Apply for your provisional driving licence
Provisional driving licences
A provisional licence is the first step to learning how to drive a car and achieving your full licence for driving on public roads. This first licence enables you to begin learning how to drive a car, and book the three tests you’ll need to take to get your full licence.
When can I get a provisional licence?
Any time after reaching 15 years and 9 months of age, you’ll be able to apply for a provisional licence. This licence is essential for learning how to drive a car and it’s valid for ten years. However, to learn to drive a car on the road, you’ll need to wait until your 17th birthday, even if you already have your provisional licence.
How do I get my provisional driving licence?
You’ll need to apply for a provisional licence yourself, you can’t have someone else do it for you. The fastest and cheapest way is to apply online with the DVLA. You can get started at the GOV.UK website by answering a few questions and submitting a photo with your payment.
You can also apply for your provisional licence by completing a paper D1 form that can be picked up at a post office. This can also be downloaded directly from the DVLA’s website. After filling out the form, you’ll need to send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD for processing.
Do I need any documents to apply for a provisional licence?
Yes. You will be asked for the following documents when you apply for a provisional licence:
- Some form of identification. This could be any of the following:
- a valid UK passport,
- a valid foreign passport stamped that shows you have permission to live in the UK,
- a birth certificate, adoption or naturalisation certificate
- Any addresses you have lived at over the past 3 years
- A national insurance number if you have one
If you apply for your provisional licence by post, you will need to include your identity documents and a passport-style photograph with your application.
How much does a provisional licence cost?
The cost of a provisional licence varies, depending on how you choose to apply for one. If applying for your first provisional licence online, you will be charged £34. You’ll be required to make this payment by debit or credit card when you submit your application.
Applying for a provisional licence by post will cost £43. Your payment will need to be included as a cheque or postal order with your name and date of birth noted on the back.
Do I have to have a provisional licence to take driving lessons?
Yes. Your provisional licence is proof that you are authorised to learn to drive a car.
At the beginning of your first driving lesson, your instructor is required, by law, to check you have a provisional licence. It pays to remember to take yours with you!
What do I need a provisional driving licence for?
Driving lessons are the main reason you need a provisional licence, but they’re not the only reason. Without a provisional licence, you won’t be able to book your driving theory test, your hazard perception test or your practical driving test. The theory and hazard perception tests are taken on the same day. To book these tests, you will need to enter your provisional driver’s licence number.
What should I do with my provisional driver’s licence once I pass my driving test?
Your driving test examiner will take care of everything unless you have changed your name since applying for your provisional driving licence. Your provisional licence will be sent to the DVLA and you will be sent a new, full driving licence, within three weeks.
If you have changed your name you will need to take the following steps:
- Complete the declaration on the test pass certificate
- Complete a D1 application for a driving licence. This can be obtained from a Post Office or downloaded from the DVLA form ordering service.
Send identification documents along with your driver’s application form, pass certificate declaration and provisional driving licence. This must be done within two years of completing your test or you will have to take the test again.