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Old 15 Jan 2009
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Question about Bike Licences - European categories

I'm just wondering, I've got a full French driving licence, with category A1 (<125cc, 15hp) and category B (car)- both issued in France on an exchange for [FONT=verdana,geneva,lucida,'lucida grande',arial,helvetica,sans-serif]the corresponding [/FONT]UK licence.

I know that category A1 is recognised throughout Europe and I can legally ride any bike which corresponds throughout the EU, but what about further afield? I'm specifically thinking of Africa.

My guess is that any of the North African countries round the Med. would probably be ok with it as they'll no doubt have seen them, but further into Africa? At least it has clear explanations of what the categories are, complete with little pictures, which I suppose would help.
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Old 15 Jan 2009
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International Licence

You could just get an international licence, I looked in mine and all the African countries seem to be in it.
My licence doesn't specify any bike limit just motorcycles with or without side-car.
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Ian
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Old 15 Jan 2009
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From my experiences with motorcycle licences...

If my memory serves me correctly then Cat A1 is a full motorcycle licence with restriction to 125cc, so you should be able to use this to aquire an International Driving Permit if the country your wanting to enter requires one. Cat A licence is learner only and this cannot be used to get an IDP. An IDP will allow you to drive in said countries along with a Carnet, Insurance, Visa and proof of vacination (usually yellow fever, especiallly in Africa if you leave a country that has yellow fever epidemics then the following country wont let you in without proof of vacination).

As for those countries who do not recognise IDPs then im sure a carnet is the nest most important document, along with a bottle of whiskey and a carton of smokes, as chances are these countries will have the best police money can buy.

So you should be ok my friend. That Terra will look at home in the sands.
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Old 15 Jan 2009
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Hi Alex, if you passed a test in UK at 125cc size there's the chance that you're licensed to use any size bike in UK after 2 years. This was for riders over abut 25 years of age. The regulations have changed a lot, very often in last few years but I'd check up if I were you. This is applicable if you got your 125cc licence by being tested on a bike by the way. Linzi.
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Old 15 Jan 2009
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Thanks for that info, seems I might find myself able to ride more than a 125, and without ever having to take a test - shhhhhh.

In fact I exchanged my British driving licence for a French one, and in the process gained an A1 category (in France you can ride up to 125cc on a catgory B car licence, no L-Plates or anything). Usually they stamp the back saying this is for France only (and some other EC countries with reciprocal agreements) but due to some clerical error they stamped the wrong part and I ended up with a full category A1. In my innocence I actually pointed this out to them, and they said "pfffft, we've issued it now, no point doing another one" in true Gallic fashion.

And now it looks like on an IDP it'd just say bike and before you know it I can ride a GS1200 across Africa after all (not that I want to).
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Old 22 Jan 2009
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Alex

I've got a French licence having exchanged a UK one, I've also got an IDP issued in France for free which is valid for 3years here (although I need to go and do my medical again this year!)

If you point out the mistake on the French one when asking for an IDP they might sort it for you. I carry a laminated copy of my French one although I am usually using public transport, I drove in Cote d'Ivoire a few weeks ago using the IDP which they glanced at ...

Kira
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Old 22 Jan 2009
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Kira

To be honest I'm happy withthe mistake they made, the last thing I want them to do is rectify it. Although, some have said that because it was a swap for a British licence they didn't in fact make a mistake. Things seem to vary from Prefecture to Prefecture though and sometimes it seems to depend on who you speak to there. As long as what's on my licence matches what's on their system I'm not too bother to be honest.

Where did you get a 3 year IDP from though? In the past I've only ever had a year's worth (but no medical needed).
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Old 22 Jan 2009
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IDP came from the prefecture - the medical is attached to my French licence so that I can still tow things & drive up to 7tonnes - if you kept that option carried over from the UK one you need a medical every 5yrs in France; so the IDP is valid till 2011 with all normal driving categories with the proviso that my medical is carried out this year!

Kira
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