UK Laws on pillion passengers
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Hooked
Vespa GT 125L (2004)
Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 167
Location: Battersea, UK
Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:49 am quote
Hi All,

I've got a full car licence and CBT and was told that I can take a pillion on a 50cc but nothing above that until I get a full licence.

Last week however I have seen about 9 separate occasions where this did not seem to be the case of people with L plates on 125's with pillion passengers.

Do I have it wrong or is it possible that they're just breaking the law?
Molto Verboso
Midnight Blue GTS 250 i.e.
Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 1301
Location: Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:57 am quote
With provisional motorcycle entitlement you must not

* Ride on motorways
* Carry a pillion passenger
* Ride without L-plates (or D-plates in Wales)

Last edited by Oultondave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
GTS250
Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 125
Location: Melbourne Australia
Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:58 am quote
If you already have a full car licence, you are automatically entitled to ride a learner bike (up to 125cc and 14.6bhp) with 'L' plates and no pillion passengers. If you don't drive already you need to apply for a provisional motorcycle or moped licence. There are a number of different licence categories you can go for, depending on your age and what licence you have already.

Moped licence
A moped is defined as a vehicle that must not exceed 30mph, weigh more than 250kg or have an engine over 50cc. The definition for machines registered before 1 September 1977, also includes its propulsion by pedals. You can ride a moped at 16 years old on a provisional motorcycle licence with moped entitlement. You must complete CBT (compulsory basic training), the theory test and the practical moped test to get a full moped licence.

Once qualified, you may ride a moped without 'L' plates and carry a pillion passenger. You must not, however, ride on motorways. If you have a full car licence gained after 1 February 2001 you must complete CBT before riding a moped. If your licence was gained before 1 February 2001 you are entitled to ride a moped without taking CBT. Again, once qualified you can ride a moped without 'L' plates and with a pillion, but not on motorways.

The A and A1 licence
At 17 you can apply for either an 'A' or 'A1' licence. To gain a full A1 light motorcycle licence you must complete CBT, the theory test and a practical test on a vehicle between 75cc and 125cc. A full 'A1' licence permits you to ride any motorcycle up to 125cc and a power output of up to 11kW (14.6 bhp) without 'L' plates, you may carry a pillion passenger and travel on motorways. For the category 'A' licence you must complete CBT and pass the theory test followed by the practical test on a motorcycle of over 120cc but not larger than 125cc and capable of at least 100kph. A full standard category 'A' licence permits you to ride motorcycles with a power output of up to 25kW (33bhp), and a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg, without 'L' plates, carry a pillion passenger and use motorways. The 33bhp ceiling applies for two years (not counting any periods of disqualification). After that you may ride a motorcycle of any capacity and power.

Direct access
At 21 or over you have the option to take a test on a larger machine. On passing the test you will be qualified to ride any size of motorcycle without restrictions. This option is called direct access. You must complete CBT, the theory test and a practical test on a motorcycle of at least 35kw (46.6bhp) to qualify for this licence. You are exempt from taking the theory test if you already hold a motorcycle or moped licence. When you are training for direct access you are not permitted to ride on the road unless accompanied by a qualified instructor

Accelerated access
If you already hold a full standard category A licence and you reach the age of 21 before the two-year qualifying period is complete you may go for accelerated access. As with direct access you will take a test on a machine with a power output of at least 35kW (46.6bhp) and once qualified you can ride any size of machine. Again, you can practice for this test on motorcycles above 25kW only if a motorcycle instructor accompanies you and you are displaying 'L' plates. You do not need to complete CBT again or pass another theory test.
Ossessionato
Honda Integra 'Mica'
Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 4045
Location: London, UK
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:09 am quote
The Highway Code sez:
Quote:
You MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger or pull a trailer until you have passed your test.
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069867

Given your location (I am also a denizen of glorious South London), I suspect the instances you've seen are indeed lawbreakers. I'm astonished they actually had L-plates on. And helmets, for that matter.
Member
Vespa PX125
Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 22
Location: London
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:29 am quote
Re: UK Laws on pillion passengers
SuperDaveAU wrote:
Hi All,

Last week however I have seen about 9 separate occasions where this did not seem to be the case of people with L plates on 125's with pillion passengers.

Do I have it wrong or is it possible that they're just breaking the law?
I see them all the time in London as well. You'd have thought they'd at least have the intelligence to remove the L plates...

not that i've ever seen anyone pulled over for it
Hooked
'09 GTS 125cc Red Dragon
Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 247
Location: former: London, UK current: Slovakia
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:40 am quote
Maybe they have the full licence, they just didn't remove their "L" plates yet?

Or they were full-licence riders riding someone else's scooter who hasn't got licence and so the "L" plates were on?

Or they were breaking law.

