Compliance warning on licences for towing31 July 2019

Licence Bureau is warning operators to ensure they fully understand the licence requirements for towing loads.

The provider of driver licence validation services says many businesses fail to grasp the legalities of towing due to the confusing nature of appropriate licences.

The date on which an individual passed their test is key. If a driver passed their test on or after 1 January 1997 they will have a Category B licence, which means they can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) with up to eight passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg). These drivers can also tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer is not more than 3,500kg.

If a driver has a Category BE licence they can drive a vehicle with a MAM of 3,500kg with a trailer. The size of the trailer depends on the BE ‘valid from’ date shown on the licence. If the date is before 19 January 2013, they can tow any size trailer; if it is 19 January 2013 or later, they can tow a trailer with a MAM of up to 3,500kg.

“This is a complex area due to the different variations in licences and their respective entitlements,” says Malcolm Maycock (pictured), managing director of Licence Bureau, adding that the responsibility for compliance lies with the fleet or HR manager.

“Quite simply they need to make sure licence checks are carried out correctly, drivers are aware of what they can and cannot drive, and operational procedures are developed to suit.”

Laura Cork

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