The Different Types Of Motorcycle Licence
This is either a Category A1, A2 or Full Category A motorbike licence, depending on your age and stage of learning. It is valid in the UK.
There are no restrictions to what you can ride with a full Category A license but there are power and power-to-weight restrictions with both A1 and A2 licences.
With A1 you have to be 17-years-old and any bike is restricted to a maximum engine capacity of 125cc producing up to 11 kW (14.7bhp) with a power-to-weight ratio not more than 0.1 kW per kg).
To hold an A2 license you must be 19 years-old and the bike can have a maximum power output of up to 35kW and cannot be derived from a motorcycle with more than twice that amount originally if a restrictor kit is being used.
The A2 license can be achieved by passing a Direct Access theory and practical test or after two years of experience riding on an A1 license followed by a further practical test.
This is the licence you must apply for and hold before you are able to start learning to ride a motorbike. You can obtain it from age 16 to ride a 50cc moped, once you have passed your CBT (Compulsory Basic Training).
With a provisional licence you are entitled to ride a motorbike up to 125cc maximum engine capacity with ‘L’ (Learner) plates. It is valid in the UK. The provisional licence is the same for both driving and riding and it has the same application process. You cannot carry a pillion passenger with a provisional licence.
This licence entitles you to ride a moped. It is shown as an endorsement on your licence under ‘Category AM’.
What is a moped classed as?
A moped is a small motorcycle with an engine capacity no higher than 50cc. When you have completed your CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) you may ride a moped with L-Plates until your CBT expires. After that, you must complete a Theory Test and a two-part Practical Test to ride a moped without L-Plates.
This is a licence that entitles you to ride in all countries that are a member of the European Union.
This is a licence that enables you to ride internationally but can only be issued when you have a full UK licence for UK riders heading abroad.
Holders of driving licences issued outside Great Britain or Northern Ireland, the EU, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man or from one of a list of designated countries or territories may only be able to drive in the UK for up to 12 months. We advise that you check with the UK DVLA before driving in the UK on any foreign-issued licence.