Driving tests to get your professional driving licence
To drive a lorry, bus or coach, you will usually require a driving licence for that category of vehicle. To get this, you will first need to apply to add provisional entitlement to drive larger vehicles to your current licence, and then pass the theory and practical driving tests.
There are some exceptions when you may be able to drive a lorry, bus or coach on a car - category B licence.
To drive a lorry, bus or coach for a living, you will need to pass initial qualification tests to gain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). These can be taken at the same time as your vocational theory and practical tests.
This guide will tell you how to book a theory and practical driving test and how to choose a driving instructor. It will also give details of the requirements for these tests, and how to prepare for the tests.
What you will need before taking your lorry or bus driving tests
Before you can apply for provisional entitlement to drive a lorry, bus or coach, you must pass your theory and driving test to drive a car - category B licence.
You must meet the minimum age requirements for the type of vehicle you want to drive
You will also need to have a medical assessment from a doctor to assess your fitness to drive before the provisional entitlement can be granted.
When you have provisional entitlement, you can take lessons and the necessary theory and practical driving tests to drive a lorry, bus or coach. If you want to drive a lorry, bus or coach for a living, you will also need to pass the Driver CPC Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification tests. See our guide on Driver CPC: the basics for more information
Theory and practical tests for lorry, bus and coach drivers
To drive a lorry, bus or coach, you will need to take a theory and a practical driving test
The theory test The theory test is made up of two modules. Module 1a is the multiple-choice test. Module 1b is the hazard perception test. The modules can be taken in any order, and at different sittings, but both parts must be passed before you can book your practical driving test.
If you are required to take the case studies test, you may sit this test either before or after completing both theory test modules.
The practical test This is designed to test the skills you will need to be a professional driver. The practical test involves:
vehicle safety questions
a test of driving ability, which will usually take about an hour
a test of specific manoeuvres, including a braking exercise and reversing into a bay
Booking a test You can book theory and practical tests for any vehicle online, by phone or by post.
Direct Link To Book a Test
If you plan to drive a lorry, bus or coach for a living, you will also need to pass the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification tests. This involves taking and passing two further tests - a case studies exercise and a practical exercise - as well as the theory and practical tests.
Choose a lorry, bus or coach driving instructor
To become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to demonstrate a high degree of vehicle handling skill, which is why you need the right training before you take your test.
You should look for a qualified instructor who is experienced at driving the type of vehicle you wish to drive. They need to be patient, tactful and good at building your confidence. If you are already employed, your employer may be able to find or provide an instructor.
To become a professional driver you will also need to know about the regulations that relate to your work and have a strong knowledge of the Highway Code - especially of road markings and signs that relate to large vehicles.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has developed an accreditation scheme for LGV instructors.
A List can be found here
When you are practicing on public roads, you must display 'L' plates - or 'D' plates if in Wales. The vehicle must also be insured and roadworthy.
Driver licensing requirements for lorry, bus and coach drivers
If you want to drive a minibus, bus or coach, you will normally need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to add provisional entitlement for buses to your driving licence.
To drive minibuses with between nine and sixteen passenger seats, you will need a category D1 entitlement. For larger buses, and coaches, a category D entitlement is needed.
There are exceptions. You can drive some passenger carrying vehicles on a car - category B licence.
If you want to drive a lorry, you will normally need to apply to DVLA to add provisional entitlement to your driving licence.
The licence you will need depends on the vehicle's maximum authorised mass (MAM). The MAM is calculated as the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry. If the vehicle has a MAM of more than 3.5 tonnes, but not more that 7.5 tonnes, you will need a category C1 licence. If the MAM is more than 7.5 tonnes then a category C licence is needed.
There are exceptions that allow you to drive some lorries on a car - category B licence. For details of these, read about driving larger goods vehicles on a car licence
Apply for a provisional licence to drive lorries, buses or minibuses
Forms needed to apply for provisional entitlement to drive larger vehicles If you hold a valid full category B paper driving licence and want to add provisional entitlement to drive larger vehicles, minibuses and buses, you must complete application form D2 and medical report form D4.
The D4 form has to be completed by your doctor and all relevant questions must be answered.
Your doctor will normally charge you for completing the report. If you are registered for VAT, you will have to pay this at the current rate on top of your fee.
You must also return original documentation confirming your identity, as well as a passport-style colour photograph and your current category B paper driving licence.
There is no application fee. You will need to send your D2 and D4 forms, and the supporting documents, to:
You can use the Post Office checking service to make sure you have completed your application correctly.
For further information please see our guide: proof of identity and photographs you need when you apply for a driving licence.
What if I have a photocard driving licence?
If you hold a valid full photocard driving licence and want to apply for a provisional licence to drive larger vehicles, minibuses and buses, complete the application form D2 and medical report form D4.