Applying for a UK provisional licence is relatively straightforward. Here we explain how to get yours.
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.
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.
- £34 online
- £43 by post from the DVLA
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 it take?
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.
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)
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.
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: https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence
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.