Applying for a UK provisional licence is relatively straightforward. Here we explain how to get yours.

What is a provisional driving licence?

A provisional licence is required in order to take your first driving lesson, and to take your theory, hazard perception and practical driving tests.

You cannot use motorways with a provisional licence, and you must be supervised by someone who has had a full UK licence for at least three years and who is at least 21 years old.


How old must I be to get a provisional licence?

You must be at least 15 years and 9 months old to apply for a provisional driving licence. However, you cannot use it to drive a car until you are 17 years old.

However, you can use a provisional licence to ride a moped or light quad bike from the age of 16.

Eyesight requirements

You must be able to read a number plate (post-2001 design) from 20m.

If you need glasses or contact lenses to do this, they must be worn while in control of a vehicle.


How much does a provisional licence cost?

  • £34 online
  • £43 by post from the DVLA


How do I apply for a provisional licence?

You can apply online or by post. You'll need to provide:

  • An identity document, or a valid biometric passport if you have one.
  • Details of where you've lived for the last three years
  • National Insurance number (if known)


How long will my provisional licence take to arrive?

Around a week if you apply online; possibly longer if you apply by post.


What if I receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

You only have to be 16 years old to learn to drive and take a test if you receive, or have applied for, PIP.


What are the next steps?

Once you have received your provisional driving licence, you can:

  • Take lessons from a driving school
  • Take lessons from or be supervised by another driver (they must be at least 21 and have had a full licence for three years)

Can I drive with passengers on a provisional licence?

You can drive with passengers only if accompanied by someone who's had a full UK driving licence for three years and is 21 or over.

They must sit in the front passenger seat at all times.


Can I drive on motorways with a provisional licence?

In England, Wales and Scotland learner drivers are only allowed on the motorway if they are accompanied by a qualified advanced driving instructor (ADI) in a dual-control car displaying red L plates (D plates in Wales).

Apply for your provisional driving licence here:


What should I do if I lose my provisional licence?

Lost your provisional licence?

Find out the steps to take in order to get a new provision licence to replace a lost provisional licence.


What happens to my provisional licence when I pass my driving test?

You’ll need to convert your provisional licence to a full licence after you’ve passed. This is a simple process.

If your provisional was issued after 1 March 2004, your test centre can organise your full licence by scanning your provisional and sending it electronically to the DVLA. Your full UK licence should arrive in the post a few weeks later.

This can also be done through the post; you’ll need to sign the declaration from the pass certificate, and send it, together with your provisional licence, to the DVLA.