Annex 2. Motorcycle licence requirements

Information and rules about motorcycle licence requirements.

Motorcycle licence requirements

If you have a provisional motorcycle licence, you MUST satisfactorily complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course.

You can then ride unaccompanied on the public road a motorcycle up to 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kW, with L plates (in Wales either D plates or L plates, or both, can be used), for up to two years.

Law RTA 1988 sect 97 (3)

To ride a moped, learners MUST

  • be 16 or over
  • have a provisional moped licence
  • complete CBT training.

Law RTA 1988 sects 97(3) & 101

You can then ride unaccompanied on the public road a two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), with L plates (in Wales either D plates or L plates, or both, can be used), for up to two years.

You MUST first pass the theory test for motorcycles and then the moped practical test to obtain your full moped licence.

Law MV(DL)R reg 38(4)

Note.If you passed your car driving test before 1 February 2001 you are qualified to ride a moped without L plates (and/or D plates in Wales), although it is recommended that you complete CBT before riding on the road. If you passed your car driving test after this date you MUST complete CBT before riding a moped on the road.

Law RTA 1988 sect 97(3)

Licence categories for mopeds and motorcycles

Category AM (moped) – minimum age 16

  • two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)
  • three- or four-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed over 25 km/h (15.5 mph), up to 50 cc and with a power output not exceeding 4 kW.

Category A1 – minimum age 17

  • motorcycles up to 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kW
  • tricycles with a power output not exceeding 15 kW.

Category A2 – minimum age 19

  • motorcycles with a power output not exceeding 35 kW.

Category A

  • any motorcycle (the minimum age you can obtain a category A licence is 21 under progressive access or 24 under direct access)
  • tricycles with a power output over 15 kW (minimum age 21).

Progressive access is a process that allows a rider to take a higher-category practical test if they already have at least two years’ experience on a lower-category motorcycle. For example, if you have held a category A2 licence for a minimum of two years, you can take the category A practical test at age 21. There is no requirement to take another theory test.

If you want to learn to ride motorcycles larger than 125 cc and with a power output over 11 kW, you MUST meet the minimum age requirements, satisfactorily complete a CBT course and be accompanied by an approved instructor on another motorcycle in radio contact.

Law MV(DL)R regs 9 & 16(7), & RTA 1988 sect 97(3)

To obtain your full moped or motorcycle licence you MUST pass a motorcycle theory test and modules 1 and 2 practical tests on a two-wheeled motorcycle.

Law MV(DL)R reg 38

You MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger or pull a trailer until you have passed your test. Also see Rule 253 covering vehicles prohibited from motorways.

Law MV(DL)R reg 16

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