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Long gone are the days where you just applied for your provisional lorry licence, took a driving course and passed a practical driving test. Pre 1st Jan 1997 you could even have skipped the category C (class 2) and gone straight onto the C+E (class 1.)
Today, to gain the category C licence and the Initial Driver CPC qualification a total of 5 exams must be taken and passed.
The following information should help.
In the first instance a medical must be completed. Your GP can assist you with this. Bear in mind different GP’s will charge different rates. Prices range from £45 to £150. It’s worth noting any practicing GP can carry out your medical so our advice is to shop around.
The medical is relatively straight forward and should take no more than 20-30 minutes. You need to take the D4 medical application form with you as the Doctor needs to fill this in.
The Doctor will want to (amongst other things) check blood pressure and eyesight. If you are already diagnosed with diabetes this should not be a problem.
If your blood pressure is too high or your eyesight too poor (must be able to read a number plate from 20.5 metres) the Doctor should recommend you visit your own GP or optician (which ever applies) for treatment.
Once you have seen your own GP or Optician and sorted the problem you will have to return to the Doctor (who completed the original medical) and get the D4 (medical form) completed.
Provisional LGV licence application
Once the D4 form is fully completed then it’s time to apply for the LGV provisional entitlement. The D2 form should be used.
Most drivers will apply for the provisional category C entitlement. Some may apply for just the C1 (7.5 tonnes) but this is normally for paramedics and sometimes the equestrian fraternity.
It’s worth knowing you can leapfrog the C1 and go straight for the C. Highly recommended as the C1 and C is the same process (theory and practical tests.)
The D2 form should be checked carefully before sending to the DVLA. It’s also worth knowing if you already have a photo card driving licence then no photos need to be sent with you application and no one needs to verify your ID (section 6 on D2 form.)
You can apply to receive the provisional licence application pack online or contact your local training provider who will be happy to send you the relevant forms.
You then need to send your D2, D4 and both parts of your licence to DVLA. Your application pack will have a pre addressed envelope. Put all the documents into this letter and stick it in the post!
Your licence should be back with you within two to three weeks. If your found waiting any longer than three to four weeks we recommend you contact DVLA and check the status of your application. Once your licence comes back it is then possible to go to the next step and book your theory tests.
HGV theory tests
What theory tests you will need to take and pass will determine what full entitlement you already have on your licence. For example if you already have C1 entitlement and or are Driver CPC exempt then you only need to sit the multiple choice and Hazard perception theory tests.
If you are not exempt from Driver CPC and do not have C1 entitlement (e.g. having passed your car driving test after 1.1.97) then the initial Driver CPC qualification must be attained.
Let’s go under the presumption here that you do need Driver CPC then (as far as theory tests go) you’re going need to sit and pass 3 separate theory tests, these are.
Multi choice HGV theory test. module 1A. Consists of 100 multi choice questions. You must get at least 85 correct to pass.
Hazard perception theory test module 1B. 19 hazard clips. Must score at least 67 to be awarded a pass.
Driver CPC theory test module 2. 7 case studies (scenarios.) Each scenario has 7-8 multi choice questions. 50 questions in total. Must get at least 40 correct answers to be awarded a pass. All the theory tests can (and should) be sat on the same day.
It’s worth knowing all three theory tests are independent of each other. So, for example if you were to pass two theory tests and fail one then you only need to resit the (one) theory test you failed. You will be given your results at the end of each test
Practical driver training
OK now you have mastered the theory element it’s time for the practical driver training and subsequent driving test (module 3.) This (in our opinion) is the enjoyable part. It is essential you find the right HGV training course for you.
This is where finding (and using) a good reputable training provider will pay dividends. Training with a qualified instructor on a well maintained vehicle will really make the difference.
Most training providers will run a 5 day course, however this is not set in stone. Some will offer an assessment drive and some will even offer a free assessment.
Our advice is contact and visit a couple of reputable trainers in your area and see which one meets your aspirations.
Once you pass your driving test (and congratulations by the way) and you do not need the Initial Driver CPC qualification then that’s it. You’re now ready to seek gainful driving employment as a heavy goods driver. If you do need the Initial Driver CPC qualification then one more hurdle must be completed.
Module 4 Driver CPC
The other final practical test. This is a twenty to thirty minute practical test that is taken at a DSA practical test centre. This part is all about practical, legal and health & safety issues surrounding driving an HGV commercially. It’s pretty straightforward stuff and your training provider will assist and help you.
The LGV training companies found on this website can advice, assist and guide you through the entire licence acquisition process from medical to Module 4.