How to apply for a UK Motor Racing Licence in 3 Easy Steps

UK Motor Racing LicenceIf you are an aspiring racing driver and you want to qualify for racing events across the UK, you will need to get a National B race licence. The National B licence is the entry point for all comers in the UK racing scene, whether you are a road tester, track day-goer or seasoned go-karter. Once you have the licence, you can enter a wide range of UK-based race series, including rallies, rallycross and drag racing, as well as various circuit events like karting championships and Radical series. Here's how to apply for the all-important National B race licence in three easy steps.

Step 1: Buy the Go Racing starter pack from ARDS

The first step in achieving National B status is to buy the Go Racing starter pack from one of the members of the Association of Racing Drivers' Schools (ARDS), or from the Motor Sports Association (MSA). The Motor Sports Association ( is recognised as the sole governing body for UK motor sport by the world governing body, the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA.) It is responsible for the governance and administration of all major forms of motor sports in the UK.

The Go Racing starter pack is the bible of UK motor racing. It provides you with everything you need to know about qualifying for the National B race licence and enlightens you about racing safely once you have the licence. Among the topics it covers are the rules and regulations for the competitors, officials and circuits for all types of licensed motorsport in the country. The starter pack costs approximately £64 (inc VAT and delivery) and includes an invaluable training DVD about racing, as well as the ARDS motor racing licence application form.

Watch the obligatory training DVD several times to glean vital information that will be required when you come to take the mandatory test. In particular, pay attention to the basic rules of racing and things like flag signals. Once you have watched the training DVD and are confident that you have digested its content properly, it's time to take the mandatory ARDS test to get your National B licence.

Step 2: Take the ARDS test

Book an official ARDS National B racing licence test at any one of their circuits. There are two parts to the mandatory ARDS test you must sit: a multi-choice, sit-down exam type session and an on-circuit practical driving evaluation. Details of these and other aspects of the test are provided in the starter pack. If you have never raced before, you will have to attend a half day course at one of the ARDS's Schools. Every aspiring race driver is required to have attended at least one of these courses before they can obtain the National B licence. Read through the starter pack again to get a clear idea of the timescale for booking and taking the test.

The ARDS test can cost over £200, depending on the venue. You will use a school car for the practical part of the assessment, but you must first complete a medical before you take the test. The medical is pretty straightforward and can be done by your GP. Both you and your doctor will fill in part of the ARDS racing licence application form. Don't worry too much about the test. Most candidates pass the test without a problem with only a little preparation. Just makes sure you are upbeat and well hydrated when you arrive to take the test. Your eyesight, heart-rate, blood pressure and general state of mind will be under the spotlight during the ARDS test. If you fail the test, there is no shame in that. You can always arrange to re-take the test at a later date.

If you pass, it's time to move on to the final step.

Step 3: Send off your licence application with proof of passing your ARDS test

The last step in the process of applying for a motor racing licence is to send off proof of passing the ARDS test to the MSA. You need to send the ARDS test result form with a cheque of approximately £60 (inc VAT and delivery). This amount is for processing your National B licence. After a few weeks you will get your race licence by post mail and then you are ready to enter your first race meeting!


Even if you have a disability, that should not stop you from applying for a motor racing licence. The British Motorsports Association for the Disabled (BMSAD) exists to help you obtain the race licence. All you have to do is pass your medical, sit-down written test and an on-circuit evaluation of your track driving ability to qualify for the licence. Visit the BMSAD website for more details at