Driving licences

This chapter focuses on driving licence requirements, primarily for goods vehicles (category C and C1), plus information on medical circumstances, licence application and testing.

Updates for 2024:

  • Category B driving licence concession for alternatively fuelled vehicles.

  • Share my licence information online DVA (Northern Ireland).


Download the Driver licensing chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


  • Driver licences.

  • Driving licence categories.

  • UK Exemptions from vocational driver licensing.
  • Driving in Great Britain as a visitor or new resident.

  • Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications.

  • HGV driving test.

Download the Driver licensing chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

The Motor Car Act 1903 first introduced...

...measures to help identify both vehicles and their drivers. Today over 32 million driving licences are held in Great Britain, which are administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) part of the Department for Transport. Over the years many changes have been introduced in an effort to streamline the licensing system. In 1976 the first ‘til 70’ ordinary driving licence was introduced whilst in more recent years further changes have come about via a number of European directives that were designed to harmonise the levels if skill required by drivers entitled to use differing sizes of vehicle and to introduce a single model driving licence recognised across Europe.

Also covered in this section is Driver CPC or Certificate of Professional Competence. This system aims to maintain a high level of driving standards for vocational licence entitlement holders across Europe. The qualification and training covers operational subjects such as fuel efficiency, customer care and compliance with drivers’ hours or working time.