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Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Minimum ages for holding or obtaining licences

Minimum ages for holding or obtaining licences

6.—(1) Paragraph (1) of Article 17 of the Order(1) (which specifies the minimum age for holding or obtaining a licence to drive certain classes of motor vehicles) shall have effect as if for the classes of vehicle and the ages specified in the table there were substituted classes of vehicle and ages in accordance with the following provisions.

(2) In item 4 (agricultural and forestry tractors), in the case of an agricultural or forestry tractor which—

(a)is so constructed that the whole of its weight is transmitted to the road surface by means of wheels;

(b)has an overall width not exceeding 2.45 metres;

(c)is driven either—

(i)without a trailer attached to it, or

(ii)with a trailer which has an overall width not exceeding 2.45 metres and is either a two-wheeled or close-coupled four-wheeled trailer; and

(d)is driven on any road other than a special road within the meaning of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993(2),

the age of 16 is substituted for the age of 17 in the case of a person who has passed a test prescribed in respect of category F, but in the case of a person who has not passed the test of competence to drive such a tractor, only while—

  • (A) taking, proceeding to or returning from such a test; or

  • (B) engaged in the course of agricultural operations on any road which is not a road where the maximum speed limit under Article 50 of the Order is 30 miles per hour or less.

(3) In item 5 (small vehicles), the age of 16 is substituted for the age of 17 in the case of—

(a)a person to whom an award of the higher rate component of the disability living allowance has been made in pursuance of section 73 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act (Northern Ireland) 1992(3) (whether before or after his 16th birthday) which is still in force; and

(b)a small vehicle driven without a trailer attached.

(4) In item 6 (medium sized goods vehicles), the age of 21 is substituted for the age of 18 in the case of a vehicle drawing a trailer where the maximum authorised mass of the combination exceeds 7.5 tonnes.

(5) In item 7 (other vehicles, including large goods and passenger-carrying vehicles), the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in the case of a person employed by a Health and Social Services Board or by the Eastern Ambulance Service Health and Social Services Trust when driving a vehicle for the purposes of an ambulance service of such a Board or that Trust.

(6) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in relation to a motor vehicle driven by a constable for the purpose of removing or avoiding obstruction to other road users or danger to other road users or members of the public, for the purpose of safeguarding property, including the motor vehicle and its load, for other similar purposes or for police purposes.

(7) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in the case of a motor vehicle and trailer combination which is in sub-category C1 + E and the maximum authorised mass of the combination does not exceed 7.5 tonnes.

(8) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in the case of a person who is a registered employee of a registered employer, in relation to a large goods vehicle which is—

(a)of a class to which the training agreement applies; and

(b)owned and operated by his employer or by a registered LGV training establishment.

(9) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in relation to a passenger-carrying vehicle where—

(a)the driver of the vehicle holds a provisional licence authorising the driving of the vehicle and is not engaged in the carriage of passengers; or

(b)the driver holds a full passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence and—

(i)is engaged in the carriage of passengers on a regular service over a route which does not exceed 50 kilometres, or

(ii)where he is not so engaged, is driving a vehicle of a class included in sub-category D1,

and the vehicle is operated under a road service licence granted under section 4 of the Transport Act (Northern Ireland) 1967(4) or a permit granted under section 10B of that Act.

(10) In items 6 and 7, the age of 17 is substituted for the ages of 18 and 21 respectively in the case of—

(a)motor vehicles owned or used by or for any service of the Crown; or

(b)persons driving such vehicles.

(11) In this regulation—

(a)for the purposes of paragraph (2)—

(i)any implement fitted to a tractor shall be deemed to form part of the tractor notwithstanding that it is not a permanent or essentially permanent fixture, and in that paragraph,

(ii)“close-coupled”, in relation to wheels on the same side of a trailer, means fitted to that at all times while the trailer is in motion the wheels remain parallel to the longitudinal axis of the trailer and that the distance between the centres of their respective areas of contact with the road surface does not exceed 840 millimetres, and

(iii)“overall width”, in relation to a vehicle, means the width of the vehicle measured between vertical planes parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and passing through the extreme projecting points thereof exclusive of any driving mirror and so much of the distortion of any tyre as is caused by the weight of the vehicle;

(b)in paragraph (5) “ambulance service” means the carriage of persons to or from a place where they will receive or have received medical or dental treatment, in a vehicle constructed or adapted for such use; and

(c)for the purposes of paragraph (8), “registered” and “training agreement” have the meanings respectively given in regulation 43.


Article 17(1) was substituted by S.R. 1996 No. 426 Schedule 1 paragraph 10


1967 c. 37 (N.I.); section 10B was inserted by S.I. 1990/994 (N.I. 7) Article 3

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