Provisional Driving Licence applying and the laws

You need to apply for a provisional licence in order to be able to learn to drive a car or motorcycle in the UK. You can apply for it 2 months before your 17th birthday or 16th if you are getting the higher rate of disability benefit. You must not drive on the public roads until you receive you licence and you reach your birthday. There are special 11 to 16 year old driving lessons which don't require a provisional licence as they are conducted on private land.

On your first driving lesson, your driving instructor will check both parts of your provisional license (photocard and counterpart), so make sure you take good care of these documents. You also will need to produce both parts in order to take your theory and practical driving tests.

You apply for a provisional licence by using a D1 application form which is available from most post offices in the UK , and the current fee (May 2008) is £50. You will need any of the following documents in order to complete your licence application form.

1. Current full passport
2. identity card issued by a member state of the European Community/European Economic Area (EC/EEC)*with the exception of Sweden.
3. travel documents issued by the Home Office
4. UK certificate of naturalisation
5. You can also use your birth certificate, but will need one of the following in addition:
  • NI card or letter from Department for Work and Pensions containing your NI number
  • photocopy of front page of a benefits book or an original benefits claim letter
  • P45, P60 or pay slip
  • marriage certificate or divorce papers (decree nisi or absolute)
  • College or University union card or school record

  • 6. Certified passport sized photograph.

    If you have one of the newer digital UK passports, you an apply for your provisional licence online at the DSA Website.

    Once you've received it and start driving either with an instructor or family/friend it is important that you abide by the law, and don't get points on your licence as points will drive up insurance premiums for you, and if you have more that 6 points on your provisional licence, you will have to take the driving test twice, as after the first pass, your licence will be revoked under the new driver act.

    More Reading
    Points, Provisional licence and driving test
    Driving age is still 17 and not changing

    Take care of that provisional driving licence, and obey the laws while learning to drive.


    1. Each learner must have a valid Driving license. If your driving license is out of date. Renew it today.

    2. My provisional driving license is registered to my former address - I've moved now but want to start taking lessons again in a week's time.

      Do I need to register my provisional to my new address before I can take lessons, and if so - how long will that take?


    3. Anonymous7:51 am

      You can still take driving lessons, but you should change the address as soon as possible.

    4. Hanna4:07 pm

      How long is a provisional license valid for?

    5. Anonymous5:34 pm

      A UK provisional driving licence is valid until your 70th birthday, but if you have a photocard, the photo has to be renewed every 10 years.

    6. Charlie7:06 pm

      i have lost my photocard provisional license and am waiting 2 weeks for a replacement but am i allowed to continue lessons during the time i dont have a card?

    7. Anonymous4:55 pm

      A driving instructor will need to see your licence on your first driving lesson, so if you are already taking lessons, this shouldn't be a problem.

      A new instructor will not take you out if they have any doubt about your entitlement to drive, because apart from breaking the law, there is the issue of insurance being invalidated and potential large damages payout if involved in an accident.

    8. What is meant by 'school record'?

    9. Anonymous3:17 pm

      hello i want to start driving lessons next week but my provisional is registered to my last address and i need my provisional to send off for something for work . can i still book my lessons and the get it changed a.s.a.p ?

    10. Anonymous11:00 am

      if i have a provisional can i drive my partners car with l plates do i have to do hazard test first

    11. My provisional license is still a paper one, is it still valid?

    12. my provisional is from the 90's and lasts till 2038 its in DVLA paper no photo id. can i still use it to have lessons




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