Olicence for agriculture use

The Question

Dear ********

One of our tractors has been stopped today by the Police for not having an 'O' Licence.

As it was an agricultural tractor and it was being used for agricultural purposes (planting potatoes) we feel that the Policeman was incorrect in his assumption.

I have contacted Vosa to clarify the rules under which Agricultural Vehicles are exempt from the 'O' Licence requirements and I was asked to contact yourself and explain the circumstances so that you can provide us with details of the exemption document that applies to agricultural vehicles.

If you need further information I can be contacted on ********

The DVSA's Answer

I refer to your e – mail of 26 January, concerning the above. Please accept my apologies for the considerable delay in replying. Please find below our generic information in relation to the use of agricultural tractors and goods vehicle operator licensing:-

"The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995 identify the classes of vehicle for which an operators’ licence is not required. An Operators Licence is not required for vehicles described in Part 1 of Schedule 3. In Schedule 3 (1) “Any tractor as defined in paragraph 4(3) of Part IV of Schedule 1 Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 while being used for one or more of the purposes in Part II of this Schedule” is classed as exempt.

Part II goes on to outline these uses:
“1. Hauling;
(a) threshing appliances,
(b) farming implements.
(c) a living van for the accommodation of persons employed to drive the tractor; or
(d) supplies of water or fuel required for the tractor
2. Hauling articles for a farm required by the keeper, being either the occupier of the farm or a contractor employed to do
agricultural work on the farm by the occupier of the farm.

3. Hauling articles for a forestry estate required by the keeper where the keeper is the occupier of that estate or employed to do forestry work on the estate by the occupier or a contractor employed to do forestry work on the estate by the occupier.

4. Hauling within 24.135 kilometres (15 miles), of a farm or forestry estate occupied by the keeper, agricultural or woodland produce of the farm or estate.

5. Hauling within 24.125 kilometres, (15 miles), of a farm or a forrestry estate occupied by the keeper material to be spread on roads to deal with frost, ice or snow.
6. Hauling a snow plough or similar contrivance for the purpose of clearing snow; and

7. Hauling -

(a) soil for landscaping or similar works.
(b) a mowing machine ,
where the keeper is the local authority.”

All uses outside of these exemptions would require an operators licence."

I should point out that this is in VOSA’s view and does not constitute legal opinion. As this is the case, we are not able to provide documents conferring exemption from operator licensing.

I hope that the information given above has been of some help. If you have any further queries, do not hesitate to contact me. Once again, please accept my apologies for the delay in sending a full reply.


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