I'm thinking of doing a motorcycle trip around the UK & Ireland later on this year. I have a NZ car licence and a "learners" motorcycle licence - Similar to an A1 licence in the UK.

I understand that because it's not an unrestricted motorcycle licence it's not valid to ride on outside of NZ, but I am allowed to ride a scooter or motorcycle up to 50cc in Europe due to my car licence.

Now I assumed that would be the same for the UK, however the part that I'm confused about is that I've read that you have to hold a CBT certificate to be able to ride a scooter or motorcycle up to 50cc in the UK. What I haven't been able to clarify is if this applies to International Licence holders as well or not. And if I do need to do the CBT, do they issue it straight away at the end of the day or do they post it to you?

  • I would guess that you cannot. It used to be that when you passed your car test you were also issued a moped licence. It was not so much that a car licence allowed you to drive a moped but that you always got the moped licence with the car one. More recently this stopped, e.g. my son's licence is car only. Even more recently some even more restricted moped like category seems to come with the car licence. I have not checked the details.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 10:18
  • On the CBT, you would probably need to get a UK learner's licence first. That is not the same day and, I think, it requires you to be a resident. I think that your most practical option is to get the necessary licence at home before you leave.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 10:20
  • If by Ireland you mean the Republic, e.g. Dublin, then remember that it is an independent country. Even if you get a UK learner's licence, it won't be valid there.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 10:22
  • Nowhere is it clear you must have a UK drivers licence if you're riding with a CBT only. Thought after more research it seems new new rules in Rep. of Ireland mean you need a specific moped licence instead of it being roled-up into the car licence like it use to be. I guess I'll shelf the plan for a later date then.
    – LemonPopNZ
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 12:32
  • I am away from home using a tablet so thorough research is not easy. However, I would expect that the application for the CBT would request your licence number and that it would expect a UK licence. Certainly, getting a UK learner's licence requires you to be resident. We got one for a visiting niece but she was here for 3 years at university.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


A little research now so I think that I can make this an answer.

As you say, your NZ licence is not suitable.

This government page says: "You must get a provisional licence and then a compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate to ride on public roads". So, you need a provisional licence. Following the link provided brings you here which says that you need a Government Gateway ID. This asks for lots of stuff such as a National Insurance number.

If it you are staying for a long time then it may be possible. As I said in comments, I helped a visiting non-UK niece get a provisional licence. She later passed the test and got a full licence but she was here for 3 years.

Certainly not practical and probably not even possible for a holiday.

Here, we have accelerated schemes for getting a full motorcycle licence. Look for one at home and get a full licence before you leave.


Links repaired.

Some additional data found by following the second link.

"If you don’t have an EU or EEA passport, you’ll need to send in a visa that proves you have permission to live in the UK".

Note, "permission to live", not just visit.

  • 2
    The pages you are linking to (the links are now BTW dead) are relevant for UK residents and not for visitors with a foreign driver's license. You do not answer OP's question. Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 17:29
  • Odd that the links have gone dead. I'll try to repair them tomorrow. However, I think that it is an answer. He is not trying to use his NZ licence as he knows that it will not be suitable. He is trying to drive as a learner in the UK, my point is that this is this is only possible for residents.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 23:30
  • I have managed to repair the links. The copy and paste on this tablet included a spurious extra character.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 23:43
  • And added some more detail.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 23:51
  • That answers everything, thank you. I do have dual-citzenship thru my parents so I technically could go thru all the legal hoops but that's too much work I think. Especially as I'm not sure I'd be staying more than a few months anyway.
    – LemonPopNZ
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 4:01

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