Driving licence application DL2 - guidance notes
These notes are designed to help you fill in the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) DL2 form (goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles drivers’ licence application form). You should read all these notes carefully when filling in the DL2 form.
If you hold a valid full driving licence and want to add provisional entitlement to drive large vehicles, minibuses or buses, you must fill in the DL2 application form and the DLM1 medical report form.
The DL2 application form is available from main Post Office branches.
For more information visit:
General information for DL2 application form
These notes contain important information about applications for Northern Ireland driving licences.
You should only use form DL2 for making applications for goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles (PCV) driver’s licences, it cannot be used to apply for licences to drive motor cars, motorcycles or tractors, or to apply for a Taxi Driver’s Licence.
You should read the notes carefully before filling in the application form. The notes are meant to be a comprehensive guide, but they do not set out all of the licensing laws that apply.
Licence costs and how you pay
For information on licence fees and how to make a payment, including posting your application visit:
Applications for PCV driver licences – evidence of conduct
All applications for PCV entitlement (categories D1, D1E, D and DE) must be sent with a Basic Disclosure Certificate, which you can get from AccessNI.
This certificate will show details of all convictions considered to be unspent, or say that no such convictions were found.
While a conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being issued with a licence, some serious convictions may lead to a refusal.
Where a licence is refused, you may make an appeal.
To get a Basic Disclosure Certificate, you should contact AccessNI.
For contact details for AccessNI go to:
You can get more information at:
Only Basic Disclosure Certificates which have been issued within the period of three months, ending with the date of the application for the driving licence, will be acceptable.
Filling in the DL2 application form
Notes one to four
For guidance notes to fill out section one A, one B and one C go to:
Note four, section one C
Confirm your identity - what you must do
If this is your first application, or you have not been issued with a Northern Ireland licence since 1 April 1999, your application must be sent with:
- a colour, passport size photograph
If you have been issued with a new style photocard licence at any time after 1 April 1999, your application must be sent with:
- a colour, passport size photograph - if you are applying for a duplicate licence or change of name/ address without renewal, a photograph is not normally needed
Note five – section one D
Change of name
If your name has changed since your last licence, you must give documentary evidence of the change of name; for example, passport in the name by which you are now known or birth and marriage/ civil partnership certificate.
The evidence you give must show a clear link between the name on your identity document and your current name. Photocopies of the documentary evidence are unacceptable.
You must surrender both parts of your licence which must be sent with the application and apply for a new licence straight away. It is an offence not to do so.
If you have lost either part, you will need to apply for a duplicate/ replacement licence and forward the right fee.
Note six - section one E
Change of address
If you change address within Northern Ireland, you must surrender your licence and apply for a new licence straight away using the Driving licence application DL1 form. It is an offence not to do so. Your address must be in Northern Ireland.
Note seven – section two
Your driving licence
This section allows you to tell DVA which type of licence you want.
You must have a full car licence before learning to drive any category of goods vehicle or passenger-carrying vehicle. You must pass a driving test in a rigid vehicle before being given provisional entitlement to drive a vehicle with a heavy trailer.
Note eight – section two A
Add provisional entitlement
If this is your first application for a provisional category C1, C, D1 or D you must not drive that category of vehicle until you receive the licence showing the right entitlement.
To add provisional entitlement:
- provisional C1 entitlement allows you to learn to drive medium sized goods vehicles (Maximum Authorised Mas (MAM) between 3,500kg and 7,500kg), with a trailer up to 750kg
- provisional C entitlement allows you to learn to drive large goods vehicles with a MAM over 3,500kg, with a trailer up to 750kg
- provisional D1 entitlement allows you to learn to drive minibuses up to 16 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg
- provisional D entitlement allows you to learn to drive buses with more than eight passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg
Once you have passed a test in any of the above categories, you will automatically be given provisional entitlement to drive vehicles in those categories with a large trailer.
Note nine, section two B
Upgrading your licence
If you wish to add another category to your licence after passing a driving test, you must surrender your existing licence and test pass certificate. If your existing licence was issued on or after 1 April 1999 you do not need to fill in application form DL2 unless you have changed your name.
