1. Getting qualified

To become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to:

  • have a full car licence
  • be over 18 for lorries, or 24 for buses and coaches - but there are some exceptions)
  • get a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

Who needs the full Driver CPC

You must have the full Driver CPC if you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job. You need to pass 4 tests to get it.

How to get and keep the full Driver CPC

  1. Apply for a provisional lorry or bus licence.

  2. Pass the 4 tests that make up Driver CPC to qualify.

  3. Take 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to stay qualified.

  4. Sign a declaration every 5 years until you’re 45 to show you still meet the medical standards.

  5. Provide a medical report every 5 years after you’re 45 to renew your driving licence - you need to do this every year when you reach 65.

If you’re taking an NVT course

If you’re taking an approved National Vocational Training (NVT) course you can drive professionally for up to 12 months without taking the Driver CPC part 2 and part 4 tests.

Who doesn’t need the full Driver CPC

You don’t need the full Driver CPC if you:

  • don’t want to drive for a living, eg you want to drive for a hobby or carry passengers or goods non-commercially for personal use
  • drive in other certain situations, eg taking your vehicle for a pre-booked annual test (MOT)

You still need to pass the part 1 (theory) and part 3 (driving ability) tests of the qualification.