Before you can ride a motorcycle on the road
you must comply with certain legal requirements which fall into
||Those with which YOU must comply
||Those with which your MOTORCYCLE must comply
The topics covered are
To ride a motorcycle on the road you must
||Be at least 17 years old (16
for a moped)
||Have a driving licence which
allows you to ride motorcycles (category A)
That licence can be any of the following
||A provisional driving licence
with motorcycle entitlement
||Full car licence. This automatically
provides provisional motorcycle entitlement
||Full motorcycle licence
||Full moped licence. This provides
automatic provisional motorcycle entitlement if you're aged
17 years or over
This entitles learners to ride a motorcycle
||Up to 125cc
||With a maximum power output
of 11kW (14.6bhp)
Learners who wish to ride a side-car outfit can
do so with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg.
If you're not sure about any of this then you can
get further advice from your motorcycle dealer or trainer.
With provisional motorcycle entitlement you must
||Ride on motorways
||Carry a pillion passenger
||Ride without L-plates (or
D-plates in Wales)
Two year limit
Provisional motorcycle licences used to have
a life of 2 years. But as from 1st February 2001, motorcycle licensing
rules were changed. All new provisional licences showing motorcycle
entitlement issued from that date are valid until the holder's
Holders of the old licences can apply to have
the licence replaced with one that will include provisional motorcycle
entitlement valid to age 70. Replacement licences should be applied
for from DVLA using the normal application forms (available from
Existing motorcycle provisional licence holders
who do not pass a motorcycle test before their provisional licence
expires are NOT now subject to the 12 month wait before they can
get new entitlement.
How to get a licence
If you don't already have a licence with provisional
motorcycle entitlement then collect a D1 form ( driving licence
application ) and a D750 form ( photocard application ) from a
Post Office or from DVLA ( 0870 240 0009 ). Complete the forms
and send them to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre ( DVLC
) at Swansea.
All provisional licences now automatically include
motorcycle entitlement but many post offices are still issuing
the old application forms on which you had to tick the 'with motorcycles'
box to get learner motorcycle entitlement included.
If you want to ride a motorcycle you can ignore
this section of the application form or you can tick the 'with
motorcycles' box just to make sure.
COMPULSORY BASIC TRAINING
All learner motorcyclists and moped riders must
complete CBT before riding on the road unless they
||Passed a full moped test after
1 December 1990
||Live and ride on specified
||Already hold a Certificate
of Completion (DL196) obtained during a previous motorcycle
entitlement or when riding a moped
||Intend to ride a moped and
passed the car tests before 1st Feb 2001
When you've completed CBT you'll be given a DL196.
You must produce this before you can take the practical motorcycle
A DL196 has a 2 year life. If you don't pass
both your theory and practical tests in that time then you'll
have to take the CBT course again.
A DL196 obtained on a moped is valid for a motorcycle
when the rider reaches the age of 17.
TYPES OF FULL LICENCE
As from the 19th of January 2013 there are
4 moped / motorcycle licence categories
For full details see Routes
to Your Motorcycle Licence with Flowcharts
The Registration Document (VRD)
This contains details of your motorcycle
||Make and model
||Year of first registration
||Engine size and number
It also gives your name and address.
If you buy a new motorcycle the dealer will register
it with the DVLA. A registration document will then be sent directly
to you from the DVLA.
If you buy a second-hand one you'll receive the
VRD from the seller. Fill in the "Change of ownership"
section and send it to the DVLA at the address given on the document.
You should do this immediately as it is an offence not to notify
Vehicle excise duty
Also known as the 'vehicle licence' or 'road
tax'. You must display the 'tax disc' on the vehicle.
You can get the vehicle licence application form
at any post office and most main post offices can accept your
The fee varies with engine size. The classes
||Not over 150cc
||Over 150cc up to 400cc
||Over 400cc up to 600cc
||All other motorcycles
For current fees click HERE.
When you apply to renew your vehicle excise licence
you must produce
||A vehicle test certificate
(MOT) if your motorcycle is three years old and over
||A valid certificate of insurance
||An excise licence renewal
Motorcycles registered before 1st of January
1973 are exempt from tax but should display a tax free (historic)
The vehicle test certificate
The MOT test applies to all motorcycles, mopeds
and scooters over 3 years old. The test must be carried out every
year at an appointed vehicle testing station.
The purpose of the test is to check that your
motorcycle is roadworthy. When your machine passes the test you'll
be given a vehicle test certificate which you'll need to produce
when you renew your vehicle excise licence.
If your motorcycle fails the test you must not
ride it on the road unless you're taking it to have the faults
corrected or unless you're taking it for an arranged retest.
It's illegal to ride without insurance. Before
you take a motorcycle onto public roads you must get proper insurance
Insurance costs depend mostly on your age, the size of the
bike and the area where you live. One of the UK market leaders
for motorcycle insurance is Bennetts. To get an online quote please
click on the banner below. You can save the quote they give you
so you don't have to complete the form again if you go back later.
|Or you can get quotes from over 35 motorcycle
insurers by filling in one form at Go
Types of insurance
Third party. This is the cheapest and
legal minimum type of insurance cover. The 'third party' is any
person you might injure or property you might damage. You aren't
covered for injury to yourself or damage to your motorcycle.
If you damage a car the owner could claim against
you. Or, if someone damaged your motorcycle you could claim against
Third party fire and theft. The same as
third party but it also covers you for your motorcycle being stolen
or damaged by fire.
Comprehensive. This is the best, but most
expensive insurance. Apart from covering other people and property
from injury and damage this covers
||Damage to your machine
||Replacement of parts damaged
in an accident
||Personal injury to yourself
Pillion passenger insurance.
All policies used to automatically include cover for a pillion
passenger but now you can decide whether to have that cover included
or not. You can, apparently, save up to 10% by not taking out
cover for a pillion passenger and, of course, never carrying one.
The cost of insurance. This varies with
||Your age - the younger you
are, the more it will cost
||The make of your motorcycle
||The power and capacity of
||Where you live
Engine-size groups for insurance purposes can
vary from one insurer to another so it pays to shop around.
Exactly what is and what isn't insured can vary
from company to company so read the small print and ask your insurer
You'll often have to pay the first £50 or £100
of any claim. This is called the 'excess'.
The certificate of insurance.
This is a short and simple document which certifies
||Who is insured
||The type vehicle covered
||The kind of insurance cover
||The period of cover
||The main conditions
Sometimes a broker will give you a temporary
certificate or 'cover note'. This is issued while you're waiting
for your certificate and is proof of insurance.
Keep the cetificate safe and produce it
||If the police ask you
||When you apply to renew your
vehicle excise licence
The policy document. This contains the
full details of the contract between you and the insurance company.
It's usually written in legal language. Ask your broker or the
insurance company to explain any details which you don't understand.
By law, you must wear a safety helmet when
riding a motorcycle on the road. All helmets sold in the UK
||comply with British Standard
BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI kitemark or
||comply with UNECE Regulation
||comply with any standard accepted
by a member of the European Economic Area which offers a
level of safety and protection equivalent to BS 6658:1985
and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI kitemark
More on helmets and clothing HERE
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for their contribution to this section