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Driving agencies and licence categories

These pages are about driving laws in the UK. If you are looking for information about driving laws in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

About the driving agencies

The driving agencies decide if people are allowed to drive. They are also responsible for issuing driving licences.  

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales
You will need to deal with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, or DVLA. 

If you live in Northern Ireland
You will need to deal with the Driver and Vehicle Agency, or DVA.

The terms ‘driving agency’ and ‘driving agencies’ are used in these web pages where the information applies to both DVLA and DVA. Where something applies only to DVLA or only to DVA, we make that clear.

Contact details for the driving agencies

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in England, Scotland and Wales (DVLA)
Address: Drivers Medical Group, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1TU
Tel: 0300 790 6806 (English language); 0300 790 6819 (Welsh language); Fax: 0845 850 0095; use Welsh email service to contact DVLA in Welsh
Website: dft.gov.uk/dvla
Email through website

Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland (DVA)
Address: Drivers Medical Section, DVA, Castlerock Road, Waterside, Coleraine, BT51 3TB
Tel: 0845 402 4000
Website: nidirect.gov.uk/motoring
Email: dva@doeni.gov.uk

Which type of driving licence do I need, to drive different vehicles?

There are two different sets of rules for holding a driving licence, depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive. 

The table below shows which licence you need for different vehicles, and which set of rules you need to follow.

Vehicle description

Driving licence


Driving Licence


Motorcycles and scootersA+A1+A21
Cars, vehicles up to and including 3,500kg, vehicles with up to 8 passenger seatsB1
Car plus large trailerB+E1
Vehicles over 3,500kg and up to 7,500kgC12*
Vehicles over 7.5 tonnesC2
Vehicles with 9-16 passenger seatsD12*
Vehicles with over 16 passenger seatsD2
Road rollersG1
Tracked vehiclesH1
Electric vehiclesL1
Sit-on lawn mowers; children’s motor scootersK1

*  If you have a Group 1 licence and you got your licence before 1st January 1997, and have not had your licence renewed since then, you may also be able to drive vehicles in C1 and D1 categories. See DVLA or DVA websites for more information.

By law you don’t need a driving licence to drive any vehicle on private land. However, if your seizures are not well controlled, it could put you or others at risk when you are driving.

If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.


This information was written by Epilepsy Action’s advice and information team, with guidance and input from people living with epilepsy and experts at DVLA.

Epilepsy Action would like to thank Edward Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information. 

The DVLA has no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated April 2015
    To be reviewed April 2018

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