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The NMC Reinforces Calls for a Fundamental Review of the Motorcycle Licensing Regime


The National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) has today issued a second edition of its 2022 position on motorcycle licensing, testing and training which sets out updated proposals for a change to the current regime.

The BMF has been a key contributor to the document, working closely with our partner NMC to set out the need for a regime that is easier to understand and access, with reduced cost, bureaucracy and repetition, whilst maintaining high training standards.

In particular, the document calls for government to undertake a fundamental review of the current regime to create a training and testing regime that is fit for the 21st century; a regime which allows riders to progress more efficiently through relevant motorcycle licensing stages to gain a full licence at the level they desire.

Publication of the Second edition of the National Motorcyclists Council’s 2022 licensing proposals builds on its existing calls for a training and testing system that is fit for purpose

The NMC has today issued the second edition of its 2022 position on motorcycle licensing, testing and training, which sets out updated proposals for change to the current regime. It also reinforces its existing call, plus those of others, for government to undertake a fundamental review of the current regime.

The NMC’s position in ‘‘A Fresh Approach to The Motorcycle Licence’’ is based on the following principle: To make the licensing regime easier to understand and access, while maintaining appropriate road safety standards in training. The NMC does not propose a dilution of standards, but it does propose the creation of a system which is more understandable, with less cost, bureaucracy and repetition – while maintaining the UK’s high training standards. What is clear from a simple analysis of headline safety statistics, is that the current licensing regime is not fit for purpose – rider deaths have risen since it was introduced between 2009 and 2013.

The Government is urged to start the process of reform and Ministers are called upon to empower this work through the existing DVSA/DfT Strategic Motorcycle Group, so that progress can be made and a fresh regime introduced which can deliver improved safety for motorcyclists – among the most vulnerable of road user groups.

The revised NMC position takes account of developments in the issue and work across the motorcycling sector since 2022, including the NMC’s dialogue with government officials and Ministers. Outcomes of this activity include the welcome announcement of the DVSA/DfT Strategic Motorcycle Group early in 2023, though the Group has yet to be empowered by minsters to conduct the full-scale review of licensing that is needed.

The NMC has also worked closely with the industry on the issue and supports many of the proposals in MCIA’s ‘Licence to Net Zero’, which was launched last autumn. As a result, this new edition of the NMCs position can be read alongside the industry’s proposals, though the NMC considers additional areas, such as the future of the A2 licence (initial access to medium powered motorcycles), the role of post-test training, international law, plus an analysis of what has been learned from both current and previous regimes.

NMC Executive Director Craig Carey-Clinch said: “With very mixed results from the current licensing regime, which sadly includes no improvement in rider fatalities, it is clear that a fundamental review is needed. This is not about ripping everything up and starting again, but learning from what works and what doesn’t work, to create an evolved system that is fit for purpose and much easier for novice riders to understand and access.

“A full-scale review through the Strategic Motorcycle Group will allow the opportunity for proposals from the NMC, industry, trainers and other expert stakeholders to be considered and a fresh way forward determined. In that sense, the NMC’s proposals represent a starting place for wider and more proactive dialogue.

“With motorcycle safety such a high priority, we urge Ministers to give the Group the tools it needs to develop a motorcycle licensing regime that improves safety, rewards progress and is more accessible – also taking account of future changes in technology and rider needs as motorcycling and training practice continues to evolve.”

Written by Craig Carey-Clinch

Top image courtesy of IAM Roadsmart

More information about the National Motorcyclists Council and its members can be found on