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Your Provisional Licence

What age do I have to be to get my provisional licence?

Cars

You must be 17 years old to get your provisional licence, but you can apply three months before your 17th birthday.

If you've a Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate you can get your provisional licence at the age of 16.

 

Motorcycles

You must be aged 17 for motorcycles up to 125cc and not exceeding 14.6bhp.

There are courses called 'Direct Access' courses but they're for riders who are at least 21 years of age. You can't ride on your own until you have passed your test.

 

How to apply

You can either apply online or apply in person or by post. For the latter you must fill in a Driving Licence Application Form D1 which you can get from your local Post Office. The cost for your first provisional licence is £50.

If applying by post, you must send a passport-sized photo of yourself, the fee of £50 by cheque or postal order payable to DVLA (do not send cash) with one of the following forms of identification:

  • Full Valid Passport (if you've got a biometric passport you can use it's 9-digit number for your application then you won't need to send in your passport.

Other types of identification if you don't have a biometric passport are:

  • A full valid current passport
  • A biometric residence permit (formerly known as the identity card for foreign nationals)
  • A UK certificate of naturalisation
  • UK birth and adoption certificates (along with one of the following, National Insurance Card, Photocopy of front page of benefits book or original claims letter, P45, P60 or payslip, Marriage certificate or divorce papers (decree nisi or absolute), College or university union card or school record).

Photographs must meet certain criteria and additional documentation is required with birth and adoption certificates - for more details visit GOV.UK.

Completed forms should be sent to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD. If you're including non-UK identity documents send your application and payment to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AF. Include a stamped self-addressed special delivery envelope if you want your identity documents returned by special delivery.

If you don't want to send your ID documents through the post, you can use the Post Office Checking Service but it costs more. This means that your documents are checked at the Post Office so you don't have to send them onto the DVLA.

 

When will I get it?

You'll get your driving licence and identity documents separately. If you don't receive your identity documents back within two weeks of receiving your licence, contact DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0300 790 6801. Click here for further information about getting in contact with the DVLA.