Do I Need a D1 License to Drive a Minibus?

You can drive a minibus without a D1 or D1 entitlement but there are some restrictions.

A full D1 licence requires medical and eyesight checks as well as a theory and practical test. You may have D1 entitlement on your car licence if your licence was issued before January 1997. This entitles you to drive a minibus without the conditions required for those with a standard car licence.

If you are driving for a commercial company that is operating under a PSV Operators' licence you need a full D1 licence as well as further training. If the minibuses are being run by a not-for-profit company or one that has charitable status they operate under a Section 19 Permit which is issued by the DVSA, in lieu of an operator's licence.

Under a Section 19 Permit drivers must meet certain conditions to drive a minibus on a standard B car licence.

  • They are over 21 years of age
  • 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.

For more information visit

If drivers want to drive a minibus with a GVW of over 3.5 tonnes (or 4.25 tonnes with the allowance for specialist equipment), drive abroad, tow a trailer or be paid to drive a minibus, under a Section 19 Permit, they need D1 entitlement.

If you are a teacher and are driving a minibus without D1 entitlement, make sure you meet the conditions listed above and you can drive a minibus on a standard car licence. If in doubt please contact a specialist solicitor to advise.

 Ask an expert

Need expert advise regarding leasing? Submit your question now.

Send A Question

 eNews Sign Up

The latest in all things Rivervale, delivered direct to your inbox

Sign Up Now

Finance & Finding a Vehicle

We offer many flexible ways for your organisation to get a great minibus. Whatever suits your needs most, be it a lease, or buying used, our dedicated and experienced team are here to help.

Not sure where to start? You can give us a call on 01234 567 890 or chat to us online today for our guidance and recommendations.

Required Minibus Maintainence

Protecting schools, drivers and vehicles, we take the hassle out of making your vehicle safe and legal.

Train Your Drivers

We can help you to promote safe driving for all your drivers, and offer various training courses to ensure you can stay on the road as much as possible.