The full guide on how to apply for a Provisional Driving Licence and what you can do when you have it!
Firstly, you must obtain a UK Provisional Driving Licence before you can start your driving lessons, sit the Theory Test or take your Practical Test.
When can I apply for my Provisional Driving Licence?
You can apply for your licence up to three months before your 17th birthday, but you will not be able to take any driving lessons (both professional or private) before your 17th birthday.
If however, you are receiving Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate, you can apply for your licence up to three months before your 16th birthday. You will still have to wait until your 16th birthday before it becomes valid.
Apply online for your Provisional Driving Licence using the Government Gateway ID.
Before you can apply for your first British provisional licence you must:
- be a resident of Great Britain
- meet the minimum age requirement
- meet the minimum eyesight requirement
- are currently not prevented from driving for any reason
- pay the £34 fee by Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, Electron, Delta, debit or credit card
- have a valid UK passport or another form of identity
- provide addresses of where you have lived over the last three years
Before you start your application for your licence make sure you have the following information to hand:
- a valid debit or card
- your UK passport
- details of any previous addresses over the last three years
Applying for your Provisional Driving Licence by post
If you’d prefer to apply for your licence by post, you can complete the D1 application form which is available from the Post Office or directly from the DVLA.
You will need to enclose the following with your application:
- original documentation confirming your identity
- A passport style colour photograph
- £34 fee
You will need to post your completed application form to:
DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD
Applying for a provisional licence with non-UK identity documents
If you are including non-UK identity documents, you will need to send your application and payment to: DVLA Swansea SA99 1AD
Provisional Driving Licence Premium Checking Service
Selected Post Office® branches provide a premium checking service to get your application checked and sent on to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). For further information about this service please visit the Post Office website.
So what can and can't you do when you have your Provisional Driving Licence
A learner car driver with a Provisional Licence can drive when supervised by someone who;
- Is at least 21 years old
- Holds the full UK driving licence (for the vehicle you’re driving – manual, automatic)
- Has held their licence for at least 3 years
- Must adhere to road laws and be capable of taking control of the vehicle and guiding the learner driver if they need help or become confused
In no circumstance is a learner allowed on the road supervised by someone who is over the drink drive limit. This seems like common sense, right? Well, a survey carried out by Co-operative insurance revealed 17% of motorists admitted driving for someone who had been drinking whilst still only holding a Provisional Licence – with 45% saying their passenger was in no fit state to help or take control if they needed to.
"The law is clear in that learner drivers have to be supervised when they take to the roads. Anyone who asks a learner driver to take them home after a festive get-together where the other passengers are all under the influence of alcohol are putting these learners in an unfair situation. If you plan to have a drink, order a taxi or walk home. Don't drink and drive and don't expect learners to take you." says Nick Ansley.
The penalty for a learner driving without proper supervision can be up to 6 penalty points on your Provisional Licence and a £1,000 fine. Think! If you're out with friends or family who have had a few too many drinks DO NOT be pressured into driving - call a taxi and make it home safe.
Practising for your Theory Test while you learn to drive
Once you've got your Provisional Licence it's time to start revising for the Theory Test.
We have a wide range of products proven to help you on your way to a first-time pass, from PC-DVD ROM software to our award-winning app.
Our Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App has seen some revisions recently including an update to The Highway Code and our licensed DVSA question bank. For only £4.99, you can't afford not to get it!
Ou app customers also have access to our exclusive offers area to save money on specific purchases, and it also includes our unique 3D stopping distance simulator that you can try for FREE!