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setpPCV Category D1 (Minibus)

PCV Category D1


Vehicles with a minimum of nine and a maximum of 16 passenger seats, with or without a trailer – weighing no more than 750 kg

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Category D1

Minibus up to
16 Passengers

Minimum age = 18.

For Minibus vehicles with over 8 but under 16 passenger seats.

All candidates who require this licence will require both parts of the Driver CPC (Modules 2 & 4) unless you are exempt.


Medical Examination


Provisional Licence


DSA Module
1a & 1b
Theory Test



DSA Module
2 Driver CPC
Case Studies



Five Day



DSA Module 3
Weekday Driving
Test Fee


Module 4
Driver CPC
One Day
Course &
Test Day
Vehicle Hire


DSA Module 4
Driver CPC Practical
Exam Fee

DSA Saturday tests are available at the Direction of the DSA and carry a £26.00 supplement

Limited, theory sessions supported by practical driving instruction and practice. The majority of driver training being practical in its nature and delivered in-cab on the public highways.Instruction is structured to give the candidate the widest range of experience and exposure to: varying traffic conditions, road types, urban/rural environments, vehicle handling and manoeuvring, gear selection etc.Duration: 5 days, 7 days, subject to outcomes identified at the initial Driving Aptitude Assessment.If you had entitlement to drive cars prior to 1 January 1997 – shown as group A (B for automatics) on an old style green or pink licence or as category B and D1 not for hire or reward on a pink and green or photocard licence – you can drive a minibus provided :You are 21 or over, the minibus has a maximum of 17 seats including the driver’s seat and is not being used for hire or reward.To drive a minibus which has 9 or more passenger seats for hire or reward you will normally need passenger carrying vehicle entitlement [PCV] (category D1 or D). To obtain this you must meet higher medical standards and take a further driving test.

Hire or reward encompasses any payment in cash or kind by (or on behalf of) passengers which gives them a right to be carried.

However, if you drive a minibus for an organisation under the Minibus or Community Bus Permit Scheme, you will NOT need a category D1 or D licence even if a charge is made to passengers.

Drivers who do not have minibus entitlement (Category D1)

If your driving licence does not allow you to drive minibuses, there are certain circumstances where you still may be able to do so.

You may drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats if:

  1. you drive on behalf of a non commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or reward, unless operating under a permit.
  2. you are aged 21
  3. you have held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years
  4. you are providing your service on a voluntary basis and
  5. the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes excluding any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers. Minibuses up to 4.25 tonnes will be permitted in certain circumstances.
  6. if you are aged 70 and over, you are able to meet the health standards for driving a vehicle (i.e. minibus) which comes within the D1 class.

When driving a minibus under these conditions you may not receive any payment or consideration for doing so other than out of pocket expenses or tow any size trailer; you may only drive minibuses in this country.

Drivers aged 70 or over will need to make a special application which involves meeting higher medical standards. If you wish to carry fare paying passengers then you are required to pass an additional driving test in order to remove the “101″ licence restriction, you will also need to meet the higher medical standards and apply for your provisional licence, pass a PCV theory test and undertake the practical training and test. For more information on Minibuses and the law follow this link.

Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain this category of licence, will not have this licence category, to apply you will need to meet the higher medical standards and apply for your provisional licence, pass a PCV theory test and undertake the practical training and test. For more information on Minibuses and the law follow this link.

At the age of 18

  1. While learning to drive or taking passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) test; or
  2. After passing a PC V test when:
    • driving on a regular service where the route does not exceed 50km, or
    • driving a PCV constructed to carry no more than 16 passengers, and
    • the vehicle is operated under a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence or permit.
  3. Not engaged in the carriage of passengers

Minibus And Community Bus Permits

Minibus and Community Bus Permits are issued to organisations concerned with education, religion, social welfare, recreation or other activities of benefit to the community.

Minibus Permits allow certain organisations to make a charge without having to comply with the full public service vehicle operator licensing requirements and without the need for their drivers to have PCV (category D1 or D) entitlement. The service must be provided for their own members or for groups of people whom the organisation serves. The service must not be provided to members of the general public and the charges made must be on a non-profit basis. Community Bus Permits are issued to bodies wishing to run a local bus service on a voluntary non-profit basis using unpaid volunteer drivers. Members of the general public can be carried in the minibus.

If you had entitlement to drive cars prior to 1 January 1997 you will continue to be able to drive minibuses under the Permit Schemes, provided your entitlement to drive minibuses (Category D1, not for hire or reward) remains in force. New drivers who passed their car test (category B) on or after 1 January 1997 may also drive a permit minibus provided the driver licensing conditions are met.




(Further information is available in the booklet ‘Passenger Transport Provided by Voluntary Groups’ available from Traffic Area Offices.)

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