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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Compulsory basic training (CBT): when and how to take it

All learner motorcycle and moped riders must complete a compulsory basic training (CBT) course before riding on the road. Find out how to take the course, and the rules that apply once you have done it.

When to complete a CBT course

You will need to complete a CBT course if you want to ride:

  • a moped
  • a motorcycle

How to get a moped or motorcycle licence

You can download a diagram showing you the different ways to get a moped or motorcycle licence by clicking on the link below.

If you have a car driving licence

If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 February 2001, you must complete a CBT course to confirm your full moped rights.

If you passed your car driving test before 1 February 2024 you don't need to complete a CBT course to ride a moped. However, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) recommends that you do.

If you want to ride a motorcycle you must apply for a provisional motorcycle licence and then complete a CBT course.

When CBT is not needed

You don't have to take CBT if you have a:

  • full moped licence from passing a full moped test after 1 December 2023
  • full motorcycle licence for one category and want to upgrade to another

You will also be free from taking CBT if you live and ride on specified offshore islands. However, if you ride across to mainland UK you will need to complete a CBT course.

Choosing a CBT course provider

The cost

The cost of CBT varies from provider to provider - it may be included in the cost of a course that leads to a motorcycle test

CBT can only be given by approved training bodies (ATBs) who have:

  • trainers that have been checked by DSA
  • sites approved by DSA for off-road training

How much CBT costs

The cost of CBT varies from provider to provider. It is set by the ATB, and can be affected by:

  • where the training takes place
  • whether you bring your own moped or motorcycle

The cost of CBT may be included in the cost of a full training course that leads to a motorcycle test.

Most ATBs offer the loan of mopeds, motorcycles and helmets for the course.

Incidents that happen while you are training

If you have an incident while you are training, your ATB will report it to DSA. This is so DSA can work with trainers to make training safer. The report will contain personal information. This might be used to investigate the incident and might be passed to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) when required by law.

Elements of the CBT course

What the course involves

Find out what you'll do during each element of your CBT course

CBT is arranged so that you progress through a series of elements.

You will only move on to the next element when your trainer is happy you have:

  • learnt the theory you need
  • shown the practical skills to a safe basic level

What the five elements are

The five elements are:

A. introduction
B. practical on-site training
C. practical on-site riding
D. practical on-road training
E. practical on-road riding

CBT certificate of completion


CBT certificates last for two years - if you don't pass the full motorcycle test in this time, you'll need to take another CBT course

When you complete a CBT course you’ll be given a certificate of completion – sometimes called a DL196.

The certificate will record whether your CBT was completed on:

  • a moped or motorcycle
  • a motorcycle-sidecar combination or a moped that has more than two wheels

This will confirm your rights accordingly.

How long your certificate lasts

Your CBT certificate allows you to ride on the road displaying L plates (or L or D plates in Wales) for two years.

If you haven't passed a full motorcycle theory and practical test by the end of the two years, you must take another CBT course. This is so you can continue riding on the road as a learner.

If your CBT certificate runs out before you pass module two of the motorcycle test, you need to take another CBT course. However, you don't need to take your theory and module one test again if you have already passed them, unless they have run out.

Riding a moped if you have a car driving licence

If you already have a CBT certificate when you pass your car test, your full moped rights will be confirmed straight away. A moped has:

  • a top design speed of no more than around 31 miles per hour (50 kilometres per hour)
  • an engine up to 50 cubic centimetres (cc)

A CBT certificate confirming full moped rights on a full car licence lasts for the life of the licence. So, it's important that you keep your CBT certificate in a safe place.

Additional links

Help for learner riders

Get help and advice about learning to ride from the Facebook community

What CBT courses involve

Find out what happens during the five elements of CBT

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