How to get a provisional driving licence

How to get a provisional driving licence
Before you can even think about driving, some admin needs doing - you need to apply for your provisional driving licence.

This is an exciting step on your journey to becoming a licensed driver and as the first thing you need to do, it's wise to apply as soon as possible so as not to delay beginning your lessons.

When can you apply for a provisional driving licence?

You can apply for your provisinal driving licence at any time once you’re over 15 years and nine months old, but it only becomes valid when you turn 16.

What does your provisional licence allow you to do?

Provisional licence

With a provisional licence you can:

  • At 16 begin the process of learning to ride a moped or light quad bike
  • At 17 begin the process of learning to drive a car

You cannot:

  • Drive in a car without a driving instructor or someone else who fits the legal criteria
  • Drive on the motorway even with an instructor (although this may be revised under new plans for learner driver motorway lessons)

Learner Driver Car Insurance

Only pay for the cover you need - from 2 hours to 5 months.

How do you apply for a provisional licence and how much does it cost?

The easiest way to apply is through the provisional driving licence page on the official GOV UK website.

To get a provisional licence you will need:

  • To be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
  • Provide a legitimate form of ID (normally a passport)
  • Provide addresses for where you have lived over the last three years
  • Pay £34 by credit or debit card

Your provisional licence should arrive within a week.

At the same time, it’s a good idea to start reading the Highway Code and begin familiarising yourself with it in preparation for step four, taking your theory test.

MORE ADVICE: Road crossings - do you know your pelicans from your toucans?

Track your driving licence application

Provisional licence tracking

Your provisional driving licence should arrive within a week of applying, but you can track it here.

To track it you will need your Government Gateway ID and password, if you do not have one, you can register for one here.

READ NEXT: Are graduated driving licences coming in?

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One month’s cover is classed as 28 days, so a 5 month policy runs for 140 days in total.