Becoming an HGV driver is something a lot of people aspire to, but not many know a lot about, especially if they haven’t done it themselves. On the outside, it looks like a simple thing to do, especially if you already have a basic driving licence. After all, how different can it be?
The truth is, in terms of process, it’s not. You get your provisional licence and start learning, you take and pass a theory test, practise some more, and then take and pass your practical test. Then bam, you’re qualified and ready to drive. But there’s a lot of work involved in that simple process, and some things need to be done in a certain order if you want to move to the next stage. But what do you need to have in order to apply for your provisional LGV licence, and start your journey to becoming a professional LGV driver?
Before we move into what you need to do, we want to clear up something that tends to cause a lot of confusion. In the world of haulage, you have 2 terms; ‘HGV’ and ‘LGV’. HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle, and LGV can stand for either Large Goods Vehicle or Light Goods Vehicle. So, when prospective drivers are looking to apply for their licence, they may see application processes for both an HGV and an LGV licence, and be left wondering which it is they need. In truth? It doesn’t matter. They are exactly the same thing, and one application process will get you the one provisional licence you need.
The first form you need to get is called a D2. This form is the actual application form that you fill in and send to the DVLA in order to apply for your provisional licence. It works in the exact same way as applying for your standard provisional driving licence, so this should be a straightforward step for you. You can order the D2 pack directly from the DVLA, or get it from your chosen training school. This form is simple to fill in, and can be done in around 10 minutes, making it one of the quickest parts of the whole process!
After your D2, you also need a D4 form. This one takes a little longer to fill in, but it is arguably the more important of the two. You can get this form with your D2, or you can download it directly from the GOV.UK website. We recommend you do the latter, purely because you will also get tips and information on how to fill it in properly – which can save you a lot of time. You can follow the advice to fill in your portion, and then you need to make an appointment to see your doctor for a physical exam. The doctor will go through everything with you to check your physical health, ensuring you are fit and well to drive an HGV. They will fill in the rest of the D4 for you with the results of your exam, and you can then send the form off the DVLA, usually along with the D2.
Once you’ve filled in both of these forms, you can send them off to apply for your provisional licence. Assuming there are no complications in the process and no red flags, either on your driving record or with your medical exam, you should receive your provisional LGV licence in the post within 3 weeks.
But you don’t need to wait for that licence to arrive to move forward with your LGV training. A lot of drivers will use this 3-week period to sign up with a training school and start work towards their theory test. Since this doesn’t require you to actually be behind the wheel, you can do all the prep work needed for it before your licence arrives. At The HGV Training Company, we specialise in supporting aspiring HGV drivers through every element of their training, from the very first step of applying for their provisional LGV licence, right the way through to the final practical test and finding you your first job. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.
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