If you’re keen on becoming a professional truck driver, you will first need to apply for a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV), now called Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Provisional Licence. Here’s a look at the process:
1. Licence Category
You can choose from any of the four licences:
– Category C: For vehicles weighing at least 3,500 kg and with or without a trailer that weighs a maximum of 750kg
– Category C+E: For Category C vehicles with trailers more than 750kg in weight
– Category C1: For vehicles weighing 3,500 kg – 7,500 kg, and with or without a trailer which should not weigh over 750kg
– Category C1+E: For Category C1 vehicles with trailers weighing more than 750kg and the combined weight of the trailer and vehicle can only be a maximum of 12,000kg
– The candidate should have a Category B (Car) licence.
– The candidate should be at least 21 years old. Exemptions to this are members of the armed services who may apply as early as 17 years old and candidates who meet the following conditions and may therefore apply at 18 years old:
– He is studying for the driving test for Category C or Driver CPC.
– He has previously passed his driving test and Driver CPC initial qualification.
– He is taking a national vocational course to acquire a Driver CPC initial qualification.
Take note, as well, that candidates are required to have a Category C licence before they can apply for the Category C+E. The same goes for the Category C1+E licence, in which candidates should earn a Category C1 licence first.
3. Application for the provisional licence – Medical examination
Candidates need to undergo and pass a medical examination to prove that they are in good condition to drive. You will need a D4 form which will be filled out by your GP. Although candidates are not expected to be in excellent health, they should at least be cleared to drive by a doctor. The health check will include factors like vision, any brain injury or trauma, heart problems, psychiatric conditions, and history of substance abuse.
4. Application for the provisional licence – Submission of Forms
You will also need a copy of the D2 form which you have to fill out. Submit the completed D2 and D4 forms with your current driving licence to the DVLA. The forms can be downloaded from the website and there are no application fees at this stage of the process. Processing time will take about two to three weeks, after which, upon approval, you’ll receive your licence with the provisional entitlement indicated.
Once you’ve received your provisional entitlement, you can then proceed to take an HGV or LGV training programme. You’ll be sitting for the Theory Test which is composed of two parts: Multiple Choice and Hazard Perception. Your training provider will likely give you materials and resources to prepare for the theory tests. Then, your chosen training provider will provide you with a driving instructor for your Practical Driving training in preparation for your Practical test. When you pass the practical test, your provisional entitlement will be converted to a full HGV or LGV licence.