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Applying for a provisional Driving Licence

Before you can start to learn to drive you must be in possession of a valid provisional driving licence.  The provisional driving licence gives you entitlement to drive on the UK roads (except motorways) whilst under the supervision of driving instructor or other suitably experienced driver.  (see our section on supervising drivers for more information)

To get your first provisional driving licence online for a car, motorcycle or moped you need to:

  • be a resident of Great Britain (there’s a different service in Nothern Ireland)
  • meet the minimum age requirement
  • meet the minimum eyesight requirement
  • not be prevented from driving for any reason
  • pay £34 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card
  • have a valid UK passport or other form of identity
  • have your National Insurance number if known
  • provide addresses where you’ve lived for the last 3 years

You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you’re 15 years and 9 months old.  You can normally start driving on your 17th birthday if you want to drive a car and your 16th birthday if you want to drive a motorcycle or moped.

If you’re getting the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you can drive at 16.

Apply for your first provisional driving licence: https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence 

Personal data

If you apply online you’ll be agreeing that DVLA can check your personal data, including your National Insurance number.

DVLA will confirm your details with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). If DVLA can’t fully verify your identity, you’ll be told what to do at the end of the application.

You can apply by post by completing a D1 application form, which you can get from the DVLA form ordering service or from a Post Office.

You’ll also need to include:
  • original documentation confirming your identity
  • a colour passport-style photograph
  • the fee of £43 by cheque or postal order payable to DVLA (do not send cash)

Send your completed application and payment to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD.

If you’re including non-UK identity documents send your application and payment to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AF.

Once your application has been received by the DVLA it usually takes three weeks to be processed and your licence sent out.  Once you have your licence you are then able to drive under supervision.