License Needed to Drive a Bus in the UK

A driving license is a necessary document for any driver in the UK. It’s important that before getting to drive a bus, you have to get a government valid driving license on top of the regular car license. The license can be applied online via the government’s portal at All you need is a valid government ID. If you don’t possess an ID, you can as well apply for one. You can also apply for the bus license via filing a D2 and D4 application form from DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

Application Process

For you to qualify for a bus driving license, you need to comply with the following requirements:

  • Be of legal age (18 years and above) and with a valid ID or UK passport
  • A regular car license
  • Ability to read a number plate that is 20m away
  • Be able to pay about £230 for the driver’s certificate
  • Provide a valid insurance membership number

What you get is a license known as the Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence). The CPC distinguishes you from other drivers. In addition to the above requirements, you’re expected to meet other formalities in order to earn the CPC, including:

  • Pass the Driver CPC test 4-part series, namely part 1 (theory test), part 2 (case studies), part 3 (driving ability test), and part 4 (practical demonstration).
  • Take periodic driving training—35 hours in every 5 years of your professional driving career. It is recommended that you renew your bus Driver CPC periodically. This means every 5 years when you are below 45 years and every year after 65 years.

About D4 Application

The D4 form is required to be filled by your doctor. You are expected to have an optician observe your visual ability and recommend you for the license. You can also get a credible private company that specialises in driver’s medical tests to recommend you. The two groups might charge you; so expect to part with a few pounds. After procuring the filled form, you can send it back to DVLA at no fee. You are expected to include an original coloured passport and original ID. It takes roughly three weeks for your bus driving license to be approved. You should, however, note that you automatically lose your bus license if you lose the license to your car.

Exemptions from the Driver CPC

The exemption applies to the following categories of people:

  • If you are doing an NVT (National Vocational Training) course. You are allowed to drive the bus professionally for a year without taking part 2 and 4 of the CPC test. However, you have to pass part 1 and 3.
  • If you are driving for fun


The process of obtaining a valid bus license is not a complicated one. You just need to meet the state’s set regulation to earn the CPC. An effective CPC will allow you drive a bus in the UK securely and flexible. With the certification, you get identified as a responsible and qualified bus driver.

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