Changes to HGV and bus driving licences and tests from 15 November 2021

There will be changes to the way driving tests work for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and bus drivers from 15 November 2021. Find out how the changes affect you.

Lorries
You currently have to learn to drive and pass a driving test in a large rigid lorry (category C) before you can learn to drive and take a test in a large articulated lorry (category CE).
The law is going to change so that you’ll be able to:

  • learn to drive in an articulated lorry when you get your first provisional lorry licence from 15 November 2021 (if you already have a provisional licence, you’ll need to take extra steps to upgrade your provisional licence)
  • take your test in a large articulated lorry without having to pass one in a large rigid lorry first

Changes to the Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 3 (driving ability) test is 1 of the 4 tests you have to pass to drive a lorry or bus for a living.

The test is going to be split into 2 parts from 15 November 2021:

  • Driver CPC part 3a (off-road exercises) test
  • Driver CPC part 3b (on-road driving) test

Until the rules change, you need to continue following the existing rules about learning to drive an HGV or bus.

Driver CPC part 3a (off-road exercises) test

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will allow training organisations to carry out the Driver CPC part 3a test.

The person who trains you will not be allowed to carry out your Driver CPC part 3a test - it will need to be another trainer.

The off-road exercises will still include:

  • an ‘S’ shaped reverse into a bay
  • showing the uncoupling and recoupling procedure if you’re taking a test with a trailer

The test will still be assessed to the same standard.

You will need to pass the Driver CPC part 3a test before you can take the Driver CPC part 3b test.

Driver CPC part 3b (on-road driving) test
DVSA will continue to provide the Driver CPC part 3b test.

The test will still include:

  • vehicle safety questions (known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions)
  • practical on-road driving

The driving test appointment time will reduce slightly because the off-road exercises will have already been tested.