Minibus driving licences explained

Passed your car test before 1997

If you passed your car driving test before January 1997 then you will most likely have minibus entitlement on your licence. This is shown on the back of the licence as category D1. You will also have a (101) code against this category, this is shown in the last column on the back of the licence. You should check your licence carefully as in some instances this is not the case.

The (101) denotes the fact that you have not passed a D1 driving test and that you are not allowed to drive a minibus for hire or reward, basically, you cannot drive for a commercial company. However, if you are driving for a non-profit making organisation such as a school or a charity and the vehicle is operated under a section 19 permit, then you can be paid for driving. Remember you can only be paid for driving if you have D or D1 entitlement on your driving licence.

A minibus is a vehicle with 9 to 16 passenger seats.

Driving Minibus

Passed your car test after 1st January 1997

From the first of January 1997, the D1 category is no longer granted as an implied right. This means that if you want to have D1 added to your licence you will have to pass the D1 driving test.

However, you still may be able to drive a minibus on your car licence if you fulfil certain conditions as follows:

  • You must be over 21 years old
  • You must have held a full driving licence for at least two years
  • You are driving for a non -profit making organisation, on a voluntary basis.
  • You are driving for social purposes.
  • You are driving a minibus with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes (this weight can rise to up to 4.25 tonnes to take account of specialised lifting equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers).
  • You must conform to DVLA Group 2 medical standards.
  • You cannot be paid for driving, you may only claim out of pocket expenses.

It should be noted that the information regarding driving minibuses with no D1 entitlement is for guidance only, it is not the law and has never been tested in court. However, this information is also available on the DVLA website.

Read more: Rivervale Driving Education Forward

Drivers over the age of 70 years

At the age of 70, the D1 entitlement is normally withdrawn automatically, and you are not allowed to drive a minibus of any size or weight. If you wish to continue driving any minibus then you must pass a PCV medical and send the relevant form to the DVLA. This should be done in good time as usually once your minibus entitlement has been removed it will not be reinstated.

It is important to remember that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they hold the correct licence for the vehicles they drive, and if they are not their insurance will also be invalid.

Ask an expert

Need expert advise regarding leasing? Submit your question now

Send a Question

eNews Signup

Our best vehicle leasing deals delivered direct to your inbox

Signup now

Callback Request

Request a callback from an experienced vehicle leasing advisor

Request callback

More from our blog…

Trustpilot LogoExcellent - 4.9 out of 52817 Verified Reviews

Amy TrustPilot 5 Star

Brilliant service from Jordan and team, everything is exactly as they said. From timings and cost of the car very open and honest. Car wasn't...

Added 2 days ago

HC TrustPilot 5 Star

From the get go of finding out rivervale would be the company providing the lease deal the service I received was second to none. Megan who managed...

Added 3 days ago

Customer TrustPilot 5 Star

Great service from start to finish. Always friendly service and quick replies to any queries.

Added 8 days ago

Mr Cox TrustPilot 5 Star

So impressed with the service I received from Jordan and Bud they always kept us informed and were super helpful in finding me a car so happ...

Added 10 days ago

Customer TWJH TrustPilot 5 Star

I would like to thank Abbie, Ellie and Lydia for their wonderful help and support under what could otherwise have been a very difficult or stressful...

Added 13 days ago

Radu TrustPilot 5 Star

Great service all the way. They found a good price, answered all questions and updated me all the way. They had no control over a slight delay...

Added 15 days ago

A Philip TrustPilot 5 Star

Very friendly group of people with no pushing for sales. They have always picked my calls which was my worry. James Seltzer was the account manager...

Added 27 days ago

Michael TrustPilot 5 Star

I have given 5 stars but if i was to be honest at the beginning of this process and taking into consideration brexit i would have given minus...

Added 29 days ago

Lawrence TrustPilot 5 Star

Really helpful

Added 35 days ago

Customer TrustPilot 5 Star

Jake has been very helpful from the start of the process. Good communication, regular updates and courtesy calls. Highly recommended!

Added 35 days ago

Arval Lex Autolease Alphabet BVRLA Seagulls Leaseplan Leasys Hitachi Santander ODO Fleet Insight ALD

We use cookies to make the website work as well as possible and improve our services.

Accept Cookies Managing cookies