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Drivers’ licences 

We are going to explain over the next few issues what driving licences categories are, what they mean and their usage.

What are the types of categories?

There are currently 15 different categories. They are AM, A1, A2, A, B, BTP, B+E, C1, C1+E, C, C+E, D1, D1+E, D, D+E. The BTP category has now been eliminated to comply with EU rules however this only happened last year so many people still have it showing on their licence, so if you have do not worry!

What do each of the categories represent?

AM: This category allows the holder to drive a two or three wheeled scooter or light four wheeled vehicle , although the category can be limited to three and four wheels. The minimum age for holding this licence is 15.

A1: This category allows the use of a motorcycle of up to 125 cm3, with a maximum power of 11 kw and a ratio of weight/power of 0,1 kw/kg and three wheelers with a maximum power of 15 kw. The minimum age for holding this is 16.

A2: This category allows the use of a motorcycle of up to 35 kw with a ratio of weight/power of 0,2 kw/kg. The minimum agefor holding this is 18.

A: This category allows all motorcycles and three wheeled vehicles. Minimum age is 20 although until 21 a three-wheeler of a maximum of 15 kw cannot be used.

To summarise then the A categories are for scooters , and bikes and three wheeled vehicles.

B and B1: This is probably the most common category one will see. This category allows the use of cars, vans and 4×4 where the weight doesn’t exceed 3.500 kgs,and where they are designed and constructed to transport no more than 8 passengers plus the driver. This type of vehicle can have attached trailer providing the maximum authorized weight doesn’t exceed 750 kgs. Minimum age is 18.

You may drive a “Pair of vehicles” comprised of a car, van or 4×4 plus a trailer where the permitted weight exceeds 750 kgs, as long as the total weight doesn’t exceed 4.250 kgs, this being under a Catagory B licence.

Three and four wheeled scooter and motorbikes.

After 3 years, a category B allows the holder to use a scooter/motorbike of up to 125cc.

BTP: Priority vehicles when they are being used for an emergency service, school transport vehicles when students are being transported and vehicles designed for transporting passengers in a public service capacity, all the mentioned vehicles are allowed up to 3500 kgs and where the number of seats including the driver doesn’t exceed 9.

B+E: “Pairs of vehicles” comprised of a vehicle permitted under the B category accompanied by a trailer with a maximum permitted weight of 3500 kgs.

C1: Vehicles that aren’t authorized under the D1 or D category, whose maximum weight exceeds 3.500 kgs but doesn’t reach 7.500 kgs, this includes large vans and small lorries and vehicles that are designed and constructed to transport no more than 8 passengers plus the driver. Said vehicles can tow a trailer with a maximum weight of 750 kgs.

C1+E: “Pairs of vehicles” comprised of a vehicle permitted under the C1 category accompanied by a trailer or semitrailer whose weight exceeds 750 kgs, but whose combined weight doesn’t exceed 12.000 kgs.

“Pairs of vehicles” comprised of a vehicle permitted under the B category plus a trailer or a semitrailer whose weight exceeds 3.500 kgs as long as the combined weight doesn’t exceed 12.000 kgs.

C: Vehicles that aren’t authorized under the D1 or D category, whose maximum authorized weight doesn’t exceed 3.500 kgs this includes large vans and small lorries and vehicles that are designed and constructed to transport no more than 8 passengers plus the driver. Said vehicles can tow a trailer of up to 750 kgs. Minimum age of 21.

C+E: “Pairs of vehicles” comprised of a vehicle permitted under the C category accompanied by a trailer or semitrailer whose weight doesn’t exceeds 750 kg. Minimum age of 21.

D1: Vehicles designed and constructed for the transportation of no more than 16 passengers plus the driver and whose maximum length doesn’t exceed 8 meters. Said vehicles can tow a trailer of up to 750 kgs. Minimum age of 21.

D1+E: “Pairs of vehicles” comprised of a vehicle permitted under the D1 category accompanied by a trailer whose weight exceeds 750 kgs. Minimum age of 21.

D: Vehicles designed and constructed for the transportation of more than 8 passengers plus the driver, this refers to minibuses and buses. Said vehicles can tow a trailer of up to 750 kgs. Minimum age of 24.

D+E: “Pairs of vehicles” comprised of a vehicle permitted under the D category accompanied by a trailer whose weight exceeds 750 kgs Minimum age of 24.

How long do each of the categories last?

Categories C1+ C1+E, C, C+E, D1, D1+E, D and D+E are valid for 5 years until the holder reaches 65 then they are valid for 3 years.

All remaining categories are valid for 10 years until the holder reaches 65 then 5 years after that age, however all the timescales can be reduced due to illness or deficiencies.