CBT - Compulsory Basic Training
You must complete your Compulsory Basic Training (often known as CBT) before you ride any moped, scooter or motorcycle on the road. It’s not a motorcycle test, but the instructor will assess your riding to make sure you are safe to ride before you can get your DL196 certificate which shows you have completed the training. Compulsory basic training (CBT) has 5 elements: introduction and eyesight check practical on-site training practical on-site riding practical on-road training practical on-road riding You’ll move from one element to the next when your trainer is happy you’ve: learnt the theory shown the practical skills to a safe basic level You might train with others and there’s a maximum number of: 4 learners per trainer for all the on-site elements 2 learners per trainer for all the on-road elements For most completing CBT takes just one day – for those who are a little more cautious sometimes the instructor will suggest a few more hours instruction to ensure you are safe. If you have not gained a full motorcycle or moped licence two years after completing CBT, your DL196 certificate is no longer valid and you must repeat your CBT. If you have a full car licence issued before 1st February 2001 you may ride a restricted 50cc moped on the road without L plates (and carry a passenger) without taking your CBT, but you still need to successfully complete your CBT to ride any motorcycle over 50cc. However, if you have not ridden a motorcycle or scooter before, it is a good idea to complete CBT as a minimum so as to be safe on the roads.
AM - Aged 16 or over: Moped Licence
You can ride a moped with L plates after completing your CBT, or if you want you could opt for the new AM licence by taking your theory test and then a practical test. This will allow you to ride a moped (either scooter or motorcycle style) up to 50cc with a top speed of 45 km/h (around 28mph) without L plates, and to carry a passenger. Even if you decide not to get your full moped licence and just ride with L plates after your CBT, we recommend that you do further training after CBT to improve your riding skills and your road sense.
A1 - Aged 17 or over: A1 Motorcycle Licence
At 17 you can take a 2-stage practical test, after passing your CBT and theory tests, to get an A1 licence. This category will allow you to ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc (with maximum power of 11 KW) without L plates, and to carry a passenger. You might find that passing a full motorcycle test can also reduce your insurance costs. After two years of holding an A1 motorcycle licence, you can take another practical test and if successful qualify for an A2 Motorcycle Licence (see below). Again, even if you opt to ride on L plates after completing your CBT instead of gaining your A1 Licence, we strongly advise you to get additional training for your own safety and confidence.
A2 - Aged 19 or over: A2 Motorcycle Licence
At 19 can get an A2 Motorcycle Licence allowing you to ride a motorcycle or scooter with power up to 35KW (46.6 bhp) which will typically mean up to 500cc engine size, or a restricted version of a bigger more powerful model. There are two ways to qualify for an A2 licence: First if you have held an A1 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test. Or second if you are 19 or older you can take the Direct Access route by completing your CBT and passing your Theory Test and Practical Tests. You are then allowed to ride any A2 category motorbike or scooter without L plates and to carry a passenger. After holding an A2 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test and get an unrestricted A Motorcycle licence (see below).
A - Aged 21 or over: Unrestricted A Motorcycle Licence
At 21 you can get an A Motorcycle Licence, allowing you to ride any motorcycle or scooter of any size or power. There are two ways to qualify for an A Motorcycle Licence: One, if you have held an A2 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test. If you haven’t held an A2 licence for two years and if you are aged 24 or over, you can take the Direct Access route by completing CBT, Theory tests and a practical test. You are then allowed to ride any motorbike or scooter without L plates and to carry a passenger.
If you don’t already have a provisional driving licence you can apply online
You must pass a Motorcycle Theory Test, including a Hazard Perception Test, before taking any Practical Motorcycle Test, even if you have a full car licence. The Theory Test Pass Certificate is valid for 2 years. However if you have passed a two part moped test or a lower category motorcycle test since 1st July 1996 you don’t need to take the theory test again.