This is a category on your driving licence that permits you to legally drive vehicles of between 9 & 16 seats over 3.5 tonnes (4.25 with specialist equipment). If you passed your test BEFORE 1st January 1997, you’ll automatically have category D1 on your licence – or you can take the full D1 test. Without D1 entitlement, under a Section 19 Permit, you are limited to driving a minibus with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes (or 4.25 tonnes with specialist equipment).
Section 19 Permit
If you are a school that has charitable status or is not-for-profit you can run your minibuses under a Section 19 Permit, avoiding the need for a professional Operator’s Licence. Section 19 Permits are £11 from the DVSA and are displayed like a tax disk on the front windscreen – you need one per vehicle.
Drivers must meet these conditions under a Section 19 Permit if they don’t have a D1 entitlement.
- Must be over 21
- they have held a full category B car licence for at least 2 years
- they receive no payment or other consideration for driving other than out-of-pocket expenses
- the vehicle has a maximum gross weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (4.25 tonnes including specialised equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers)
- for drivers aged 70 or over, that they don’t have any medical conditions which would disqualify them from eligibility for a D1 licence
- no trailer is being towed
- where the driver’s licence only authorises the driving of vehicles with automatic transmission, that only a vehicle with automatic transmission is used
- Drivers aged 70 or over who don’t meet the higher medical standards are not authorised to drive small buses. They can drive small vehicles being used under a permit, provided they have renewed their car licence.