Chances running out for under-24s to do Direct Access

Published: 10 December 2012

Only a few chances remain for under-24-year-olds to do a single Direct Access bike test for an unrestricted motorcycle licence.

Riders currently have to be 21 for Direct Access but the minimum age is rising. 
The DSA said: ‘Test slots are now nearly fully booked until January 19, when the new rules come into force.’

Younger riders are also affected. Those aged 17-20 can currently take the standard test and will automatically qualify for an unrestricted licence after spending two years limited to 33bhp.

But after the rule-change they face a longer route. Those aged 17-18 will only be able to take a test for an ‘A1’ licence. It’s a full-licence, allowing them to ditch L-plates, but restricts them to 125cc.

After two years, aged at least 19, they can take a second practical test for an ‘A2’ licence, restricting them to 47bhp. Finally, after another two years, aged at least 21, they can take a third practical test for an ‘A’ licence, which is unrestricted. To bypass the stages and take the single Direct Access test for an ‘A’ licence they will have to be 24. A new kind of halfway Direct Access will allow new riders aged 19 to immediately gain an 'A2' licence without spending two years restricted to 125cc.