Driving a Minibus
Car licences held before 1 January 1997
If you had entitlement to drive cars prior to 1 January 1997 ¨C shown as group A (B for automatics) on an old style licence or as category B and D1 not for hire or reward on a new style licence ¨C you can drive a minibus provided:
- You are 21 or over, the minibus has a maximum of 17 seats including the driverĄ¯s and is not being used for hire or reward.
New rules from 1 January 1998
Your minibus entitlement will remain valid in the UK and on temporary visits abroad until your licence is next renewed. When this happens your minibus entitlement (D1 and D1+E not for hire or reward) can only be issued if you make a special application which will involve meeting higher medical standards.If your minibus entitlement is renewed you will normally be granted a D1 and D1 + E licence for 3 years which will allow you to drive minibuses, not for hire or reward, in the UK and on temporary visits to other EC/EEA countries.
If your minibus entitlement is not renewed, categories D1 and D1 + E will no longer appear on your licence. However if you are aged under 70 years, you may still be able to drive minibuses in certain circumstances. The rules explained in section 2 overleaf will also apply to you.Drivers whose licences are due for renewal will receive advice about these new procedures with their renewal reminder letter.
Medically restricted licences
In general, car licences have to be renewed when drivers reach the age of 70 but younger drivers with restricted medical licences will also be affected by the new rules when their licences are first renewed. If you have a medically restricted licence you should note that you can still drive non-commercial minibuses on a voluntary basis without being subject to the higher health standards until you reach the age of 70.
Will licences be accepted abroad?
All entitlements on British licences will continue to be accepted at face value during temporary visits to other EC/EEA countries. But please note that under permit minibuses used for hire or reward cannot be driven outside the United Kingdom unless the driver has passed a test for category D1 or D. Drivers who become permanently resident in another EC/EEA country may find that their entitlement to drive D1/D1+E (not for hire or reward) minibuses may not be acceptable. Advice should be sought from the licensing authority of the new country with the exception of Northern Ireland which will accept all GB entitlements.