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Driving a Minibus - D1

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I've come across the following details relating to driving a minibus on a driving licence that doesn't specifically have a D1 category.

www.dvlni.gov.uk/drivers/no_D1.htm

Essentially it says that for people operating in the voluntary sector (clubs, youth groups etc) it is possible to drive a minbus despite not having the category (D1) explicitly on your licence. I'm not sure if this is specific to NI but as there's no NI section thought I'd ask here.

This seems unusual - is this generally well known or has anyone come across it before?

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CAR LICENCES HELD 1ST JANUARY 1997

Entitlement to drive cars prior to 1st January 1997 – shown as group A (B for automatics) on old style licences or as category B and D1 not for hire or reward on a new style licence allows a person to drive a minibus provided: -

· That the driver is aged 21 or over, the minibus has a maximum of 17 seats including the drivers and is not being used for hire or reward.

To drive a minibus, which has 9 or more passenger seats for hire or reward a passenger carrying vehicle entitlement (PCV) (Category D1 or D) is normally required. To be able to obtain this entitlement the higher medical standards must be met and a further driving test taken.

N.B. Hire or reward encompasses any payment in cash or kind by (or on behalf of) passengers which gives them the right to be carried.

DRIVERS WHO DO NOT HAVE MINIBUS ENTITLEMENT (CATEGORY D1)

If a driving licence does not have minibus entitlement (D1) there are certain circumstances whereby a minibus can still be driven.

You may drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats provided: -

· You drive on behalf of a non-commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or reward (unless operating under a permit).

· You are aged 21 or over

· You have held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years

· You are providing your service on a voluntary basis, and

· The minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes excluding any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers. Minibuses up to 4.25 tonnes will be permitted in certain circumstances.

I work in DVLA as my main job, Feel free to ask any questions to clarify

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Depending on what the purpose for the minibus use is, you may also need a minibus permit from your local council.

I have one for instance that covers me for the Scout Movement and our local church trips. I obtained this from Hertfordshire County Council after going on a day course which involved theory, safety and a driving test with an examiner.

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If your driving a minibus, NOT FOR HIRE OR REWARD, this means nobody on the bus is paying and your not getting paid at the time. For example a teacher running a school trip would not be able to as they are still getting paid a salary for being a teacher.

I can drive a minibus, for the local Sea Cadet Group. You dont necessarily need a permit for this. As the Sea Cadets are a non commercial body and a charity. If I was to drive a bus I would have a letter from the Commanding officer or chairman to confirm this.

My post above is what the users in the DVLA have from the legal team to give out to the public.

Should answer most things for you.

Some questions the DVLA get asked are...

1. I am going on a rugby tour and want to drive a bus.

No you cant as the rugby tour is not a non commercial body

2. I am a teacher...blah blah

Nope as your getting paid.

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I've come across the following details relating to driving a minibus on a driving licence that doesn't specifically have a D1 category.

www.dvlni.gov.uk/drivers/no_D1.htm

Essentially it says that for people operating in the voluntary sector (clubs, youth groups etc) it is possible to drive a minbus despite not having the category (D1) explicitly on your licence. I'm not sure if this is specific to NI but as there's no NI section thought I'd ask here.

This seems unusual - is this generally well known or has anyone come across it before?

So you quoting a different licensing body than that in England and Wales, in Law: England & Wales

your link is for Northern Ireland

Edited by panda plodder

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So you quoting a different licensing body than that in England and Wales, in Law: England & Wales

your link is for Northern Ireland

Yes Panda Plodder, that is why my original post contained the line "I'm not sure if this is specific to NI but as there's no NI section thought I'd ask here."

Thanks for that Pjenx, very helpful. From your rugby tour example, what qualifies as a non commercial body? My specific situation relates to the Boys' Brigade which I'm sure probably qulaifies but was just interested to know?

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non commercial body is usually a charitable organisation, that is not for gain and registered with the charities commission. Must have a valid charity number. If you plan on driving a bus just make sure that the users are not paying for the transport, otherwise you may need a permitt from council, and make sure you get nothing from doing it. Once thats in a letter form to cover you for that date you should have no problems.

You obv need to check that insurance company allows this and if hiring, they will no doubt have the rules all mixed up etc.

There is a leaflet you can order through the DVLA, which explains all this as well. Give them a ring...i think its 0870 240 0009. Worked on phones a long time ago, so check their website if that numbers incorrect.

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nFollowing is taken from Community Transport Association UK and may help:

Driver Licensing: Minibuses - 9 to 16 passengers

Passed car driving test before 1997

- Can drive a minibus for not-for-profit organisation

- Can be paid for driving But…

- Cannot drive minibus abroad

- Cannot drive for a commercial company in UK

- Age 70 must pass medical to renew 'minibus entitlement'.