Anyway, you can't take pillions with CBT.
Enthusiast
Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 66
Location: London
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:53 am quote
Crazy carrying a pillion if you're not insured for them - leaves you wide open for damages.
Ossessionato
2008 GTS 300 Super
Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 2507
Location: Bromsgrove, UK
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:54 am quote
Re: UK Laws on pillion passengers
SuperDaveAU wrote:
Hi All,

I've got a full car licence and CBT and was told that I can take a pillion on a 50cc but nothing above that until I get a full licence.

Last week however I have seen about 9 separate occasions where this did not seem to be the case of people with L plates on 125's with pillion passengers.

Do I have it wrong or is it possible that they're just breaking the law?
You need to have a look at your driving licence carefully.
If you passed your test before a certain date you will also have been given a full Moped entitlement.

Using this you can ride without L plates on a 50cc machine that's restricted to 30mph, and can take a passenger. If you don't have the moped entitlement then you will need L plates and can't legally take a passenger (though as you have seen, plenty of people ignore this).

I originally had a 50cc scoot and did use the moped entitlement to take passengers, then when I went to a 125 I had to use Ls and rode solo.
Size of a Chaffinch
PX 125 "The Bruise"
Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 5425
Location: London
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:59 am quote
Re: UK Laws on pillion passengers
nickysg wrote:
SuperDaveAU wrote:
Hi All,

Last week however I have seen about 9 separate occasions where this did not seem to be the case of people with L plates on 125's with pillion passengers.

Do I have it wrong or is it possible that they're just breaking the law?
I see them all the time in London as well. You'd have thought they'd at least have the intelligence to remove the L plates...

not that i've ever seen anyone pulled over for it
I got pulled for this by the fuzz about a year ago when I rode two up on my husband's scooter (he hadn't passed his test at the time) - I had carefully taped out the Ls but apparently this wasn't enough.

Actually, it is. But policemen don't like looking stupid when they thought they had a nice easy tug on a Sunday afternoon.
Rock Star
BMW R1200GS 'The Toilet'
Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 8736
Location: County Down, Northern Ireland
Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:59 am quote
Dr Zoidberg is correct. What you need is a small "p" on the back of your photocard driving licence. If you have this (from a car test passed before 2001, I believe) then you can ride less than a 50cc AND take a pillion. You do not require L plates either. However, I have heard tell that the police aren't even aware of this rule.
Ossessionato
2013 GTS 300 Super - red, of course and a 2012 Stella 4T 'four-on-the-paw' in black
Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 3267
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:47 am quote
Have They changed it? When I was a wee laddie in Torquay, a learner could take a pillion if that person had a full mo'cycle license.

Let's see if I got it straight:

The driver with the permit is the scooterist all alone,
The fellow with a license can take his buddy around town.
The cager on a moped is really good as gold.
The learner with a pillion he ain't doin' what he's told.


The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon;
The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
Enthusiast
vespa Px 125e
Joined: 04 Mar 2009
Posts: 78
Location: Kingston, Surrey
Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:09 pm quote
Re: UK Laws on pillion passengers
Dr Zoidberg wrote:
SuperDaveAU wrote:
Hi All,

I've got a full car licence and CBT and was told that I can take a pillion on a 50cc but nothing above that until I get a full licence.

Last week however I have seen about 9 separate occasions where this did not seem to be the case of people with L plates on 125's with pillion passengers.

Do I have it wrong or is it possible that they're just breaking the law?
You need to have a look at your driving licence carefully.
If you passed your test before a certain date you will also have been given a full Moped entitlement.

Using this you can ride without L plates on a 50cc machine that's restricted to 30mph, and can take a passenger. If you don't have the moped entitlement then you will need L plates and can't legally take a passenger (though as you have seen, plenty of people ignore this).

I originally had a 50cc scoot and did use the moped entitlement to take passengers, then when I went to a 125 I had to use Ls and rode solo.
is there a link on the dirctgov website that states this? as i cant seem to find it.

I passed my driving test way before 2001 and ride a 50cc vespa. Even though i have seen forums say that i can take a pillion, i cannot for the life of me find where this is stated in the dvla sites.
Rock Star
BMW R1200GS 'The Toilet'
Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 8736
Location: County Down, Northern Ireland
Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:39 pm quote
Re: UK Laws on pillion passengers
polaris wrote:
I passed my driving test way before 2001 and ride a 50cc vespa. Even though i have seen forums say that i can take a pillion, i cannot for the life of me find where this is stated in the dvla sites.
Your riding it without L plates. You have in essence, a full moped liecence. If you check the back of your photocard, you will find a lower case "p". This is your full moped entitlement.

Se the p on here:

Hooked
Vespa GT 125L (2004)
Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 167
Location: Battersea, UK
Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:23 am quote
Then if you have a full moped licence, ("p" on your licence) you CAN take a pillion right?
Molto Verboso
2009 LXV125
Joined: 03 Dec 2009
Posts: 1566
Location: Baildon, Yorkshire, England
Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:28 am quote
On a "moped" (50cc's). Not on a 125 with just a CBT.
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 10691
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:38 am quote
Re: UK Laws on pillion passengers
DougL wrote:
Doug-

That's the best picture of you I have ever seen.
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