Riding a motorcycle, moped or motor tricycle

Overview

There are different rules if you held a motorcycle or moped licence before 19 January 2013.

To ride on public roads you first need to get a provisional licence and then complete compulsory basic training (CBT) to get a certificate.

You must pass both parts of your practical test within 2 years of taking the theory test. If you do not, you’ll have to start the process again.

Motorcycles

There are different categories of motorbike - you’ll need to get the right entitlement on your licence and be old enough to do so.

Mopeds

The way moped entitlements are shown on your licence have changed, but you still need to be 16 to ride one.

The rules are different if you already have a car driving licence.

Motor tricycles

Provisional category B car licences and provisional category A licences now only cover you to ride motor tricycles if you have a physical disability. Driving tests for 3-wheeled vehicles are only available for physically disabled drivers.

If you’re not physically disabled and want to ride a motor tricycle you’ll now need to get the right provisional entitlement and pass CBT.

You can drive a motor tricycle of any power rating if both of the following are true:

  • you’re over 21
  • you have a full car driving licence

You’ll need a full category A1 motorbike licence to ride motor tricycles up to power output 15 Kilowatts (kW), and a full category A motorbike licence to ride trikes with a power output more than 15 kW.

Once you’ve done your CBT you have 2 years to pass your theory and motorcycle tests or you’ll have to do CBT again.

If you have a full EU driving licence

Before you can take a CBT course you must either:

If you register your EU driving licence, you’ll have to exchange it for a GB licence after you’ve passed your theory and practical test.

Learning to ride

You need to have the right provisional driving licence when you’re learning to ride.

If you’re using your own vehicle you’ll need to make sure it:

  • has a valid V5C registration certificate (log book)
  • is taxed
  • has an MOT (if needed)

You’ll also need adequate motor insurance.

Official Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) guides

You can buy the official DVSA guide to learning to ride and the DVSA guide to riding - the essential skills.

Taking the full motorcycle tests

All riders have to pass the theory test before taking the motorcycle practical test.

Enhanced rider scheme

Once you’ve passed your motorcycle test you can take the enhanced rider scheme. It checks your riding skills and provides training to help you improve. You can get discounts on motorbike insurance if you successfully complete the scheme.

More information

Read DVLA’s routes to your motorcycle licence flowchart for step-by-step instructions on how to get a moped or motorbike licence.