Upcoming changes to motorcycle tests and licences in January 2013

It has been a well known fact for a while now that, as of January 2013, the motorcycle test and license group will change significantly.

However, one misconception that a lot of people have had about these guidelines (including myself) is that young motorcyclists will have undergo a number of tests before being able to ride any size motorcycle.

Want to know the facts? Here they are.


There are 2 main changes happening. 

  • Firstly, the age at which you can take a Direct Access test is being raised from 21 to 24. (Direct Access is the test which enables you to ride any size motorcycle immediately after, instead of being restricted)
  • Secondly, motorcyclists who have an A2 licence are no longer automatically able to ride any size motorcycle after they’ve had the A2 licence for 2 full years. (The A2 licence is the licence which is currently given to those passing their motorcycle test below the age of 21 – this restricts them to riding motorcycles of 33bhp maximum for 2 years after passing their test.)

Despite the misconception, riders do not need to take a number of tests. You will be able choose which licence suits you according to your age and what size motorcycle you can afford to ride.

Before you panic, note that the following information to licence changes is not retrospective - anyone currently holding a licence will not be affected.

Below are the different licences, what age they are for, and what size motorcycle you’ll be able to ride:

  • 16 +         Moped                    (AM Licence)
  • 17 +         125 cc                     (A1 Licence)
  • 19 +         Medium sized bike   (A2 Licence)
  • 21 +         Any bike of choice   (A2 Licence + 2 years experience + test)
  • 24 +         Any bike of choice   (A Licence)