Licences & Laws
Driving and Vehicle Standard Agency
Mopeds (AM and q)
All licences issued on or after 19 January 2013 will show moped categories as AM and q in place of category p. But if you held full category p before this date you’ll keep this entitlement and it will be shown on your licence together with new categories AM and q.
Motorcycles (A1, A2 and A)
There are different minimum age restrictions and power outputs for the different categories. If you are an existing tricycle rider you won’t lose the entitlement you currently hold.
Tests for mopeds with 3 or 4 wheels, A1 and A tricycles and sidecar combinations will only be offered to physically disabled drivers or riders.
2 parts to the test:
hazard perception - a video test about spotting hazards on the road
You book and take them as a single test but must pass both parts to pass the test.
Can take the theory test from:
16th birthday onwards if you’re learning to ride a moped (no more than 50cc)
17th birthday onwards if you’re learning to ride a motorcycle
You can take the theory test before or after you take your compulsory basic training (CBT) but you need to have passed before taking a full licence motorcycle test.
You do not need to take the theory test if you passed a moped/motorcycle test after 1 July 1996 and want to either:
take the motorcycle test on a category A1 small motorcycle
upgrade your motorcycle licence under the ‘progressive access’ (also known as ‘staged access’) rules
If you have a full car licence you still have to pass a motorcycle theory test before taking the motorcycle test.
Laws and regulations on Electric Bicycles, Moped / Scooters and Motorcycle
Electric Bicycles - Speed Pedelecs
Any ebike that is capable of a speed in excess of 15.5mph or has a motor rating above 250w is generally referred to as a as a speed pedelec, or s-pedelec. In the UK these bikes are classed as L1e category road vehicles and require registration with DVLA for use on the public highway. This means the bike must have European certificate of conformity and be type approved as a L1e road vehicle.
To use on the public highway these bikes must be registered with the DVLA (have a number plate fitted), have a minimum of third party road risk insurance, the rider must wear a motorbike style crash helmet, and must have appropriate driving licence (a CBT, more info in the next section). These bikes are classed as road vehicles and therefore cannot be used on cycle paths, cycle lanes etc. They are subject to all the same laws that a motorcycle or moped would be.
After speed pedelecs, the next category will generally be electric mopeds restricted to 28mph (45kmh). These can be thought of in a similar way to a Honda 50cc petrol moped. As a moped, they can be ridden by any rider 16 or over who has either passed a CBT course or has category AM or P on their existing driver licence. These are classed as L1e-B, which is the same as a Speed Pedelec (L1e-B).
Car drivers who passed their test before February 2001 generally will have this category AM or P already on their licence, or have a full motorcycle licence, and are not required to take a CBT course (please double check that this is the case).
Electric Motorbikes - Over 28mph
Electric scooters / motorbikes that are capable of speeds in excess of 28mph / 45kmph are classed as L3e-A1. There is no speed restriction however you must be 17 or above and have passed a CBT course OR have a full motorcycle licence.
CC to kW ratios:
50cc : 4kW - 16 year old plus requires minimum a CBT certificate.
125cc : 11kW - 17 year old plus requires minimum a CBT certificate.
500cc : 33kW - 19 year old plus requires minimum a A2 Motorcycle Licence.
+ 500cc : 33kW - 24 year old you can get an A Motorcycle Licence, allowing you to ride any size or power.
Please see full licence requirements on the government website here or in our new categories section above.