How to apply for a provisional driving licence?

How to apply for a provisional driving licence?

Are you a learner driver getting ready to take your driving test? In order to legally drive on public roads in the UK, you will need to hold a provisional driving licence. This post will tell you everything you need to know about how to apply for your provisional licence. Stay safe out there on the road!

With a provisional licence, you can drive with L plates and with a qualified driver present to supervise you. In order to apply for a provisional driving licence, you must be at least 15 years and 9 months old and you can learn to drive a car and take a test at 17. 

You must also be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away. 

You have legally lived in the UK for at least 185 days in total in the past 12 months.

To apply for a provisional licence, you must first complete an application form. This can be done online or by post.

It costs £43 to apply by post. To apply by post you will need to complete form D1
which is available from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) or your local post office.

It costs £34 to apply online on the DVLA website. Once you have completed the form, you will need to provide evidence of your identity, such as your passport, or birth certificate.

Residency with addresses where you’ve lived for up to the last 3 years. 

You might be asked for additional information, such as your National Insurance number if you know it. You’ll get a confirmation email from DVLA after you’ve applied. Your licence should arrive within one week if you apply online. It may take longer if DVLA needs to make additional checks.

Legal obligations of drivers and riders

You must do several things before you drive a car or ride a motorcycle. These include getting a driving licence, registering, insuring and taxing your vehicle, and getting an MOT.

Before you drive or ride

You must:

  • have the correct driving licence
  • be the minimum driving or riding age 
  • meet the minimum eyesight rules 

You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. 

Learner drivers:
Once you have your provisional licence, it’s important to remember the following: 

  • Display L plates (L plates or D plates in Wales) 
  • be supervised by a qualified driver (except if riding a motorcycle) You must always drive with a qualified driver who is over 21 years old and to be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, for example, they must have a manual carlicence if they’re supervising you in a manual car  
  • You must also have a minimum of third party insurance as a learner driver that covers your use of the vehicle.  
  • You must not use a phone while driving (or the person supervising). 
  • You must be aware of the Highway Code and comply with all the rules of the road

Vehicle requirements

The vehicle must: 

  • be registered with DVLA 
  • have up to date vehicle tax 
  • have a current MOT certificate (if your vehicle needs one) 
  • be roadworthy

How many lessons do you need

How many lessons you need will depend on how quickly you learn.

It’s illegal for: 

  • your friend or family member to use a mobile phone while supervising you 
  • you to drive on the motorway when practising with family or friends

You can only drive on motorways if all of the following apply:

  • you’re driving in England, Scotland or Wales
  • you’re with an approved driving instructor
  • the car is fitted with dual controls


You need your own insurance as a learner driver if you’re practising in a car you own. Your family member or friend will usually be covered on this

If you’re practising in someone else’s car, you need to either:

  • Make sure you’re covered by the car owner’s insurance policy as a learner driver
  • Take out your own insurance policy that covers you driving in the car as a learner driver
  • Some insurance companies require the person supervising you to be over 25 years old.

After You Pass Your Test 

To get your full driving licence, you will need to pass your driving test.


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