Driving a motorbike (125cc) with a car licence - this is how it works

Created by Ralf Jodl at 12:12 on December 23, 2019
Neuer Motorrad-Führerschein

Shortly before Christmas 2019, the Federal Council voted in its 984th session on the "Fourteenth Ordinance Amending the Driving Licence Ordinance and Other Road Traffic Regulations". In future, it will also be permitted to drive 125cc light motorbikes and scooters with a car driving licence after fulfilling certain duties and exercises.

The federal state chamber has thus finally agreed to the reform proposal of the Federal Ministry of Transport regarding the liberalisation of access to two-wheelers, which has been very controversial in the public from the beginning. This can be read on the homepage of the Bundesrat. The advocates of the reform, with their numerous rational and reasonable arguments, were given more credence than the partly exaggerated and irrational data and facts of the safety-conscious associations and lobbyists.
In addition, the official message of the Industrie-Verband Motorrad (IVM) on the Federal Council's decision is very fresh:

"For many German citizens it will now be easier to drive light scooters and motorbikes with a maximum of 15 hp with a car driving licence. In its session today, the Bundesrat voted in favour of the 14th ordinance amending the driving licence ordinance. This clears the way for the liberalisation proposed by the Federal Minister of Transport for the use of light scooters and light motorbikes with 125 cubic centimetres and max. 11 KW (15 hp) power."

Examination-free but not school-free

This is explicitly not an uncontrolled release for use of light scooters and motorbikes for everyone. In addition to 5 years of driving experience in a passenger car and a minimum age of 25, the legislator requires extensive and safety-oriented training in theory and practice - but does not require an examination.

This opens up the possibility for many people in Germany to use low-cost and low-consumption mobility, either as an environmentally friendly transport alternative in big cities or as an efficient individual solution in the countryside."

According to IVM, it is not yet possible to precisely date when the law will come into force. The draft says with the publication in the Federal Law Gazette. The Federal President has to sign first and then comes the formality. The language rule is: "In time for the start of the motorbike season", i.e. before 1 April 2020.

In order to be allowed to drive a motorbike in category A1, interested persons must

- have held driving licence class B for at least five years,
- have reached the minimum age of 25 years and
- have completed a theoretical and practical training course of at least 13.5 hours (9 teaching units of 90 minutes), the successful completion of which has been confirmed by a driving instructor.

The entitlement is documented by the entry of the key number 196 in the driving licence.

After entering the key number 196 in the driving licence, motorbikes (also with sidecars) with a cylinder capacity of up to 125 cm3, an engine power of not more than 11 kW, where the ratio of power to weight does not exceed 0.1 kW/kg, may then be driven.
However, the registration of this code number does not mean that a Class A1 driving licence has been acquired, so that with this entitlement it is not possible, for example, to expand to Class A2 in accordance with § 15 paragraph 3 FeV. It is also ensured that light motorbikes may not be driven abroad with this authorisation.

Incidentally, anyone who obtained their Class 3 car licence before 1 April 1980 is already allowed to drive 125cc vehicles in today's Class A1.

On Tour
Ralf Jodl
Ralf Jodl

Ralf is managing director and co-founder of SIP Scootershop. He has been riding Vespa since 1990 and even today the working day starts best for him when he rides to the SIP headquarters in Landsberg on his Rally 200. Otherwise he owns a 180 SS, a 160 GS and a VM2 fenderlight Vespa.