.
  • Seat belts.
    • The seat belt system.
    • Types of seat belt.
  • Technical standards for belts and anchorages.
    • Minibuses.
    • Coaches.
    • All vehicles.
    • Testing, certification and certificates of initial fitness.
    • Requirements to fit seat belts.
    • Front seats.
    • Rear seats.
    • Requirements to wear seat belts.
    • Maintenance.
    • Notifiable alterations.
    • Carrying passengers in wheelchairs.
    • Front seat belts.
  • Type Approval/COIF.
  • Stowage of luggage.
  • Maintenance and inspections.
  • Annual testing.
  • Fire extinguishers.
  • First aid kits.
  • Towing.
  • Locks and handles.
  • Overloading.
  • Designated sporting events.
    • Alcohol offences.
  • Going abroad.
  • Miscellaneous.

Download the passenger transport chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

Additional Rules & Regulations

The law governing passenger vehicle operation is similar in many respects to that for goods vehicles. There is a system of operator licensing, administered by the same Traffic Commissioners and restrictions on driving and duty times imposed by domestic and European legislation. There are also many additional specific requirements, such as rules on passenger behaviour and on the registration of services. To find out which rules apply, there is a set of definitions and classifications of the various types of service in the Passenger transport chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law