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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Rules for supervising small lorry and minibus learner drivers

If your driving licence was issued before January 1997 and you wish to teach learner drivers in a category C1 or D1 vehicle (including vehicle plus trailer combinations), you may need to pass the relevant driving test before you can act as the supervising driver. Find out how this could affect you.

If you hold a licence issued before January 1997

Drivers who passed their car driving test before January 1997 were granted implied entitlement, sometimes known as ‘grandfather rights’. This entitles the holder to drive small lorries, minibuses and vehicle plus trailer combinations (categories C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E), subject to certain restrictions.

Anyone supervising learner drivers in category C1 or D1 vehicles (including vehicle trailer combinations) must now obtain the full entitlement by passing both the theory and practical driving tests to drive the category of vehicle being driven by the learner driver. Implied entitlements no longer enable you to act as the supervising driver in C1 or D1 vehicles.

The general requirements for supervising drivers in category C1 and D1 vehicles are that they must both:

  • hold a full licence for the category of vehicle being driven by the provisional licence holder
  • have held that licence for the relevant period of time – usually three years (but holders of implied entitlements that upgraded to full entitlements before 1 May 2010 are treated as having held the full entitlement for at least three years)

Impact on driving instructors and trainers

Instructors who want to continue to act as an accompanying driver must have passed the relevant driving tests before 1 May 2010.

The Driving Standard Agency (DSA) will ensure anyone who passed the test before 1 May 2010 will be considered to have met the requirement relating to the length of time. That is usually three years from the date of the change.

If you pass the relevant driving test after 1 May 2010, you will have to wait for three years before acting as an accompanying driver.

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