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Corona crisis: lower demands for A1 licence considered by Dutch government

The Dutch government considers to make it possible for holders of a B licence to obtain an A1 licence without doing the theory test, as part of the Coronavirus exit strategy and the to be expected traffic jams, due to the social distancing measures.

Dutch manufacturers- and importers association RAI Vereniging asked the Dutch government to let holders of a B-licence who fulfil certain conditions in age, experience et cetera, skip the theory test when they apply for an A1 licence. The reason for this demand is the observation that the demand for private transport will rise as a result of the need for social distancing, but also the fact that motorcycles are seen as a solution for the increasing congestion problems.

Dutch transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (picture courtesy of

RAI Vereniging refers to the situation in other European countries where it is possible to ride a light motorcycle (<125 cc) with a B licence and some additional training. Transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen says she wants to look at the RAI Association’s proposal: “In practice, motorcycling requires skills other than driving. But I will seriously consider this proposal to cancel the theory exams for a certain group of motorists.”

FEMA General Secretary Dolf Willigers said: “Especially now when many people cannot use public transport anymore, cycling or walking is just not an option because of the distance they have to travel and we do not want more cars entering the cities, we have to look at alternatives. Powered two-wheelers are the most obvious solution for commuters and others who need to travel into the cities as I already have said before. We fully support the initiative of RAI Vereniging to lower the threshold for riding a small motorbike.”

Dolf continues: “However, I don’t think Directive 2006/126/EC (the third driving licence directive) allows the construction RAI Vereniging proposes. A possibility that is made possible in the third driving licence directive is for member states to allow holders of a B-licence under conditions and with mandatory additional training to ride a light motorcycle (< 125 cc or electric powered equivalent) on their own territory. This is what other European countries have done. For the longer term we could lobby together with the industry for a lower threshold to obtain an A1 licence with the revision of the third driving licence directive.”

Top photograph by Wim Taal

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