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Your guide to the different types of motorcycle & scooter licences available, what you can ride after passing and how old you must be before starting the training.
From the age of 16 you can take a C.B.T (Compulsory Basic Training) course and ride up to a 50cc moped with L-plates displayed on the front and back. At 17 a C.B.T will allow you to ride up to a 125cc scooter or motorcycle, again displaying L-plates on the front and back. You cannot take pillions and are not allowed to ride on motorways on a C.B.T.
If you passed your car driving test before 1stFebruary 2001 and hold a valid licence you can ride a maximum of a 50cc scooter on your driving licence without the need to complete a C.B.T or display L plates. If you passed your car test after 1stFebruary you will need to take a C.B.T however as you hold a full car licence this C.B.T will be valid for as long as your car driving licence. Remember though you can only ride a maximum of a 50cc scooter regardless of your age.
If all you ever want to ride is a 50cc scooter you can take a Category AM test. You will have to pass your compulsory basic training and a theory test before taking the test and once completed you can ride up to a 50cc scooter without L-plates and take a pillion! You cannot ride on the motorway due to the size of the engine.
The minimum age for an AM licence is 16 years.
Scooters up to 50cc,
Maximum design speed not exceeding 45 km/h (about 28 mph),
Minimum age is 16 years.
Similar to the AM licence, if all you ever want to ride is a 125cc motorcycle or scooter you can take a Category A1 test. You will have to pass your compulsory basic training and a theory test before taking the test and once completed you can ride up to a 125cc motorcycle or scooter without L-plates, take a pillion & ride on the motorway.
The minimum age for an A1 licence is 17 years.
At 19 you can take your A2 licence. You must first pass your C.B.T and theory test. The A2 licence is also known as the restricted licence as you can ride any motorcycle or scooter of any cc but must not produce more than 35kW (47bhp). You can however restrict a motorcycle or scooter to 35kw as long as its factory output when new is less than 70kW (94bhp) and must not exceed a power to weight ratio of 0.2kW/kg.
The minimum age for an A2 licence is 19.
If you are upgrading from an A1 licence to an A2 licence you WILL NOT be required to re-take your compulsory basic training and theory test.
Motorcycles not exceeding 35kW,
Power to weight not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg,
Not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power,
Minimum age is 19 years.
The A2 licence WILL NOT automatically convert into a Category A licence after two years. You will be required to apply for a Category A licence.
If you are 24 or over you can take your direct access test which after completing your theory test you can take. This will allow you to ride any motorcycle of your choice with no restrictions. If you are under 24 and have held an A2 restricted licence for a minimum of 2 years you will be allowed to take your A licence. (If you passed your A2 licence on your 19thbirthday you would be able to take you A licence test on your 21stbirthday) You also wouldn’t need to retake your theory test and C.B.T.
Any motorcycle, no cc or power limit,
Minimum 2 years' experience as an A2 licence holder (minimum age 21),
Or Minimum age 24 years for 'Direct Access'.