The short answer: sometimes, but not always


Race licences are a bit confusing but hopefully we can clear it up so you can start getting smashy!

Ok, so do I need a race licence?

You need a race licence for pretty much all road crits and road races. You can choose to buy a race licence from British Cycling for one year (or half a year, if you buy it after July 1), or you can buy a day licence at most races.

If you plan on racing more than a couple of times, it’s better to buy your licence from British Cycling (and race organisers prefer this – less admin for them!)

You don’t need a race licence for fixed crits, or for the B/C categories in Herne Hill Velodrome’s monthly women’s track league. (But you do need one if you want to race in the A category, and most other track events – bear in mind that this is different from track accreditation.)

But my British Cycling membership card says ‘Race’ on it….

Ahh, this is the confusing bit. Unless you specified a race licence when you signed up to British Cycling, you don’t have one. You just have a ‘race membership’. To check, login to your British Cycling dashboard, go to About me and then My membership. Scroll down to Licence type. If it says ‘provisional’, that means you don’t have a race licence.

Right then. How do I get one and how much is it?

The quickest way is to call up British Cycling on 0161 274 2010 with your membership number and bank card to hand. If you’re a British Cycling Bronze member, you’ll need to upgrade to Silver too. The race licence costs £40 a year (£20 if you buy it after July 1). If you need your licence ASAP, ask them for an email confirmation which you can print out and show to race officials. Otherwise, just wait for your shiny new card to come in the post.

What about day licences?

It’s a good idea to contact the race organiser first, to ensure they’ll let you buy one on the day. Look on the British Cycling event page, or the organising club’s website. They cost £5 or £10, depending on whether you’ve got British Cycling membership. Take cash to the race for both your entry fee and day licence – they probably won’t take cards. 

Photography: Calum Brookes