Are you new to motorcycling?

Need a question answered?
If so, the chances are you’ll find the answer to your question on this page.

There’s no such thing as a silly question

If you’re just starting out on your biking career, the chances are you have a number of questions that you want answering to give you a clearer idea of what to expect. If you’ve thought of a question to ask, you can guarantee that someone else has thought of it too.

For your convenience we have assembled a list of our most frequently asked questions, where you can find the answers you need, quickly and simply.

When do I have to take the theory test?
You do not need to take the theory test to ride a moped or motorcycle on L-plates, but you must take it and pass it before the practical test. If you wish to train with ACE Motorcycle Training, you must pass before the start of training.

From 1 February 2001 all provisional motorcycle licence holders must pass a theory test before they can book the practical test, even if they hold a full licence in another group. Before this date holders of a full car licence were exempt from the theory test requirement when seeking to gain a licence for the other category of vehicle – i.e. a car driver only needed to take a practical motorcycle test. (The reciprocal situation exists – a holder of a full motorcycle licence will have to take a car theory test.).

The exemption from the motorcycle theory test will remain for those persons who gained a full moped licence (not those who have a full moped licence by virtue of having passed the car test) by taking a moped theory and practical test – the moped and motorcycle theory tests are the same.

The theory test pass certificate has a life of 2 years, after which it will be necessary to take the test again before taking a practical driving test.

How can I find out about the theory test?
The theory test can be taken at over 145 centres throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Sessions are available on weekdays, evenings and on Saturdays.

You can find out where your local centre is from:

Your Approved Driving Instructor

A DVSA or DVTA driving test centre

The telephone information line 0870 0101 372

The test paper is available in the following languages:

• English

• Welsh (in Wales)

• Hindi

• Urdu

• Gujarati

• Punjabi

• Bengali

• Chinese

What is CBT all about?
As a new rider, you are required by law to complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before you can ride on L-plates. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency syllabus will introduce you to safety equipment and riding gear, basic machine control, and the concepts behind road safety. A qualified instructor will accompany you on a minimum of a two-hour road ride. Having reached a safe and proficient level of riding, you will receive a CBT certificate (DL196). This certificate is valid for two years, and allows you to ride displaying L-plates unaccompanied on the road from 1st January 1997, all learner motorcyclists must complete CBT before riding on the road. This includes riders who hold a full car licence dated before 1 December 1990, who were previously exempt under transitional rules from 1st February 2001, car drivers who qualify after 1 February 2001 will be required to complete CBT before riding a moped.

If you are still riding on a provisional licence without a CBT certificate, you MUST stop riding and take CBT to validate your licence. Note: you do not need to take CBT if you have passed a full moped test, or if you live and ride on specified offshore islands.

I already have a CBT certificate from my year on a moped. Is it valid for my new 125?
Yes, so long as it has not expired.
I thought my CBT certificate was valid for three years?
They used to be. From 1 July 1996 to 31 January 2001, CBT certificates had a three-year life. This means that certificates issued before 1 July 1996 will have expired on 30 June 1999. Certificates issued between 1 July 1996 and 21 January 2001 will expire three years from the date of issue to confuse matters, from February 1 2001, CBT certificates have a two year life from the date of issue old and some current stocks of CBT certificates are not marked with an expires date – it will be up to you to remember that they expire.
What can I ride as a learner rider?
If you are 16 years old, you can ride a moped. If you are 17 or older, you can ride a motorcycle or scooter not exceeding 125cc and 11kW (14.6hp).
Can I ride a 50cc scooter on a car licence?
Yes, so long as you hold a full car or motorcycle licence – these provide full moped entitlement – but CBT is required before riding on the road if you passed your car test after 1 February 2001. Yes, so long as you hold a provisional driving licence (this provides automatic provisional moped entitlement).
What is a moped?
A moped is a machine which:

• Has an engine under 50cc

• Has a maximum design speed not exceeding 30 mph

• Doesn’t weigh more than 250 kg

• Can be moved by pedals if registered BEFORE 1 August 1977

• Any scooter, which meets the above criteria, is a moped

How do I know if I have a provisional motorcycle licence?
A provisional motorcycle licence can be any of the following:

• Provisional driving licence with motorcycle entitlement

• Full car licence – this automatically provides provisional motorcycle entitlement

• Full moped licence – this automatically provides provisional motorcycle entitlement if you’re aged 17 or over

Note: if you have applied for a provisional CAR licence, don’t forget that the motorcycle entitlement needs to be applied for separately.

What can I ride on a provisional motorcycle licence?
A provisional motorcycle licence entitles you to ride a solo motorcycle up to 125cc with a maximum power output of 11kW Learners who wish to ride a sidecar can do so with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg.
You must not:
• Ride on motorways

• Carry a pillion passenger

• Ride without L plates (or D plates in Wales)

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