Acquired rights (or 'grandfather rights') apply to drivers who already hold a full vocational licence to drive buses, coaches and lorries on the Driver CPC start date. However, any licence acquired before January 1997 which has a D1 (not for hire or reward), D (not for hire or reward) or 079 code does not qualify as 'acquired rights', nor do they provide any provisional entitlement.
Code 079 categories are recognised as 'acquired rights' in Great Britain, but this is not applicable in Northern Ireland. To drive professionally, drivers will need to take all four modules of the new Driver CPC test.
Having Driver CPC through 'acquired rights'.
You’ll have ‘acquired rights’ if you’re a:
Lorry driver and got your vocational licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) before 10 September 2009.
Bus or coach driver and got your vocational licence (D, D1, D+E and D1+E) before 10 September 2008 - this includes a restricted vocational licence D(101) issued after 1991 and D1(101) issued before 1997.
When you need to do periodic training.
If you’ve got your Driver CPC by ‘acquired rights’ you must do 35 hours of periodic training by 9 September 2014 if you’re a lorry driver. Bus or coach drivers should have completed their training by 9 September 2013.
What happens if I give up driving professionally?
If you give up driving professionally, and let your Driver CPC expire, then you must complete 35 hours of periodic training to regain it before you can resume driving in the freight, bus and coach industries professionally.
The existing 'Transport Manager’s CPC' (also known as the 'Operator’s CPC') is a separate qualification and if you hold one and still drive professionally as part of your job, you will also need to hold a Driver CPC.
Driving a larger vehicle and adding trailer entitlements.
Your ‘acquired rights’ don’t allow you to drive a larger vehicle of the same type with a trailer if this isn’t on your vocational licence. You’ll have to pass the relevant driving ability test to do this.
For example, you’d have to take the lorry driving ability test with a C+E vehicle combination if your vocational licence was only for a category C vehicle.
Driving a different type of vehicle.
Your ‘acquired rights’ only counts for the type of vehicle you held your vocational licence for. You must get the Driver CPC initial qualification for any other type of vehicle.
For example, you’ll have to get the Driver CPC initial qualification for buses and coaches if your original qualification gave you ‘acquired rights’ for lorries.
The Driver Qualification Card (DQC).
Once you have completed your 35 hours of periodic training you will be issued with a Driver qualification card (DQC). It will be sent to the address on your driving licence. . You must carry your DQC while driving a large goods vehicle or passenger carrying vehicle.