The full guide on how to apply for a UK Provisional Driving Licence and what you can do when you have it!
You must obtain a UK Provisional Driving Licence before you can start your driving lessons, sit the Theory Test or take your Practical Driving Test.
The most recent figures (as of June 2019) from the DVLA show a 10% increase over the last three years of people applying for their licence online.
It's worth knowing that online applications are cheaper than applying via post, but everyone should be aware to only apply online using the real GOV.UK as there are many fraudulent booking websites out there!
Julie Lennard, DVLA chief executive, said:
“Each year, more and more people are choosing to use our online services and it is always cheaper and quicker to renew your driving licence on GOV.UK. It’s also the quickest way for those who have lost or misplaced their licence to apply for a replacement.”
When can I apply for my UK 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.
Before you can apply for your first British Provisional Driving 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 (renewals cost £14)
- 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 (renewals will cost £17)
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 still need to send your application and payment to:
DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD
Starting driving lessons
Once you have your Provisional Driving Licence, you'll want to start looking for your driving instructor and get behind the wheel. However, it's important to remember that you can not drive unnacompanied until you have passed the UK Driving Test.
Our FREE Learn to Drive App has been developed to guide you through the initial stages of learning to drive and can help you to:
- Apply for your Provisional Driving Licence through the GOV.UK website
- Check minimum eyesight requirements
- Locate driving instructors in your area and discover the top questions you should ask before booking your first lesson
- Book and manage your Theory and Practical Tests without getting stung by additional booking fees
- Keep a track of your learning with your personal Driving Record Card
- Top tips on dealing with driving test nerves
- Interactive Theory Test quiz
- Essential advice on finding the right learner and new driver insurance
- Read the top learner driver FAQs
- Record your driving lessons by adding times, dates, pick up points and lesson costs
- Quick-fire quiz to test your driving knowledge
- Exclusive discounts and offers
All these features are included for FREE - available for both iOS and Android devices.
Just click on the image below and download today!
What you can and can't you do when you have your Provisional Driving Licence
A learner car driver with a Provisional Driving 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 circumstances 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 Driving 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!