I moved to the UK earlier this year for work, and have recently bought a Vespa scooter. I had an unrestricted motorcycle license in the US (Illinois, specifically). I'm in the process of getting the Vespa insured, and am applying for my provisional license (with the aim, of course, of taking CBT and getting a full license down the road.) As I understand it, I'm technically allowed to ride on my US license for the first 12 months I'm here. I also understand that, were I a British citizen acquiring his
motorcycle license, I would not be allowed to carry a passenger until I'd passed the test for a full (not provisional) license. Does that rule apply to me as well? Also, do the 'L' plate restrictions change at all for my situation?
I've read the information/links posted here
, which were all very helpful. But I fear I'm suffering from the same "information overload" as the OP, at least as pertains how the general rules apply to my situation as a resident with a foreign license. The tool on gov.uk
that I used to discern that I could drive on a foreign license is, sadly, pretty scant in the details department.
As far as plates, it seems that, in the normal process for a British citizen, having a provisional license would mean that I have to display 'L' plates -- which bar the carrying of a passenger. But if I'm driving on a foreign license, does UK law consider me a learner driver? I don't want to get into a situation where I put on an L plate to be safe because I don't have a full UK license, but which would on the other hand mark me with a red flag if I'm (legally) carrying a passenger.
In the end, of course, barring other information, I'm going to play it safe (as one should do with anything motorbike-related!). But I was curious to see if anybody could give me concrete information, as looking for information on UK motorbike law on the internet has definitely felt like a case of drinking from the firehose.
(Short version: I want to play by the rules, whatever those may be, but I don't want to leave my wife at home stewing in jealousy because I was too
conservative in my reading of the law.)