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Changes to trailer licensing announced after previous delay

By David Porter

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The UK Government has confirmed that as of yesterday, December 16 the regulations surrounding trailer tests and licensing have changed.

Changes had previously been expected to be confirmed in November after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed in September its intention to change the law in an effort to free up testing capacity to tackle the shortage of qualified lorry drivers.

Under the new regulations, drivers that passed their car driving test from January 1 1997 are now allowed to tow trailers up to 3500kg MAM.

The DVLA will update driving licence records for all those the change applies to - category BE will also be added to photocard driving licenses when renewed to show that you are allowed to tow trailers.

Read more about driving license categories at https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-categories.

Members do not need to contact DVLA for this to happen. It will be done automatically.

If you passed your car driving test before 1 January 1997, you are not affected by the change.

The news was welcomed by farming union NFU Scotland who are still recommending that members seek to take part in training before towing for health and safety reasons.

Commenting on the announcement NFU Scotland’s Transport Advisor Jamie Smart said: “NFU Scotland are pleased that the uncertainty over trailer licensing has been resolved and as of the 16 of December 2021 anyone who holds a category B (car license) will also be entitled to tow a trailer up to 3500 kg subject to the towing vehicles towing capacity.

“This entitlement will be added automatically when a license is renewed but a driver does not need to wait until this happens for the entitlement to take effect.

"NFU Scotland strongly advise that anyone who intends to tow a trailer behind their car or pickup undertakes appropriate training as this will improve road safety as well as ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation.

"Full guidance on the regulation change is available on the government website.”

The full details of changes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021#what-changed-on-16-december-2021

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