Passed car driving test 1997 or after: more restricted

- May drive minibus in UK only but all these conditions apply:

- 21 or over

- Held full licence for 2 years

- Driving on voluntary basis

- Minibus used by not-for-profit organisation

- Minibus max weight (MAM or GVW) no more than 3.5 tonnes (4.25 if accessible)

- Must not tow a trailer

- Age 70 must pass medical to renew this entitlement

Teachers Driving Minibuses (1)

- 2006 – guidance issued by DfES (Department for Education and Skills) and separately by DfT (Department for Transport)

- Teachers and other school employees – 'incidental drivers'

- No compulsion to drive = not in job description, no extra pay

- Voluntary derogation applies = rules on previous slide

Caution:

- Weight limits apply

- Not tested in court.

Teachers Driving Minibuses (2) - Caution

- Guidance is not a legally binding document

- Paid staff on 'B' licences may still face prosecution

- Possibility of test case

- Could result in prosecution for:

- Driving without correct entitlement and consequently,

- Driving without insurance.

Edit to tidy up formatting

Edited by NikScotland

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Slightly off topic,

Wasn't there a change in licences that stopped people driving the larger LWB Landrover with extra seats in the back as there was one too many seats to be acceptable on a standard driving licence?

I remember this topic being brought up on another forum by a retired constable saying folks with these vehicles had to be careful as even removing the extra fold up seats in the rear didn't change the vehicle seat number classification as it was still capable of carrying that number of people.

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I did wonder if this was thread about looking into ways of driving a Police van without the D1 category, think on this occassion it would be viewed as employment even if voluntary.

Tbh I find it absurd that people are allowed to drive community vehicles without having the proper cats on their licence. The tightening up came from the fatal crash involving a school mini bus where the teacher driving fell asleep and crashed into the back of a lorry carrying gas canisters, the resulting fire killed the teacher and several pupils who were passengers.

I would not personally be comfortable allowing any kid to be driven in a mini bus by a volunteer who doesn't have the correct cats, its a loop hole and one which should be closed.

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here's a link to entitlements that I've just Googled.

Just looking at the back of my licence (passed in '95) I have the following..

B, BE, C1, C1E, D1, D1E, f,k,l,n,p and prov' for A and GH

I noticed I have more than my sister who had passed after '97
anyone know what newer licences have on them entitlement wise for comparison?

Edited by Cheetah
broken link removed

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I noticed I have more than my sister who had passed after '97

anyone know what newer licences have on them entitlement wise for comparison?

Proabaly what is one your sisters - e.g. no E no D and no C. Can't comment on any motorbike ones.

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CATEGORIES SHOWN ON LICENCE AFTER OBTAINING FULL CATEGORY B [/color]FROM 1ST JANUARY 1997

FULL ENTITLEMENT

B B1 F K P

PROVISIONAL ENTITLEMENTA BE G H

BEFORE 1ST JANUARY 1997 - Until 31st December 1996 a person passing a category B driving test also received the following entitlement: -

FULL ENTITLEMENTB BE B1* F K L N P C1 C1E(8.25 tonnes) D1 D1E (not for hire of reward)

PROVISIONAL ENTITLEMENTA G H

(as per original licence)

* Category B1 entitlement is not shown on the licence unless the driver has passed a B1 test.

CAT B (for the landrover) Is basically the following

1. Limited to up to 8 passenger seats

2. Limited to small vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM

3. Drawing a trailer with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 750kgs (allowing a combined weight of 4.25 tonnes)

4. Or a vehicle combination of up to 3.5 tonnes MAM provided the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle

If you car/van/landrover is less than 3.5 tonns its a cat b.

If its got installed more than the 8 passenger seats, regardless of whether they fold down or not then its a minibus category (D1)

Hope this helps

Edited by pjenx

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Ah, thanks..

Can't believe I'd have to pass another test to drive a 'Plaggy Rat'* :prone: :D

Saves me the embarrassment if anyone asks me to drive theirs :D

*Reliant Robin

Edit: Thanks for the Landrover info - I can let my mate know, he thought the change covered everyone irrespective of when they passed their licence.

Edited by Gramayr

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[quote name='panda plodder' date='Feb 11 2009, 12:49 PM' post='15159

I would not personally be comfortable allowing any kid to be driven in a mini bus by a volunteer who doesn't have the correct cats, its a loop hole and one which should be closed.

Think on this then.

I have D1. Not because I have passed a DSA test to get it, but because I passed my test long enough ago to get it automaticly.

I'm licenced but (could potentially be) no better trained than the person you are not comfortable about...

Essentially, any car driver with common sense and an appreciation of basic physics and dynamics should be fine though.

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