New license rules for motorbikes, scooters and trikes

MCE Insurance

From 19 January 2013 new license rules for bikers, scooter and trike riders are due to come into effect. To understand how they might impact you MCE have put together a summary of all the license info you need to know:

Exiting Bikers

If you already have a bike license, GOOD NEWS! Nothing will change for you under these new rules.

However... if you want to ride bigger bikes than your current motorcycle license entitlement holds you will need to have a read of the new rider section to find out how this will change under the new rules.

Existing Riders with Scooter Entitlement

If you already have the license entitlement to ride a scooter - again GOOD NEWS! You won't lose it. Your license will currently show the category P which covers you to ride scooters with:

  • Upto 50cc engine size
  • Max. speed of 50kmh

From 19th January 2013, new EU rules will apply. DON'T PANIC! You won't lose your scooter license but the category will be labelled differently on any licenses issued to you post this date. Your license entitlement will show as one of the following:

Category AM (EU category)

  • Scooters with max. design speed 25km/h but not more than 45km/h
  • Small 3 wheelers max. 50cc engine size and below 4KW
  • Light quads max. weight 350kg and below 4KW

Category P

  • Extension of the above to max. speed of 50km/h

Category Q

  • Extending the above to include two or three wheeled mopeds with a max speed of up to 25km/h

New Riders looking to pass their test after 19th Jan 2013

This is the group that will be most affected by the new license rules. Obtaining a motorcycle license is already a COMPLEX PROCESS... and the new laws have only added to this. Even the government has a tough time trying to explain it simply so to lend a helping hand MCE have summarised everything you need to know below:


  • Min age is still 16 years old
  • Must pass CBT, theory test and practical test
  • Once passed the category of license entitlement that will show is AM and Q

Want a bigger bike?

Now if you want to ride up to a 125cc bike (Category A1) the minimum age is 17 years old. Again you have to pass theory and practical driving tests to get this entitlement.

And if you want to go bigger still...!

Category A2 covers "medium bikes" with or without a sidecar which have:

  • Max engine output of 35KW
  • Power to weight ratio no more than 0.2 KW per kg

The min. age for this category test is 19 years old. And you can get this entitlement in 2 ways:

Direct Access - If you're aged 19 or over, you can take a theory and a practical test

Staged Access - If you're aged 19 or over and you have 2 years experience on an A1 motorcycle, you only need to take a further practical test

Want unlimited power?!?

Category A covers machines unimited in size and power, with or without sidecar, and motor trikes with a power output of more than 15 KW. There are two ways to get this entitlement:

Direct Access - If you don't have 2 years experiences you will have to be aged over 24 years old. You will also need to pass the theory and practical tests.

Staged Access - You can get this category from age 21 IF you have a minimum of 2 years experience on an A2 category motorbike and you take a further practical test.

That's a wrap!

We hope this has helped you understand the impact of the new license laws. Keep posted on the MCE Insurance news section for more info in the countdown to 19th January 2013 and the different model bikes that have been especially designed to suit the new young rider market.

19.07.2012 - MCE Insurance

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