Why do I need a provisional driving licence?

You must show your instructor your provisional driving licence at the start of your first driving lesson. Your instructor won’t let you 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. Before that date, you won’t be allowed to take lessons on a public road or take your theory test.

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:

  • Normally resident in Great Britain.
  • At least 17 years of age, or else, no more than 3 months until you reach your 17th birthday.
  • Able to read a car number plate from a distance of 20 metres (with or without glasses/contact lenses).
  • Not currently prevented from driving for any reason.
  • Able to provide the addresses of where you have lived over the past three years.
  • Current holder of a valid UK passport or another official form of identification. If you have a passport, the DVLA can use the same photo for your licence. If you don’t, or you want to use a different one, you will need to send this to the DVLA separately.
  • Able to pay by debit or credit card.

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

How to provide proof of your entitlement to drive

Since 8th June, 2015, the DVSA has no longer issued the paper counterpart to 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.

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.

Start practising now – get insured

Want to use your own car to practice? Learner driver insurance will get you on the road!

Plus! Get a £20 Amazon voucher when you get a quote through How-2-Drive:

Get a £20 Amazon voucher with Collingwood learner driver insurance. Get a quote now!
Get practising in your own car: get short-term learner driver insurance with Collingwood.

Get your free theory test practice app

Want to find out how much you already know? Keen to start revising for your test?

Download our app – it’s completely free!

Free theory test practice with How-2-Drive!
Start practising your driving theory test today with our free app!

* According to the DVSA (the people who set the driving test) it takes on average 47 hours of driving lessons and another 20 hours of private practice to pass the driving test.

By using our structured training system we help our customers pass after an average of just 30 hours of driving lessons – that’s 17 hours less than the DVSA average!