Department for Infrastructure clarifies position on minibus licensing and driving

The Department for Infrastructure has clarified the requirements for minibus drivers and operators under existing legislation and has written to service providers, saying the majority of community and voluntary organisations will be unaffected.

A spokesperson for the Department said: “This is a complex area and while the legislation has not changed, the requirements the existing legislation places on drivers and operators has not always been clear. 

“The revised guidance confirms that anyone who is paid to drive must have a full D or D1 category licence and any transport operator who charges customers for services must hold a bus operator licence. 

“Volunteer minibus drivers will continue to be able to drive for voluntary organisations as they do now and the majority of voluntary groups will be able to continue operating under their section 10B permits.

“However, those organisations which are affected need to take action to become compliant as quickly as possible and we will work with those committed to transitioning to enable them to do so.”

The Department expects the majority of organisations in the community and voluntary sector will be unaffected with little impact on people using the services.

Continuing, the spokesperson said:  “The revised guidance will mean changes to how some services are licensed and regulated, particularly in the community transport sector.  The Department has established a working group with the Community Transport Association, Rural Community Transport Partnerships and Disability Action with the objective of ensuring these services are maintained.


“As the main funder of community transport, the Department recognises the vital services provided by the Community Transport Partnershipsd Disability Action to vulnerable and isolated people through the Dial a Lift and Disability Action Transport Schemes.  We remain committed to these services.” 

Following today’s clarification, the Department’s ongoing consultation on minibus driver licence guidance and Section 10B permits has been extended until Friday 8 December.