Provisional license FAQs

Getting your provisional license is the first step to learning to drive. You cannot drive a car until you are in possession of this license. Here we answer some of your frequently asked questions about provisional driving licenses.

When can I get a provisional license?

If you are not classified as disabled, you can apply for your provisional license two months before your 17th birthday.

How do I apply for a provisional driving license?

The easiest way to apply for a provisional license is to submit an online application through the DVLA website (dvla.gov.uk). You can also apply in by post by filling in the D1 application form (available from Post Offices and the DVLA's website). Send your forms to the DVLA at DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD.

What documents do I need to enclose?

You need to enclose original documents confirming your identity (most commonly a passport or birth certificate), a passport sized colour photograph (authenticated if necessary) and a fee of £50.

Can I apply online?

You can apply for a provisional license online if you are a resident of Great Britain, meet the minimum age requirement, meet the minimum eyesight requirement, have a valid UK passport or another accepted form of identification, can provide addresses for where you lived during the past three years, and are not currently prevented from driving for any reason.

How long does the application process take?

DVLA aims to deliver your license within three weeks of receiving your completed application. The process may take significantly longer if details need to be checked (such as health or personal details).

Are there any particular rules for provisional license holders?

You can only drive when accompanied by a driver. They must be over the age of 21 and have held their license for at least three years. You must display 'L' plates in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle when you are driving.

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