Note 10, section two C
Renewing your existing licence
When your existing licence is due to expire, DVA will send you a reminder (form DL1R) which you can use to apply for a renewed licence. You may wish to use form DL2 to renew your licence if you have not received a reminder, or if you do not want to wait for a reminder to be issued to you.
You must surrender both parts of any licence issued to you within the last ten years. If you are unable to do so a higher fee may be payable. See note ten - section two D about surrender of licence at:
The provision of an expiry renewal reminder is a complimentary service. It is the licence holders’ responsibility to make sure that their licence is up-to-date and that a renewal application is made in time.
DVA can only accept expiry renewal applications if they are received no more than three months before the existing licence is due to expire.
Over 70 renewal/ medical renewal
If you passed your test before 1 January 1997, you may have been given extra entitlement to drive medium-sized goods vehicles and minibuses (under certain restrictions). These are C1 and C1E (8.25 tonnes), D1 (not for hire or reward) and D1E (not for hire or reward).
If you are renewing your ordinary driving licence at age 70 or over or renewing a medically restricted licence and you wish to keep your entitlement to drive medium-sized goods vehicles and/ or minibuses, you must be able to meet the higher health standards that apply to drivers of goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles. There is an exception with eyesight standards which is the same as for car drivers.
You need to send a filled in Medical Examination Report (form DLM1) if you wish to keep either of these entitlements.
Note 11, section two D
Change of name
You should only fill in section one D of form DL2 if your name, as shown on your licence, is not right or has changed since your last licence was issued. You must give suitable evidence supporting a change of name. See note five, section one D above.
Change of address
You should only fill in section one E of form DL2 if the address shown on your licence is not right or has changed since your last licence was issued.
Remove expired endorsements
Endorsements will normally stay on a licence for four years from the offence date. If you were disqualified until passing a further driving test, the four year period begins from the date of conviction. If you were disqualified for certain alcohol-related offences, endorsements will stay on your licence for eleven years from the date of conviction.
You must surrender both parts of your existing licence and include the following:
- the right fee
- a new colour photograph
- a filled in medical form DLM1 (see note 15, Medical standards - general information below)
- where necessary a recent Basic Disclosure Certificate (see note 17, section four, Convictions below and section Applications for PCV driver licences – evidence of conduct, above)
For guidance notes on duplicate licences and surrender of licences see note ten – section two D at:
An optional renewal will allow you to replace an existing valid licence with a new licence issued for the legal maximum period.
You must surrender your existing licence and pay the right fee.
An optional renewal licence will take effect from the date your application is processed and your last licence (which you must surrender) will be stopped. Any expired endorsements will be removed.
You cannot apply for an optional renewal if you hold a medically restricted licence.
Note 12, section two E
For guidance notes on other driving licences, GB licences and European Economic Area (EEA) licences see note 11, section two E at:
If you hold a full licence issued outside the EEA, you can use it here for one year if it stays valid, and you may be able to exchange it for a full Northern Ireland licence.
However, DVA cannot exchange any goods vehicle or passenger-carrying vehicle entitlement. These licences can only be exchanged within the first five years after you become resident in Northern Ireland.
You can see a full list of the licences which can be exchanged at:
Or you can call the DVA driver licensing telephone line:
Applications for licence exchange should be made using the DVA form DL1.
For guidance notes on non-exchangeable licences see note 11, section two E at:
Note 13, section two F
New licence after disqualification or revocation
For guidance notes on new licence after disqualification or revocation see note 12, section two F at:
Note 14, section two G
Surrendering vocational entitlement
If you no longer wish to keep your entitlement to drive either goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles, you need to fill in section two G on the DL2 application form.
Medical standards - general information
Everyone who applies for a Northern Ireland driving licence needs to meet the medical standards for fitness to drive and make a declaration about their health. You can find information on the relevant medical standards for fitness to drive at:
There are stricter medical standards for drivers of goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles.
