Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions is reminding car, bus and truck fleets that the Driver Vehicle Licensing Association (DVLA) has introduced new driving licence rules which went live on January 19, 2013.
The changes predominantly impact drivers passing their test after January 19 and introduce restrictions around towing a trailer.
Drivers who passed their test before January 19 will not lose any of their entitlements but will still be affected by some of the rule changes.
The DVLA has also introduced a new style driving licence.
The licence changes are as follows:
- Minibus, bus and lorry drivers passing their test after January 19 in categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 or D1E will get a licence valid for five years. Every five years up to age 45, drivers will have to sign a declaration to show they still meet the required medical standards. Drivers will have to submit medical examination reports after the age of 45 every five years to renew their licence.
- Current drivers under 45 years old with the same entitlements across these categories will receive a licence valid for five years renewable based on medical reports until they reach 45 when they have to submit a medical examination report five yearly to renew their licence.
- From January 19 2013, drivers passing a category B (car and small vehicle) test can tow a small trailer weighing no more than 750kg where the combined weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer isn’t more than 3,500kg.
- Drivers who want to tow a trailer weighing more than 750kg, when the combined weight of the towing vehicle and trailer is more than 3,500kg, will have to pass a further test and get B+E entitlement on their licence. They will then be able to tow trailers up to 3,500kg.
David Millier, compliance manager at Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Services, said: “The DVLA is obviously keen to check up on a driver’s health more regularly before allowing them to drive buses and trucks which is good news.
“It could add a little extra administrative time for a fleet department to update driver licence information, but it will help operators ensure their drivers are in the best health to drive vehicles on company business.
“The new towing regulations will also ensure younger drivers don’t get to drive large vehicle trailer combinations without having the relevant training and passing a test.”
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