February 29, 2024

Motorcycle License Change in UK: What You Need to Know

Major Changes in Motorcycle Licensing in the UK

Motorcycle License UK

We have our friends over at MotorBikeTestInfo to thank for highlighting us to the 2013 changes in the UK licensing laws.

We summarize here the basics, but recommend you check-out their summary post here on the same topic –> UK License Changes

The laws for getting a motorcycle license in UK had major changes take effect on January 19th, 2013.

These are some key changes to the law:

Age: 17 years old and above.

No Automatic Upgrade – Since the A2 license only applies for 19 years old and above riders, you can either wait for 2 years and take another test for an A2 license or just elect to stay riding a 125cc motorcycle. No automatic upgrade for A2 license – if you want to have an unrestricted license you will have to endure a second round of testing to remove the 125cc restriction.  The type of motorcycle that you will need to ride for the A2 test will be a 395cc motorcycle instead of 125cc to gain the A2 license.

However, to get a category A2 license without 2 years of prior experience, applicants must need to be 19 years old or older.  Applicants will use a medium size bike with at least 395cc. After passing the test, riders will be able to ride a motorcycle with 500cc. For those applicants aged 19 or over and with 2 years experience, you are eligible to take an upgrade test in order to get a Category A license and an unrestricted access to any machine.  So, you won’t be able to ride on an unrestricted license until at least 21 years of age.

Direct Access. There will be no direct option for riders who are below 24 years old. This age will mark for a rider on what type of motorcycle the rider will be able to ride. Progressive Access will be given to riders in this age bracket.

For all 16 year old applicants,

The laws in getting a motorcycle driver’s license stay the same as before. You can ride a moped with engine up to 50cc, either gears or without, on L plates as long as you have a current CBT certificate.

The only exception for 16 year old riders is if they have a full car license issued prior 2011. In this case, riders are still allowed to ride a moped but taking some form of motorcycle training is highly recommended.

All in all, the changes implemented will allow 17 and 19 years old to ride a motorcycle with a 125cc or scooter while riders aged 19 years old and over are given a new license category. This new category will allow them to ride a bike around 500cc. Also, the age for Direct Access was changed in 24 instead of 21.