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Driver definition (for group 1 and group 2)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

UK driver licensing

Licensing and licence groups

  • the UK medical standards for driver licensing refer to Group 1 and Group 2 licence holders:
    • Group 1 includes cars and motorcycles
    • Group 2 includes large lorries (category C) and buses (category D)

  • in most cases, the medical standards for Group 2 drivers are substantially higher than for Group 1 drivers. This is because of the size and weight of the vehicle and the length of time an occupational driver typically spends at the wheel

  • drivers who were awarded a Group 1 category B (motor car) licence before 1 January 1997 have additional entitlement to categories C1 (medium-sized lorries, 3.5t to 7.5t) and D1 (minibuses, 9 to 16 seats, not for hire or reward). Drivers with this entitlement retain it only until their licence expires or it is revoked for medical reasons

  • under certain circumstances, volunteer drivers may drive a minibus of up to 16 seats without category D1 entitlement. The DVLA outlines the rules for such circumstances on the GOV.UK website

Age limits for licensing

Group 1

  • licences normally valid until 70 years of age (the 'til 70 licence) unless restricted to a shorter duration for medical reasons
  • no upper age limit to licensing, but after 70 renewal is required every 3 years
  • person in receipt of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment can hold a driving licence from 16 years of age. (A person can't apply for PIP until their 16th birthday.)

Group 2

  • group 2 entitlement to drive lorries (category C) or buses (category D) is normally given to people over 21 and is valid until the age of 45. Group 2 licences issued since 19th January 2013 are valid for a maximum of five years. Group 2 licences must be renewed every 5 years or at age 45 whichever is the earlier until the age of 65 when they are renewed annually without an upper age limit. Shorter licences may be issued for medical reasons
  • there are exceptions, such as driving in the armed forces, and people of a minimum age of 18 can drive lorries and buses after gaining, or training towards, the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

Vehicle categories:

Category B

  • can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg)
  • can also tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer isn't more than 3,500kg
  • can drive motor tricycles with a power output higher than 15kW if you are over 21 years old. Physically disabled drivers with provisional category B entitlement will also have provisional entitlement to ride category A1 or A motor tricycles

Medium-sized vehicles

Category C1

  • can drive vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 7,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C1+E

  • can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the trailer - when fully loaded - can't weigh more than the vehicle. The combined weight of both can't exceed 12,000kg

Large vehicles

Category C

  • You can drive vehicles over 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C+E

  • You can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg


Category D

  • You can drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).


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