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Get Your Provisional Driving Licence

There are two things you need before you can start learning to drive:

  • You have to be old enough — at least seventeen years old.
  • You need to have your provisional driving licence. We need to see this at the start of your first lesson. Your driving instructor won’t be able to let you drive without it, even under supervision.

If you have any health conditions, or need to wear glasses, you must speak to your GP or optician to make sure you are safe to drive.

We know you want to pass your test as quickly as possible. But before you can book your practical driving test, there are several other steps you’ll need to take. These aren’t things you will need to worry about just yet. Your driving instructor will advise you and help you to prepare for both your theory and practical tests.

Find out how to apply for your provisional licence below

UK provisional driving licence photocard
Your provisional driving licence is key to getting on the road!

How to Apply for Your Provisional Driving Licence

At the start of your first driving lesson, you must show your instructor your Provisional Driving Licence. You won’t be able to take driving lessons without this document.

You can apply for your licence up to 3 months before your 17th birthday, but it only becomes valid when you turn 17. You won’t be allowed to take lessons on a public road or take your theory test until then.

To apply for your provisional licence, you need to complete the application form (Form D1) which you can get from your local Post Office or order online from Gov.uk. If you’d like to save money and time you can also apply online on the official Gov.uk site.

To apply for your provisional driving licence online, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are a resident of Great Britain.
  • You meet the minimum age requirement.
  • Your eyesight is of the required standard.
  • You are not currently prevented from driving for any reason.
  • You are able to pay by debit or credit card.
  • You have a valid UK passport or another formal form of identification.
  • You can provide the addresses of where you have lived over the past three years.
  • You have a recent portrait photo. The DVLA can use your passport photo if you have one. If you don’t, or you want to use a different one, this will need to be sent to the DVLA separately.

You can find out more about the cost of applying for your provisional licence on the Gov.uk website.

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Important Changes to Driving Licences from June 2015

On June 8th, 2015, the DVSA scrapped the paper counterpart of the driving licence.

However, at the start of your first driving lesson, you will still need to provide proof that your licence is valid and that you are legally allowed to drive on public roads.

Please note — your photo card alone is not sufficient evidence.

To get the proof you need, go to the official Gov.uk website. To view your driving licence details on this site enter your licence number, national insurance number and postcode.

You will then need to print all three pages that are displayed. These pages contain all of your licence information, details of all vehicles you are allowed to drive, and any endorsements you may have received. This is the information your driving instructor needs to see before you’ll be allowed to drive.