Minibuses in Hertfordshire

Advice for people who run or drive a minibus.

Minibus Driver Assessment Scheme

Our Minibus Driver Assessment Scheme will help you meet the legal and safety requirements to own, run and drive a minibus. It’s for schools, charities and non-commercial organisations.

Get a Hertfordshire County Council minibus driver permit

To get a minibus driver permit, you need to:

  1. get your licence checked. Email the driver training team to organise
  2. get your driving assessed. Once we’ve checked your licence, you can book an appointment with one of our approved assessors. They’ll assess your driving to ensure you’re safe and competent. If you’ve never driven a minibus before, they can provide training to help you
  3. meet the eyesight standard (read a number plate at least 20 metres away, wearing glasses or contact lenses if you need to) and make sure your driving is not affected by any health condition or medication
  4. learn the speed limits, signs and markings that apply to buses in the Highway Code
  5. read our guide to driving minibuses and daily check list.
  6. familiarise yourself with the vehicle you’re going to drive, including seat adjustment, controls and systems. Don't attempt to drive unless you're accompanied by our assessor.

Running a minibus

The Operator of a minibus is normally:

  • the person or organisation that employs the drivers
  • the driver, if they own the minibus.

The Operator has many obligations under Health and Safety at Work and Road Traffic law.

If you use a Hertfordshire County Council minibus, or your organisation wants to take part in our scheme, we need you to:

Manual for minibus operators

Section 1 – Owning and running a minibus

Section 2 – Insurance

Section 3 – Taking a minibus abroad

Section 4 – Maintenance of a minibus

Section 5 – Passenger care and safety

Section 6 – Useful contacts

As well as our drivers, we recommend that you use this manual if your organisation operates minibuses.

Drivers – have you got the right licence?

If you drive for your employer, your licence must include category D1.

This includes teachers and school staff, during the school day or out of hours. That's because you're at work, being paid and your journeys are official business.

There is an exemption for volunteers without D1 on their licence. However, our legal advice is that this exemption does not apply to teachers and school staff.

If you passed your car driving test before 1997...
You should have D1 on your licence (unless it has been removed, for example on medical grounds). Your D1 will be restricted to non-commercial use (code 101).

If you passed your test after 1996...
D1 will not be included.  You need to pass a DVLA medical, the theory and practical driving test for Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) to get D1.

Read more about becoming a minibus driver.

Email the driver training team for details of local trainers.


Volunteers for a charity or non-commercial body who don’t have D1

You might be able to drive a minibus if you meet all the conditions in the Driving Licence regulations:

  1. the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body but not for hire or reward
  2. the driver is aged 21 or over
  3. the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years
  4. the driver receives no payment or consideration for doing so, other than out of pocket expenses
  5. the maximum weight of the minibus is not more than 3.5 tonnes fully loaded (or 4.25 tonnes including any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers)
Note: the original maximum weight of the vehicle must not exceed 3.5 tonnes before any specialist equipment is added for disabled passengers. The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999

Age limits to drive a minibus

The minimum age is 21.  When renewing a licence at 70, the driver must pass a DVLA medical and request to renew their minibus entitlement in order to keep D1.

Email the driver training team if you need further advice.