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Group 1 Licence

Introduction
Group 1 licenses come under the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999.

'Group 1 licence' means a licence in so far as it authorises its holder to drive classes of motor vehicle included in categories:

The following is an overview of the Group 1 licence.

Drivers Qualified before January 1997
Until 31 December 1996 drivers passing their car test (category B) also normally gained automatic entitlement to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass (sub-catergory CI) without taking a further test. This also included such vehicles towing a trailer with a mam not exceeding 750kg, which is covered by sub-category CI.

If a larger trailer is drawn the mass of the combination may be up to 8.25 tonnes mam provided the towing vehicle does not exceed 7.5 tonnes. For example, a pre-1997 categor 1 driver may drive a van of 6 tonnes mam towing a 2 tonnes mam trailer. This is known as sub--category CI plus E (category restriction 107): up to 8.25 tonnes mam. It is possible for a driver from this group to upgrade his entitlement to 12 tonnes gross combination weight by taking an additional test.

Entitlements gained by passing the ordinary car test which will continue to be valid for these drivers despite the changes from 1 January 1997 are as follows:

For further information relation to class of vehicles and categories, please go to Licence Category within this section.

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Drivers Qualified after January 1997
New drivers passing their car test may only drive vehicles in category B, a further test will be required if a driver wishes to obtain CI entitlement. Category B also permits the towing of trailers with a greater mam than 750kg provided.

Van and trailer as allowed for new category B drivers Fig 1. - Illustrates (as an example) the standard situation for new category B drivers towing trailers.
The weights below would therefore apply.

Probationary Period
Probationary period - Ordinary licence holders who first passed their driving test since 1 June 1997 have to observe a two year probationary period. Within that time a driver's licence will be automatically revoked and the holder will need to be re-examined if six or more penalty points are accumulated. Both theory and practical tests will need to be retaken.

NB. It is worth noting that any points received by the holder prior to the granting of a full licence will be valid in calculating the six point's total.

Medical Requirements - Eyesight
For the purpose of medical requirements licences are separated into 2 groups:

Medical tests are required for Group 2 licence holders on application for or renewal of licence.

Defective Eyesight

Section 96 Road Traffic Act 1988 - level 3 fine - summary offence

It is an offence for a person with uncorrected defective eyesight to drive a motor vehicle on a road.

Police Power

A Police constable having reason to suspect that a person driving a motor vehicle may be guilty of an offence of driving with uncorrected defective eyesight may require him to submit to a test.

Section 96(3) Road Traffic Act 1988 - level 3 fine - summary offence

It is an offence for a person to refuse to submit to such a test.

Requirements

Regulation 72 Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999

In good daylight to read, with the aid of corrective lenses if worn, a motor vehicle number plate of the prescribed size:

Character height Character width Distance ( metres)  
79 millimetres
79 millimetres
57 millimetres
50 millimetres
20.5 metres
20.0 metres
12.3 metres Category K only
12.0 metres Category K only

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