Changes to procedures for driving tests and licences for HGV and bus drivers in Great Britain are now in effect, as part of the government’s plan to combat the driver shortage by streamlining the testing process.
Drivers whose provisional lorry licence was issued from 15 November onwards can now learn to drive in an articulated lorry (category CE). Tests can also now be taken in an artic without first having to pass one in a large rigid (category C) vehicle.
Drivers can still learn and take tests in a large rigid if they do not wish to drive a larger vehicle.
Passing the test in a large artic means that drivers are qualified to operate a C1 (medium-sized lorry), C1E (medium-sized lorry towing a trailer), C (large rigid) and CE (large artic).
The changes also mean that drivers can learn to drive a medium lorry towing a trailer (C1E) and take their test in one, without having to pass a separate test in a C1 vehicle first. Passing a test in a C1E category vehicle will qualify drivers to operate C1 and C1E vehicles.
There are additional changes involving buses, coaches and minibuses towing trailers.
Drivers who acquired their provisional lorry or bus entitlements before 15 November may be entitled to additional provisional entitlements, which can be added to a licence via application to the DVLA.
Full details of the changes, as well as alterations to the Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test, are available at the gov.uk website.