If you wish to become a lorry or bus driver, there are certain procedures that you need to follow.
In order to become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to have a full car licence, be over the age of 18 for lorries or 24 for buses/coaches and get a professional driving qualification known as the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence. If you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job, you must have the full driver CPC. You need to pass four tests in order to get it. There are steps to getting the licence:
- Apply for a provisional bus or lorry licence
- Pass the 4 tests that make up the full driver CPC
- Take 35 hours of training every 5 years
- Sign a declaration every 5 years to ensure you meet medical standards until you are 45
- Provide a medical report every 5 years once you turn 45 to renew your driving licence.
Applying for a provisional bus or lorry licence
To apply for a provisional bus or lorry licence, you need to fill in forms D2 and D4 from the DVLA. The D4 form must be filled in by a doctor, either your GP (optician for eyesight section) or a private firm which specializes in drivers’ medical exams. You can be charged for having the forms filled out.
You should then send both forms to the DVLA alongside your photo-card driving licence.
You should get your provisional licence within three weeks of DVLA receiving your application. However, it can take longer if either your health or personal details need to be checked.
Instances where you don’t need the full driver CPC
You don’t need the full driver certificate of competence if you’re using the vehicle for:
- Carrying material or equipment for your job
- Driving within 31 miles of your base but you can’t be carrying passengers or goods
- Maintaining public order
- Rescue missions or in states of emergency
Part 1: Theory Test
Part 1 of the CPC tests is a traditional theory test with two sections: multiple choice and hazard perception. You must get at least 67 out of 100.
Part 2: Case studies
You can book this test as soon as you have your provisional licence, and you don’t need to have passed part 1. The test is made up of 7 case studies, which are short stories based upon situations you may come across in real working life. You’ll be asked between 6-8 multiple choice questions on each case study and the pass mark is 40 out of 50.
Part 3: Driving ability
You must have passed your theory test to take this test. It will last around an hour and a half and includes vehicle safety questions, practical road driving and off road exercises.
Part 4: Practical demonstration
To this test, you should bring a lorry/bus/coach. You will be tested on your ability to load the vehicle following safety rules, stop the trafficking of illegal immigrants, assess emergency situations and do a walk-around vehicle safety check. To pass, you have to score at least 15 out of 20 on each topic area.
After you have passed all 4 tests, you will be sent a CPC card which you must carry whilst driving a lorry, bus or coach. You can drive professionally if you’ve passed all of the tests and you are waiting for your CPC card to arrive.
Here is a breakdown of the current fees related to becoming a lorry or bus driver.
Driver CPC part 1 – theory – (multiple-choice)
£26. Evening/weekend/bank holiday: £26
Driver CPC part 1 – theory – (hazard perception)
£11. Evening/weekend/bank holiday: £11
Driver CPC part 2 – case studies
£23. Evening/weekend/bank holiday: £23
Driver CPC part 3 -driving ability
£115. Evening/weekend/bank holiday: £141
Driver CPC part 4 – practical demonstration
£55. Evening/weekend/bank holiday: £63
Driver CPC card (non-UK driving licences only) £25
Replacement for lost, stolen or damaged card £25