Digger Licence

You might assume that the DVLA would be responsible for issuing a digger licence. In fact it is the CITB that issues the only recognised industry standard digger licence.

You will not get a digger licence from the DVLA. You must undergo the appropriate digger driver licence training to get your approved CITB card. Whether you need a 360 digger licence or a jcb digger licence you must first pass your digger licence training at a CITB accredited training centre or college.

Whilst there is a special DVLA licence requirement for large goods vehicles (LGV), ‘digging machines’ are exempted. However you do still need a full current category B (car) driving licence to drive a digger on the public highway.

The Drivers and Vehicle Licencing Agency classify diggers or digging machines in the following way:-

  • vehicles which are limited to travel on public roads only for the purpose of proceeding to/from sites – used for trench digging or any kind of excavating or shovelling work eg vehicles with digging buckets/shovels

Driving an exempted goods vehicle is determined by its weight. Vehicles with a maximum authorised mass weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes may be driven at age 18 years. Vehicles which weigh more than 7.5 tonnes can be driven from the age of 21 years.

For licencing purposes the maximum authorised mass of a vehicle is calculated as the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry.

CITB-Construction Skills is a statutory body funded mainly by the construction industry. Their card scheme provides industry standard accreditation across the construction industry. Plant operators have their own particular scheme called the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS). This effectively is the digger driver’s licence to operate and is widely recognised on all NHBC construction sites.

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme is a card based licencing scheme to demonstrate the holder’s competence in plant operation (eg digger driving) and health and safety awareness. It is the most approximate qualification available to a digger licence.

To learn more about training for the digger licence go to the digger training page.