Become a lorry or bus driver

3. When you don’t need the full Driver CPC

You don’t need the full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification if you’re using the vehicle for:

  • non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use
  • carrying material or equipment you use for your job (driving the vehicle can’t be the main part of your job)
  • driving lessons for anyone who wants to get a driving licence or a Driver CPC
  • driving to or from pre-booked appointments at official vehicle testing centres
  • driving within 62 miles (100 kilometres) of your base - but the vehicle can’t be carrying passengers or goods, and driving a lorry, bus or coach can’t be your main job
  • maintaining public order - and the vehicle is being used or controlled by a local authority
  • rescue missions or in states of emergency

You also don’t need the full Driver CPC if the vehicle is:

  • limited to a top speed of 28mph
  • being used or controlled by the armed forces, police, fire and rescue service, prison service or people running a prison or young offender institution

You can read detailed examples of Driver CPC exemptions.

What you need to do

If you want to become a lorry, bus or coach driver in these situations you need to:

  1. Apply for a provisional lorry or bus licence.

  2. Pass the part 1 (theory) and part 3 (driving ability) tests.

You need to renew your bus or lorry licence every 5 years when you reach 45 and every year when you reach 65.