How to apply for your provisional driving licence

Before starting your driving lessons, you’ll need to apply for your provisional licence. Here’s everything you need to know.

Before applying for your provisional driving licence

We’ve put together a list of some useful things to know before you start applying for your provisional licence.

Are you old enough to learn to drive?

  • You can apply for a provisional licence when you’re 15 years and nine months old.
  • You can learn to drive a car and take a test when you’re 17.
  • You can learn to drive a car and sit your test if you’re 16 and receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Do you meet the minimum eyesight requirements?

  • You need to tell the DVLA if you’ve got an issue that affects both eyes (or the remaining eye if you only have one).
  • You need to be able to read a car registration plate from 20 metres away.

How to apply for your provisional driving licence

Online

You can get a provisional driving licence online from the DVLA’s website here. This means you’ll be able to drive a moped, a motorbike or a car. It costs £34 and you can pay for it with a debit or credit card.

What you’ll need to apply online:

  • A valid UK passport
  • Proof of addresses from the last three years
  • Your National Insurance number

If you don’t have a valid UK passport, you’ll need to supply the DVLA with a few identity documents. You can find out more about the type of documents you’ll need on the DVLA’s website.

Post

You can also apply for your provisional licence by post. You’ll need to complete the DVLA’s form which can be found here or in certain post offices. Applying through the post costs £43 and you’ll need to enclose a cheque or postal order (you can’t send cash).


After you get your provisional driving licence

Now you’ve got your provisional licence, you might have a few questions about what happens next.

Can I start taking lessons as soon as I get my provisional licence?

You need to be 17 years old before you can drive a car. If you’re entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you can drive a car when you’re 16 years old.

Who can supervise learner drivers?

Until a learner receives their full driving licence, they must be supervised at all times. A qualified driving instructor can supervise, or a learner might want additional practice under the supervision of a friend or family member.

Drivers supervising a learner must:

  • Be over 21 years old.
  • Have held their licence for a minimum of three years.
  • Hold the correct driving licence (for example, they must have a manual licence if they’re supervising a learner in a manual car).

Do I need learner driver insurance?

If you’re learning with a qualified instructor, they will have the appropriate learner driver insurance.

You’ll need to have your own insurance if you’re practicing in a car you own. If you’re practicing in someone else’s car, you should check that their insurance covers learner drivers.

If you’re hiring one of our dual control carsfor additional practice, your learner insurance is covered in the cost of the hire.


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