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CPC Card: Can You Drive Without a CPC Card?

3 August 2021

To qualify for CPC, you need to commit to a long period of testing and training. And to stay qualified, you need to take additional training every five years.

What is a CPC Card?

CPC stands for “certificate of professional competence.” Your CPC card confirms that you’re qualified to drive your HGV or LGV. Another name for the CPC card is the Driver Qualification Card, or DWC. You’ll get your CPC card once you’ve completed 35 hours of training.

For more information, we have a detailed guide to driver CPC, and how to qualify. Our guide also explains “CPC grandfather rights” – the slightly different rules that exist for anyone who got their category C HGV licence before 10 September 2009.

Can You Drive Without a CPC Card?

In most cases, you cannot drive without a CPC card. The law requires you to carry your CPC card when driving a bus, coach, or lorry professionally. If you drive professionally without your card, you can expect a £50 fixed penalty.

But there are some circumstances when it’s OK to drive without a CPC card.

Driving With a CPC Card Exemption

Obviously, you can drive without a CPC card during your driving lessons, or during your CPC training sessions. Beyond this, here are the situations where you can drive without a CPC card:

  • When you’re driving to or from pre-booked appointments at vehicle testing centres.
  • When you’re transporting passengers or goods, but not commercially.
  • For carrying professional materials or equipment you use professionally, so long as driving makes up less than 30% of your monthly work.
  • Driving for someone you work for, or for your own farming, horticulture, forestry or fishing business – so long as driving makes up less than 30% of your monthly work.
  • When you’re only driving within 62 miles (100 km) of your base. However, in this case you can only drive without a CPC card if the vehicle’s not carrying any passengers or goods, and if driving the vehicle is not your main job.
  • Driving in a state of emergency, during a rescue mission, or in order to “maintain public order.”

All vehicles used or controlled by the armed forces, fire, rescue and ambulance services, and the prison services are also exempt from CPC card requirements. So too are vehicles that are limited to top speeds of 28 mph.

You can read a full guide to these exemptions, with detailed examples of each, on the government’s website.

What If I’ve Lost My CPC Card?

If you lose your CPC card, or if it’s stolen, you must apply for a replacement as soon as possible. You’ll have to pay £25 for a replacement card. Head here to get started with your replacement CPC card application.

Your replacement CPC card should arrive within 20 days. If it does not, you can call the DVSA CPC enquiry hotline on 0300 123 7721.

The DVSA will send your replacement card to the address on your driving licence. If you’ve moved since you obtained your driving licence, change your address before you apply for a replacement.

The government guidelines make it clear that you can keep driving professionally while you wait for your replacement CPC card to arrive.

Keep Your Fleet Compliant on the Roads

At Hazelton Mountford’s HQ in Worcester, our haulage experts are dedicated to staying up to date with the latest regulations for drivers and fleets. Our haulage insurance will truly meet your fleet’s needs and your legal obligations. Meanwhile, our dedicated client service portal will help you stay up to date with everything you need to know.

Head here to learn more about our expert haulage insurance, and to get a quote.