Data Sheet

#40 Driving Licences

#40 #40 Driving Licences
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5: Downplating
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Two motorhomes of similar size, but one has a MAM of 3,500kg requiring only a category B licence and the other a MAM of 3,850kg requiring a C1 licence

Two motorhomes of similar size, but one has a MAM of 3,500kg requiring only a category B licence and the other a MAM of 3,850kg requiring a C1 licence

Motorhome users who wish to drive vehicles with a MAM over 3,500kg may apply for provisional entitlement to C1 category and a successful test will give entitlement to drive vehicles up to 7,500kg, with or without a trailer weighing no more than 750kg. Passing a further test to gain entitlement to C1E category will enable heavier trailers to be towed where the combined MAM of motorhome and trailer does not exceed 12,000kg.

While category B driving licences gained after 19 January 2013 are similar to licences gained before this date and after 1 January 1997 there are some minor differences with the upgrades gained after 19 January 2013 which include renewal frequency. An example is a BE entitlement gained on or after 19 January 2013 now places a limit of 3,500kg MAM on the trailer permitted to be towed.

Downplating

Motorhome showing multiple VIN plates with differing MAM

Motorhome showing multiple VIN plates with differing MAM

If a vehicle is unlikely to be used at its potential maximum weight, it may be downplated, whereby a lower weight is shown on the plate or sticker attached to the vehicle than originally posted by the manufacturer. The process is most often undertaken by motorhome owners to reduce the MAM figure to 3,500kg to enable the vehicle to be driven on a category B driving licence. This procedure needs to be registered through DVLA and should only be undertaken if the owner is absolutely sure the loaded weight of the motorhome can be kept within the new limit in normal use. Use of a specialist company is normally recommended to facilitate this procedure. Exceeding the new MAM figure will constitute an offence of overloading, potentially resulting in a fine of several hundred pounds and possibly invalidating your insurance.

Similarly, motorhomes are often up rated from the base vehicle manufacturer's original figure and it is important to consider the later convertor's uprated plated weight when matching a vehicle to driving licence entitlements.