How to apply for a provisional license in the UK


All learner drivers must have a provisional driving license in order to legally drive on UK roads.

If you’re impatient to hit the road, the first thing to do is get a provisional driver’s license. The next thing you need to do is make sure we will explain more about this later.

Before getting behind the wheel, whether for a professional driving course or to practice in a friend or relative’s car, you must have a provisional driver’s license.

You will also need a provisional license before booking your knowledge, hazard perception or practical driving exam.

Apply for a provisional license in the UK

You can apply for a provisional license three months before you turn 16, but you must wait until you are 17 before you can drive on public roads in the UK.

But not everyone can hit the roads, the law requires potential drivers to meet certain standards before they can get a UK provisional license.

Before applying for a provisional permit:

  • You must be a resident of Great Britain or Northern Ireland

  • You must be at least 15 years and 9 months old when you apply for your provisional license

  • You must be able to read a standard license plate from a distance of 20 meters (with glasses or contact lenses if necessary

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To apply for your provisional driving license, fill out a form from the post office, or apply on the DVLA website.

When submitting your request for a provisional license, you will need to inform the DVLA of the following:

  • All the addresses where you have lived in the last three years

  • One passport-style color photo

  • A valid piece of identification such as a valid passport, biometric residence permit or UK naturalization certificate

Can I apply for a provisional permit if I do not have a passport?

If you do not have any of the above documents, you can send your birth or adoption certificate along with one of the following documents:

  • Proof of your national insurance number

  • Letter of request for benefits or photocopy of the first page of a benefit booklet

  • A photocopy of your P45, P60 or a recent payslip

  • Marriage certificate or divorce papers

  • College or university union card

  • School notebook or Citizen Card PASS

How much does a provisional license cost?

You should be wary of unofficial sites that offer to process your license request, as they often charge a high administration fee on top of the cost of your license. By going directly to DVLA online you will pay £ 34 or £ 43 if you apply by post.

How long does it take to apply for a provisional permit?

Postal requests can take up to three weeks, while online requests should be processed within a week.

How long does a provisional permit last?

A provisional license, like a full UK driving license, lasts until the day you turn 70.

As with a full driver’s license, you must renew it every 10 years and you must notify the DVLA each time you change your address, or you may be fined up to £ 1,000.

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Do I need auto insurance to apply for a provisional license?

No one can use the roads of the UK without having valid car insurance. There is three levels of coverage UK:

  • Third Party Only – who pays if you damage someone else’s vehicle or property and injure passengers, other drivers or pedestrians

  • Third parties, fire and theft – this covers the above, as well as damage or loss of the insured’s vehicle as a result of fire, theft or attempted theft

  • Comprehensive insurance – will pay if damage or injury is caused to others, their property or the insured or their car

If you only learn in the car of a registered instructor, their insurance will cover you. However, if you are learning in a private vehicle – be it a friend’s, family member, or even your own – then you will need insurance to drive it on public roads.

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