Driving licence category D1

The "little" bus driver's license

The category D1 driver's license is the entry to the bus driver's licenses. It allows you to drive buses with no more than 16 passengers and a 750 kg trailer. In addition to the car driving licence (category B), a special proof of physical aptitude and load-bearing capacity is required in the form of an occupational physician's report or a medical-psychological examination. You will also need proof of your eyesight, which can be issued by occupational physicians, among others. In addition to the driving licence, bus drivers who transport people commercially have to comply with the requirements of the Professional Drivers' Qualification Act since 10.09.2008.

With the D1 driving licence you can drive buses with up to 16 passengers.

General information on the D1 driving licence

  • Minimum age: 21 years, or 18 years for persons during or after "specific" vocational training. You can take the theory exam 3 months before your birthday, the practical exam 1 month before your birthday.
  • Pre-ownership: Driving licence category B
  • Documents: Biometric passport photo, identity card/passport, certificate of participation in first aid course and proof of a personal aptitude test consisting of: an examination of performance, a medical examination and an examination of vision (see below for details).
  • Limitation: The D1 driving licence is issued for a period of 5 years. It can be extended for 5 years after the initial qualification if the relevant requirements are met. In the case of an extension beyond the age of 50, a new aptitude test must be taken.
  • Examinations: For the D1 driving licence you must pass a successful theory and practice test.

  • That's what I get to drive on a D1 license: Buses and coaches for a maximum of 16 persons other than the driver and a maximum length of 8 metres. A trailer up to a permissible total weight of 750 kg can be towed. 
  • Special feature: If you want to drive a heavier trailer, you will need a category D1E driving licence.  
  • Practice

    During the driving lessons you will familiarise yourself with your bus and the traffic regulations. How many of these driving lessons are required depends primarily on your learning progress. However, a minimum number of driving hours is required. Here one must differentiate according to your driver's license-pre-ownership in the following cases:

    1. Prior possession category B or C1 of less than 2 years: Here you need 41 driving lessons of 45 minutes each in the basic training as well as 19 overland trips, 12 motorway trips and 7 trips in the dark.

    2. Prior possession category B or C1 of more than 2 years: Here you need 16 driving lessons of 45 minutes each in the basic training as well as 8 overland trips, 4 highway trips and 4 trips in the dark.

    3. prior possession category C of less than 2 years: Here you need 8 driving lessons of 45 minutes each in the basic training as well as 8 overland trips, 4 highway trips and 4 trips in the dark.

    4. prior possession category C of more than 2 years: Here you need 6 driving lessons of 45 minutes each in the basic training as well as 4 overland trips, 2 highway trips and 2 trips in the dark.

    When you are ready for the exam, your driving instructor will let you know and give you valuable tips for your exam in a final hour. In most cases this takes about 70 minutes.

    Tip: Have a look at your difficult spots from your test area in the Drivers Cam App

    A white minibus drives in the city

    Find your bus driving school

    You want to carry up to 16 passengers and ideally already have a normal driver's license? Perfect, then look here directly for a driving school in your area that offers a D1 education.