Can I take part in Midas Training?

You must have a current, valid driving license. You will need to send a copy with your booking form, and bring it with you for the start of the course. All drivers must show their driving licence for examination at the start of the course. A driving assessment cannot be undertaken unless our trainer has confirmed that the driver is eligible to drive a minibus of that size. 

Drivers must be over 21 years old. 

A clean driving licence is preferable, though not essential. Note will be taken of any endorsements as it may indicate an underlying characteristic of the person’s driving skills and their suitability to drive a minibus. We must also be aware of any endorsements to ensure that we have suitable insurance cover.

Drivers must also be able to read a number plate at 20 metres, and their eyesight will be tested before the start of the driving assessment.  

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Licence Restrictions

Drivers under 70 years old, who have “D” or “D1” on their licence (or “A” on old style Green licences issued prior to 1990) are entitled to drive a minibus. There are however restrictions for some drivers, and a car driving licence does not automatically entitle anyone to drive a minibus. For more guidance, please see the Hampshire County Council Community Transport Factsheet Renewing Your License if You Drive a Minibus or the DVLA guidance

In particular:

Drivers over the age of 70 do not automatically retain the “D1” category but must apply to the DVLA providing evidence of a medical examination by a doctor.

Drivers who passed their test after 1 January 1997 and have category B only on their license can drive a minibus if:

  • they are over 21 but under 70
  • have held a full driving license for 2 years
  • are driving for a not-for-profit organisation
  • are driving as a volunteer (see Incidental Drivers if you are not a volunteer)
  • the minibus is less than 3500kg MAM  or 4250kg MAM if it can transport passengers in wheelchairs - see information on Minibus Weight
  • the minibus does not tow a trailer.

All these conditions have to be met.

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Incidental Drivers

An incidental driver is someone who has Category B on their driving license but doesn’t have category D or D1 and who might drive a minibus as a small part of their paid job (e.g teachers or care workers).  But if they are paid staff, can they be volunteers? Government departments were asked to answer the question: ‘Are teachers volunteers when driving the school minibus?’

They suggested that to be driving as a volunteer:

  • Minibus driving must not be on your job description
  • You must be able to refuse minibus driving duties
  • You must not be paid for driving but can receive genuine ‘out of pocket’ expenses.

This advice is not law. Some organisations follow the advice, whilst others insist all their drivers have D1 on their licence. Some organisations have minibuses over the weight limits, so drivers need D1 on their licence by law. For more information about how to get D1 entitlement added to a licence visit the Hampshire County Council Community Minibus page on the Hampshire County Council website

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Minibus Weight (MAM)

Drivers who only have B or B(120) entitlement are the only ones who need to check the weight of the minibus.  It does not affect other drivers.

You will find a plate on the minibus that looks like the picture on the right.  It is sometimes called the chassis plate or VIN plate.  It may be in the door frame, in one of the front foot wells or under the bonnet.

 

 

 

 

 

A typical chassis plate

The relevant weight is always the second biggest weight on the plate – in this case 4100kg.  If you are unsure, ask the minibus owner.  This plate is on a standard 17 seat Ford Transit minibus.  It would be illegal for a driver with only B entitlement to drive this minibus (4100kg) as the maximum MAM they can drive is 3500kg for a standard minibus.  They would need to take and pass a D1 driving test in a minibus to drive this heavy 17 seat Transit.

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Requirements for Accessible MiDAS

Drivers should be aware that Accessible MiDAS is likely to involve some manual handling (of minibus seats and wheelchairs) and awkward stooping/twisting (to secure a wheelchair in a minibus). Harbourside Training accepts no responsibility for any difficulties or injuries experienced by those training in connection with the Accessible training.  Drivers and their sponsoring organisation should check that learners are reasonably fit for the tasks required.

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