If you have a full D1 licence or a D1 (101) entitlement on your licence (because your licence was issued before 1st January 1997) you can drive a 17-seater minibus and can do so for hire or reward.

However, if you do not have D1 entitlement you must meet the following conditions below. These are set out for vehicles driven under a Section 19 Permit.

  • Drivers have held a full category B car licence for at least 2 years
  • Drivers receive no payment or other consideration for driving other than out-of-pocket expenses
  • The gross vehicle weight (GVW) or MAM, maximum authorised mass, must not exceed 3.5 tonnes (4.25 tonnes including specialised equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers)
  • no trailer is being towed

For full conditions and more information visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport

Finding the GVW or MAM of your 17 seater minibus

The GVW or MAM is the weight of a vehicle including the maximum load (passengers, driver, luggage) that can be carried safely when it is being used on the road. This permissible maximum weight is what dictates whether drivers need D1 entitlement on their licence or not. Vehicles with a GVW of over 3500kg  (or 4250kg including specialist equipment) require D1 entitlement – regardless of the number of seats.

You can find the weight, sometimes also called the plated weight on the chassis plate or VIN plate that is usually in the door frame, under the bonnet or in a front footwell. It looks like the image below. The MAM is always the second largest weight, in this case, see image below 4100kg.

finding the gross vehicle weight of your minibus

finding the gross vehicle weight of your minibus