What is a Provisional Driving Licence?

The provisional driving licence gives you permission to drive on the UK roads (excluding motorways). While under the supervision of your driving instructor or another driver over the age of 21 who has held a full driving licence for a minimum of three years.

The licence will be required when taking your theory test, hazard perception, and practical driving test, and will also be needed on your first driving lesson.

How to get your first 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 license 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 a provisional license allow you to do?

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)
  • Drive without the correct insurance. We provide specialist learner driver insurance 

How do you apply for a provisional licence (requirements and cost)?

To get your first provisional driving card online for a car, motorcycle or moped you need to:
– be a resident of Great Britain
– meet the minimum age requirement
– meet the minimum eyesight requirement- pay £34.00 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card (or £43.00 if applying by post)
– 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

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

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.

Also check:

Track your driving license application

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.

How long is a provisional driving license valid for?

The provisional driving licence itself lasts for 10 years but you have 2 years from the date you pass your written theory test to take your practical test. So once you do your theory test you have 2 years to complete your practical otherwise you have to redo the theory test.​

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