Driver CPC - Become a Lorry, Bus or Coach driver

To become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to:

  • Hold a full car driving licence.
  • Be aged over 18, although there are some exceptions.
  • Obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) which is a professional driving qualification. 

Who needs a Full Driver CPC?

You must have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) if you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job.

You usually need to pass 4 tests to obtain it, unless you have ‘acquired rights’ because of your existing driving experience.

Who doesn't need a Driver CPC?

You do not need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). if you:

  • Drive a commercial vehicle but do not want to drive it for a living e.g. you want to drive for a hobby or carry passengers or goods non-commercially without any hire or reward i.e. for personal use.
  • Drive a commercial vehicle in certain other situations, such as taking your vehicle for a pre-booked annual test (MOT).

You will still need to pass Part 1 (Theory) and Part 3 (Driving Ability) of the qualification.

How to obtain and retain a Driver CPC:

  • Apply for a provisional lorry or bus licence.
  • Pass the 4 tests that make up the Driver CPC to qualify – See Part 1 and Part 2 within this section of the website.
  • Attend 35 hours of periodic training within a 5-year period to remain qualified.
  • Renew your bus or lorry entitlement every 5 years, and then every year when you reach the age of 65.

If you are attending an NVT course

If you are attending an approved National Vocational Training (NVT) course you can drive professionally for up to 12 months without taking the Driver CPC Part 2 and Part 4 tests.

Applying for a Provisional Lorry or Bus Licence

The category of provisional licence you need will depend on the type of vehicle you want to drive.

How to apply

To apply, order forms D2 and D4 from DVLA.

The D4 form must be completed by a doctor. This could be either:

  • Your GP - but an optician may need to fill in the section about your eyesight.
  • A private firm specialising in drivers’ medical exams.

Your doctor, optician or a private firm can charge you for the service.

You may only apply for a provisional trailer (+E) licence when you have obtained the full licence for the vehicle you will be driving.

Send the forms

Send both forms and your photocard driving licence to DVLA at the address below. There is no application fee.

SA99 1BR

You will automatically lose your lorry or bus licence if you lose your car licence.

Once you have received your provisional driving licence, you are then in a position to take Part 1 and Part 2 of the required training which you must pass to become fully qualified.

After you have qualified

After you have passed all 4 of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) tests, you will be sent a ‘Driver Qualification Card’ or ‘DQC’, this is sometimes also referred to as a CPC card.

You must carry your DQC card whilst driving a lorry, bus or coach professionally at ALL TIMES.

You can get a £50 fixed penalty for driving professionally without carrying your DQC card with you.

Receiving your DQC card

The card will be sent to the address on your driving licence and so if it is incorrect e.g. if you have moved but not advised the DVLA of your new address, you must change this address before your training is completed 

The photograph and signature on your photocard licence will also be used on your DQC card.

Before your card arrives

You can drive professionally if you have passed all the tests and you are waiting for your DQC card to arrive.

If your card does not arrive

You should receive your DQC card within 20 days of passing the final test. If you do not receive it within this time contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

DQC Card Replacements
Telephone: 0300 123 7721
Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm

You will have to pay £25 if:

  • You take longer than 3 months to tell DVSA that the card has not arrived.
  • The card is sent to an old address because you have not updated your licence.

Replacing your card

You MUST replace your DQC card if:

  • it is lost or stolen.
  • it does not have your address on it

Remaining qualified

Every 5 years you must:


The following EU Directives pertain to Driver CPC: