How to get a license with category A

How to open a new category of driving license?

How to open a new category of a driving license?

Quite often readers ask questions about how you can open an additional category of driving license .

Most often, drivers want to open a category A or C with an open B or a category B with an open C.

This article details the process for opening any category of driver’s license. In addition, below is a list of the exam steps required to open each category or subcategory.

First of all, I want to note that the driver in any case will have to pass qualifying exams to open a new category or subcategory of the license. And for each of the categories the composition of the exams is determined separately, and this will be discussed below.

Pay attention to the fact that in order to open a new category of driving license, you need to reach the appropriate age. Each category has its own age threshold, and this was discussed in the article “At what age can I pass for my license?”.

Let’s take a closer look at the opening of driver’s license categories.

How do I open categories A, M and subcategories A1, B1?

Passing the autodrome on a motorcycle

To open categories A, M or subcategories A1, B1, you must pass:

1. the theoretical exam. The set of PDD examination tickets for the theoretical exam is the same as the set of tickets for category B.

2. Practical examination on the test track for vehicles of categories A, M, A1 consists of 5 exercises: (from April 1, 2021, the description of exercises is given here)

  • Exercise No. 1 – parking a vehicle and leaving a parking space;
  • exercise 2 – clearance corridor;
  • exercise # 3 – a snake;
  • exercise # 4 – high-speed maneuvering;
  • Exercise #5 – dimensional figure eight.

The practical examination for subcategory B1 consists of 6 exercises:

  • Exercise No. 6 – stopping and starting on uphill and downhill;
  • exercise seven – straight-line driving, emergency braking;
  • Exercise 8 – backing into a box;
  • exercise 9 – manoeuvring;
  • exercise #10 – reverse parallel parking;
  • exercise 11 – manoeuvring in a confined space.

How to open the category B?

Passing the autodrome on a passenger car

To open category B you must pass:

1. theoretical exam. Set of tickets for theoretical examination is the same as the set of tickets for category A.

2. A practical exam in the city, which includes several exercises, which until April 1, 2021 were taken on the circuit:

How do I open categories C, D and subcategories C1, D1?

Passing the driving range on a bus

To open category C, D or subcategories C1, D1, you must pass:

1. theoretical exam. The set of tickets for the theoretical examination of category C is the same as the set for category D.

2. A practical exam in the city, which includes several exercises, which until April 1, 2021 were taken on the circuit:

  • Reverse entry into a box;
  • reverse parallel parking;
  • Turning in a confined space;
  • stopping and starting on a hill;
  • straight backing and parking for loading (unloading) on the loading ramp (platform) (only for category C and C1);
  • stop for safe boarding or disembarking of passengers (only for categories D and D1).
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How do I open a category E (BE, CE, C1E, DE, D1E)?

Passing the driving range on a truck with a trailer

To open categories BE, CE, DE or subcategories C1E, D1E, you must pass:

1. the theoretical examination (examination tickets).

2. A practical exam in the city, which includes several exercises, which until April 1, 2021 were taken on the circuit:

  • Reverse entry into a box;
  • reverse parallel parking;
  • Turning in a confined space;
  • stopping and starting on a hill;
  • reversing and parking for loading (unloading) on a loading ramp (platform) (only for the category CE and C1E);
  • stopping for safe embarkation or disembarkation of passengers (only for categories DE and D1E);
  • hitching and unhitching or unhitching and re-hitching the trailer to the tractor.

Don’t forget that to get category E you have to have at least one year license with the corresponding category open (B, C or D) or all the categories listed at the same time.

For example, to open category DE you need to have at least one year of experience of driving a bus of category D.

Upgrading from automatic to manual

In practice, the following situation is possible: the driver gets a Category B license with a note allowing to drive only vehicles with automatic gearboxes and later retrains to manual gearboxes.

In this case, you only need to pass the practical test (city) to improve your skills.

Note. Until April 1, 2021, the driving range was a separate part of the practical test, so you only needed to take the driving range.

When is it not necessary to take the exam?

You absolutely have to pass the theoretical and practical tests if you apply for a new category or subcategory of driving license. There are no exceptions.

Independent preparation for the exam

At present in the Russian Federation, there is no possibility to independently prepare for the examinations at the State Traffic Police.

To receive a driving license of any category or subcategory you have to pass training in a driving school.

Note. Until November 5, 2013 in Russia it was possible to pass the qualifying exam for category A and B driving on your own. In the article “How to pass an externship?” You can learn about how it was. I want to emphasize once again, that in 2022 self-preparation is prohibited.

After reading this article, you will have no problem opening a new category of driver’s license. However, if you still have any questions, then write them below in the comments or on the forum

By the way, if you are planning to open a new category of driving license, it will be useful for you to read the article “How to pass the exam at the traffic police with the first time”.

Good luck on the roads!

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An expert in automobile law in Russia. More than 11 years, is engaged in the study of automotive regulations and advice to drivers. Author of analytical articles and training courses. Head of the project PDD Master (

Basic information about the driving license category A

What is driving category A, how it differs from others, what does it include? What types of transport can its owner drive? What marks were made in the old and are made in the new license? How long does it take and how much does it cost to study? Who is allowed to drive?

Answers to all the questions in this article.

What is category A

Driver’s licenses – documents certifying an individual’s right to drive motor vehicles – are divided into several groups or categories. Depending on the size, capacity, payload and passenger capacity, the requirements for the driver, his training and qualifications, and in some cases age and experience, increase.

Among all types of transport, motorcycles stand out. They are distinguished by the presence of two wheels


(or three if you have a sidecar)

Motorcycle with a trailer

and specific seating and steering features.

Motorcycles sit on the top, and the steering wheel is not a round car “bar”, but a horizontal crossbar. It is rigidly connected to the steered (front) wheel, their steering angles are absolutely identical. There is no 2-3-4 car turn from stop to stop in the first place. What angle the steering wheel is turned to, the same angle the wheel is turned to. However, performance of the maneuver, especially at high speed, is provided not only by rotation of a steering tube, but also by body inclination.

These characteristic features served as the basis for the allocation of motorcycles in a separate transport group, which requires special skills of driving. To confirm them and obtain a license to drive them, you need a Category A license.

Differences between the old license and the new one

Driver’s license forms have changed in appearance and filling over time. Until 2014, they simply contained the category A, which opened access to everything that had a motor, the ability to move and somehow fit the definition of a motorcycle – from a teenager “pumper” (a bike with a motor) to a powerful racing bike (short for English bicycle – two-wheeled).

Licenses with category A up to 2014

To ensure safety on the roads, differentiation was introduced in 2014. A subcategory A1 appeared within the category of the license. In addition to it, a completely new one was introduced – M.

Licenses for categories A, A1, M up to 2014

Those who at the time of the introduction of changes had a document of the old type, urgently run to the traffic police and exchange it for a new one is not necessary. Your old document will be valid until the end of the term indicated in column 11 on the back.

When you apply for a new one, you will get the permission according to the medical report. If you do not want to limit yourself, you have to ask (or insist) that this document simply states that you are allowed to drive in category A without any other particulars.

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What kind of vehicles are allowed to drive with category A license?

To receive a detailed and comprehensive answer to this question, you should start by thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the content of one of the main primary sources – the Russian Law № 196, which regulates the safety of driving on roads, more precisely to its Article 25. It subdivides the categories of interest as follows:

  • A – motorcycles (in general, i.e. without specification by size)
  • A1 – motorcycles too, but with restriction of technical parameters:
    • Engine displacement – up to 125 cubic meters
    • Power – up to 11 kilowatts (14.6 hp)

    Further, paragraph 7 of Article 25 states that the opening of category A allows driving motor vehicles belonging to categories A1 and B1. A caveat is made that tricycles and quadricycles (B1), unlike ACs, must have a motorcycle fit or (!) steering wheel, i.e. at least one of those things.

    Note! Light quad bikes and mopeds (M) can be driven by anyone with a Russian license with any open category. No special AM marking is required.

    Who can drive a motorcycle

    In order to obtain Category A, prospective drivers must meet certain age and medical criteria.

    Some of the conditions that must be met to be able to obtain Category A are set out in Article 26 of Law 196. This takes into account the technical differences of motor vehicles of the incoming subcategories.

    To pass for Category A, the future driver must be at least 18 years old. To ride a less powerful motorcycle belonging to A1, it is sufficient to pass the 16-year age limit.

    The medical criteria for motorcyclists are established by government regulation 1604. The health restrictions are highlighted in Section I of the special “List”. They are listed in 11 items. Among them, the most frequent and therefore the most interesting are the following:

    • Visual Index according to the table: not less than 0.6 in the best eye and 0.2 in the worst eye.
    • If one eye cannot see at all, the other eye must have vision no worse than 0.8
    • No 2 phalanges of the fingers on the right hand or 3 on the left hand or 2 on the thumb of either hand
    • The leg is shortened by 6 cm, but its length is at least 75 cm

    Other abnormalities listed in the section are less common, so they are not listed in this article.

    The criteria listed refer to driving vehicles specifically with a motorcycle seat or handlebars.

    Required Documents

    In order to pass the category A, it is necessary to submit to the traffic police, and before that to the driving school, a set of documents stipulated by law. It includes:

    • Application
    • Passport or its equivalent replacement
    • The medical conclusion with a mark about absence of an interdiction to drive motor transport of a category A
    • Certificate of passing the provided training
    • Receipt of payment of state duty
    • Two 3*4 photographs if the driver’s license is not photographed.

    When entering the preparatory courses you don’t need to provide all the required kit, but it is better to stock up on everything you need – especially a medical certificate, officially called a medical report – in advance. This will allow you to avoid wasting time and money if you find serious circumstances that prevent you from achieving the desired result. It is better to visit a specialized doctor instead of the department of the traffic police, to get yourself in order, and then return to the postponed question again.

    Attention! It is categorically not recommended to solve the issue with the medical conclusion in a contractual way. The road does not forgive unnoticed details or failure to push the right lever in time. Bought a certificate can lead to the loss of health, freedom and even life. You don’t need to take any risks!

    Training at a driving school

    On the basis of paragraph 1 of Article 26 of Russian Law 196, to be admitted to the examinations for category A (as well as any other) you have to previously pass the training course in a licensed driving school.

    Attention! Passing the license as an external candidate is not permitted.

    The program – the volume and content – of the training process must correspond to the “Sample curriculum” approved by the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science No.1408 as the basis of drivers’ training for the A-category examination.

    The recommended curriculum includes the study of:

    • The legislative bases in the field of traffic
    • The basics of driving psychophysiology – reaction time, changes in road situation, etc.
    • Basic driving techniques as applied to two-wheeled crews
    • Basics of medical care for road users
    • Basics of motor transport design, basic maintenance, simple troubleshooting
    • Practical exercises

    Limited repair techniques are due to the complexity of modern transport and the inability to perform a large part of the operations outside of specialized service stations with qualified personnel with the necessary equipment.

    Sample syllabus

    Time and cost of training

    The duration of the training process indicated in the “Indicative plan” shows only the direct presence in the lecture room and on the driving range. How much to study for the category A in reality depends on the structure and organization of the driving school, the number of simultaneously accepted groups of cadets, availability of the teaching staff, technical equipment and other factors.

    Some schools offer particularly attractive at first sight conditions. They have the slogan “Fast and cheap!” in a prominent place. Amounts are almost twice as low as the average, and the period is up to 2 weeks.

    Important! A full-fledged training cannot be fast.

    In addition to lessons with a teacher you also need to study and consolidate the material on your own. It requires a fair amount of time – not just to rustle up answers to the exam tickets, but to learn to understand the situation on the road, quickly and adequately react to it. Not having sufficient knowledge and skills, when you just need their official confirmation, should not bite to such “advantageous offers”. This economy is not justified and later will cost much more.

    How much does it cost to open a Category A?

    The average cost of a Category A license is 10,000 rubles. There may be some minor variations in the upward and downward direction. It costs a lot more to study individually.

    Training cost

    Warning! 1. Some driving schools do not include in the price special equipment – helmet, kneepads and elbow pads, the so-called “turtle” – the shell that protects the body. These moments need to be specified at the place of training. 2. The price, as a rule, does not include the fee for getting the Category A license. You should keep it in mind when planning your budget.

    Duration of course

    Usual term of training is from 2 to 4 months. Specific figures depend on the intensity of the process. Daily classes are faster. Weekend training, where cadets attend classes only on Saturday and/or Sunday, lasts significantly longer.

    Course length

    Regulations of “A” category examination in GIBDD

    After finishing their studies, cadets who have successfully mastered the program and passed internal tests are allowed to take an exam at the traffic police.

    The examination process is divided into two parts – theoretical and practical, and only those who have successfully passed the first stage are admitted to the second one.


    The theoretical test of knowledge consists of answering questions on examination tickets. Each examinee is offered a task of 20 questions with multiple choices of answers, of which 1 is correct. Topics cover the entire spectrum of the curriculum – from analysis of road situations to first aid techniques.

    You are given 20 minutes to think about it. You are allowed to make 2 mistakes. With this result the theory part of the exam is considered to be passed, and the cadet moves on to practice.

    Practical examination

    A motorcycle, as compared to an automobile, has a peculiarity – it has no possibility to have duplicate controls. History records attempts to create such a design. Even separate samples were made, but they remained a motorcycle exotic.

    Dual control motorcycle

    In this connection, the whole examination procedure is carried out on the autodrome without going out on city roads.

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