Adding higher categories to a driving licence

You can automatically gain provisional entitlements in a higher category provided you have passed a driving test in category B, this is known as 'staging'. Depending on which category you pass a driving test in, a higher category may also ‘upgrade’ one or more lower categories on your licence.


You must hold full entitlement in category B before being granted provisional entitlements in higher categories. For example, if you want to drive a vehicle over 3,500kg you must have full entitlement to drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg (category B). Gaining a provisional entitlement to drive larger or higher category vehicles is known as staging.

The table below shows the full entitlement that needs to be held so that a provisional entitlement in a higher category can be granted.

Full entitlement held Provisional entitlement that can be applied for
B B+E*, G*, H*
C1 C1+E*
C C1+E*, C+E*
D1 D1+E*
D D1+E*, D+E*

*Provisional entitlement granted automatically when a lower category is gained.


If you pass your test for a larger vehicle category, any corresponding lower categories will be upgraded from provisional to full entitlement.

The table below shows vehicle category held, the higher vehicle category that has been passed and the vehicle category that will be upgraded as a result of the test passed.

Full category held Additional test passed Upgrading
B, C1 C1+E B+E
B, D1 D1+E B+E
B, C1, D1 C1+E B+E
B, C1, D1 D1+E B+E
B, C1, C C+E B+E
B, C1, C, D1, D D+E B+E
B, C1, C, D1, D C+E B+E,  D+E

For further information on staging or upgrading of vehicle category entitlements, you can write to:

Production and Assurance
Driver Licensing Division
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TB

More useful links

Share this page


Your comments are anonymous and can’t be responded to - if you would like a reply, use the feedback form.

Your comments
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum. Don't include personal or financial information.