If this is your first application for a goods vehicle or a passenger-carrying vehicle drivers’ licence you must get your own doctor to fill in a medical form DLM1 which is available at the following link and DVA (licensing), headquarters, County Hall, Coleraine.
Your doctor may charge a fee for this service and you are responsible for paying the fee directly to your doctor. As medical examinations fees can vary from doctor to doctor you should check the fee with your doctor before asking for an examination.
You need to make sure all questions are filled in. You will also need a DLM1 form each time you renew your entitlement from age 45, including Optional Renewal. DVA can only accept a medical form DLM1 if it was filled in no more than four months before to the application.
Note 16, section three
Your eyesight and hearing
It is an offence to drive when your eyesight is not up to the legal standard. If you need glasses or contact lenses to reach the eyesight standard you must declare this on the application form and make sure you wear them each time you drive.
Profound deafness is not usually a bar to driving large vehicles. However, you must be able to talk with and hear others clearly, either with a communication device, or by other means.
Note 17, section four
You should give details of all unspent disqualifications and convictions for motoring offences including those without disqualification.
You can find the meaning of unspent convictions at:
If you are applying for a licence after any disqualification a higher fee may apply.
You should record all conviction details. If necessary, use a separate sheet and attach it to the application form.
If you are applying for a passenger-carrying vehicles drivers’ licence you must also declare any non-motoring convictions and need to send a Basic Disclosure Certificate, issued by AccessNI, dated no more than three months before the application for the licence.
High Risk Offenders and disqualified drivers
For guidance notes on High Risk Offenders and disqualified drivers see note 16, section four at:
Note 18, section five
For notes on confirmation of residency see note 18 – section six at:
Note 19, section six
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
If you wish to exchange an EEA driving licence, which shows information code 095 or if you have been issued with a separate Driver Qualification Card (DQC), you must also fill in form DQC1NI. You can get a copy at the link below or you can call the DVA driver licensing telephone line to ask for one:
Note 20, section seven
For notes on organ donation see note 17, section five at:
Note 21, section eight
The declaration must be signed and dated by you. Your signature will be reproduced on your new photocard driving licence. Sign the application form DL2 in black ink and make sure no part of your signature goes outside the box or the application will be rejected and returned to you.
Note 22, section nine
Certifying the photograph
If you are applying for a duplicate licence or change of name or address without renewing your licence, a photograph is not normally needed.
First provisional licence
A photograph and proof of identity must be given for a first provisional driving licence.
If you are sending a UK or EEA passport to confirm your identity then the photograph does not need to be certified. If you are not sending a UK or EEA passport then you will need to get your photograph certified.
For all other types of renewal application
A photograph is needed and the who can certify your photograph section below explains when you will need to get your photograph certified.
Who can certify your photograph
Your appearance hasn’t changed since your last licence
If your appearance hasn’t changed since your last licence was issued, you need a passport type colour photograph. The photograph does not need to be certified.
Your appearance has changed significantly since your last licence
If your appearance has changed significantly since your last licence was issued, you need a passport type certified colour photograph. The photograph does need to be certified.
Getting your photograph certified
If you need to get your photograph certified, your photograph must be signed and dated on the back by either an elected official (for example MLA, MP, MEP or local councillor), a justice of the peace, minister of religion, a professionally qualified person (for example engineer, lawyer or teacher) a bank official, established civil servant or someone of similar standing.
This person must have known you personally for at least two years and hold a NI driving licence which was issued after 1 April 1999. They must not be related to you in any way. They must also fill in section nine of the application form in full.
Police officers certifying photographs do not need to give NI driving licence number or home address but should give their police station address.
If you are unable to have your photograph certified by someone who has known you for two years you should contact the driver licensing customer enquiry unit for advice.
You can find more information on applying for your licence, including when to expect your licence and what to do if you do not receive your licence at:
Rules on driving while waiting for your licence
For rules on driving when you are applying for your provisional licence or other licences go to:
Address shown on your licence
For details on the address that will be shown on your licence go to: