Can You Drive Without A CPC Card?

Can You Drive Without A CPC Card.

In the UK, all professional drivers of HGVs, buses, and coaches must hold a valid Driver Qualification Card (DQC) as part of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements. This mandate ensures drivers possess the necessary skills and knowledge to operate commercial vehicles safely.

The requirement applies to most commercial drivers, with only a few specific exemptions such as non-commercial driving (i.e. driving for personal pleasure), emergency services (i.e. drivers of police cars or fire engines) and limited radius driving (i.e. rural or industrial areas).

Do You Need To Carry It At All Times?

If you are commercially driving an HGV, bus, or coach in the UK, you must always carry your CPC card. If you drive without a CPC card, you face a £50 fixed penalty unless you are exempt.

However, as the DVSA states, you can drive without a CPC card if you have passed the tests and are waiting for it to arrive. From our experience, the CPC card should arrive in less than 20 days, but if you still haven’t received it by then, you’ll need to contact the DVSA.

What Happens If You’ve Lost Your CPC Card?

If you lose your CPC card, it’s important to act promptly to remain compliant with legal requirements. Your first step would be to report the loss to the DVSA as soon as possible and then apply for a replacement (which usually costs around £25).

After reporting the loss, you can continue driving whilst waiting for your replacement, provided you have reported the loss and have evidence that you hold a valid CPC qualification. Your new card should then arrive in less than 20 days.

Maintaining Your Driver Qualification Card

To maintain a valid DQC and ensure you can legally drive an HGV or bus in the UK, you must complete 35 hours of periodic Driver CPC training every five years.

Failure to comply with this requirement results in the loss of eligibility to drive for commercial purposes, which can have significant professional and financial consequences.

When speaking to drivers that attend our training at Heads of the Valleys, most prefer to spread their training over five years, usually completing a 7-hour Driver CPC course annually. This method allows them to stay up-to-date with training requirements without the need to complete the full 35 hours at once.

This is one of the many benefits of completing CPC training at Heads of the Valleys because we offer flexible options to best suit your requirements.

Driving Without A CPC

What Does CPC Training Involve?

CPC training for professional drivers of HGVs, buses, and coaches includes an initial qualification and periodic training. The initial qualification involves a theory test (multiple-choice and hazard perception) and a practical test (vehicle safety and driving ability). Periodic Training requires 35 hours every five years and covers road safety, health, customer service, vehicle maintenance, and legal compliance.


Driving without a CPC card is not just a matter of forgetting a piece of documentation; it’s a legal and professional issue. If you have any questions regarding the legal requirement of carrying a CPC card or the training itself, feel free to get in touch, and we will provide assistance where possible.