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Applying for your Provisional Licence

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 7 Jan 2020 | comments*Discuss
Driving Licence Provisional Licence Dvla

Once you reach the age of 17 you can apply for your provisional driving licence - you can actually apply 2 months before your 17th birthday but cannot start to drive until the licence arrives. You must apply for your provisional licence before you sit the theory and hazard perception tests.

To be eligible for a provisional driver's licence, you need to be a minimum of 17 years of age, have good eyesight with or without glasses - you will be tested on this when you take your driving test - and you must not suffer from certain medical conditions which might prevent you from driving (see Direct.gov.uk for more details).

How to Apply for Your Provisional Licence

You can pick up the relevant forms from your local post office or alternatively you can apply online via direct.gov.uk

You'll need to complete the forms - known as D1 - and also include two passport sized photographs which will be used for identification purposes. One photograph is used for your Photocard Licence and the other one is kept on file by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). You must also include the fee for this licence which currently stands at £50.

You will be required to have someone of a professional nature such as a doctor, teacher or police officer that knows you, sign the reverse of the photographs to confirm that they are actually photographs of you and that the application is not being made fraudulently. This is common practice just as it is when applying for a passport and there is nothing to cause alarm in the procedure. Neighbours who are business owners or teachers or your own doctor will be happy to do this for you; they probably get asked on a regular basis to help with such applications.

How Long Does It Take for My Provisional Licence to Arrive?

Depending on the time of year and how busy the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) happen to be at the time of submitting your application, the whole process can take anything from four to six weeks - online applications are quicker and usually take around two weeks. Of course there may be occasions when the process takes longer especially if there is an unexpected influx of applications or if you have incorrectly filled out the application forms.

A Driving Instructor will ask you at the commencement of lessons to provide proof of your driving licence.

After Your Provisional Licence Arrives

Upon receipt of your provisional driving licence you can begin taking lessons and should always carry the licence with you when you are driving. Once you hold your provisional licence, it is your responsibility to ensure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and has the correct tax and insurance. While you are learning to drive on your provisional licence, you must always be accompanied by another driver, who should be over the age of 21 and hold a full valid driver's licence, in the relevant vehicle category. The accompanying driver must have had their full driving licence for a minimum of three years.

'L' Plates

Until you pass your driving test, you should display an 'L' plate on both the front and rear of any vehicle you are driving - in a position where they can be seen clearly. (In Wales these are 'D' plates). You can buy 'L' plates (usually stickers or magnetic) from any major supermarket or motoring parts/accessories supplier.

Other Vehicles

If you already have a full driving licence and want to Drive Larger Vehicles - or vehicles that your current licence does not cover - then you will need to apply for provisional entitlement to drive those vehicles. You will not have to pay to get this provisional entitlement. To apply for provisional entitlement to drive larger vehicles, you will need to complete application form D2 and medical form D4. The medical form has to be completed by a doctor and you will normally be charged for this.

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I want to get a beginner's license.Please
Efsane - 7-Jan-20 @ 6:37 PM
I’ve missed the deadline to hand in my provisional application form. How does it work to reapply for it?
Liv - 24-Oct-19 @ 9:01 PM
Can I ask what is the point in this , when it appears that DVLA seems to read or answer the queries? I would also like an answer to the question if whether my son can drive even though he has not revived the actual licence? It states in the tracker that it has been issued
Nick! - 31-Aug-19 @ 10:07 AM
Hi team, Can you please tell me where I can find the legislation that says that I cannot drive until I have actually received my first provisional licence, as stated in your first paragraph on this page. "Applying for you provisional licence." Many Thanks,Trev Silverman
Trev - 25-Aug-19 @ 6:15 PM
I applied for a provisional licence but I never returned it within the 2 week period which ended a couple of days ago. How long is it until I can apply for another one?
Meg - 22-Jul-19 @ 11:46 AM
I applied for a provisional license and took to long to return it. How long until I can re apply for the license?
Laura - 22-Jul-19 @ 11:42 AM
My son applied for his provisional license when he was 16 to allow him to sit his agricultural tractor test. He passed it last August, and had his license updated to show this. He is now 17, and we would like to know if he needs to have his license updated again before he can start driving a car with L plates, or is the new category added automatically now he is 17? Thanks.
Peasantmk2 - 16-May-19 @ 11:56 AM
I was banned from driving whilst a provisional license holder over 20 years ago,do i re apply for a new provisional license or is there another form i need to fill out?
pearljam1966 - 14-May-19 @ 6:10 PM
I was going to start applying for my provisional but was wondering how they get the proof of my passport photo. Is it just through the passport number or do they ask for more information??
Annie - 5-May-19 @ 7:56 PM
My provisional licence expired in 2011. I'm now applying for a new one. Do I need to put the old ones details on the application form please?
N/A - 28-Feb-19 @ 9:32 PM
I applied online and sent off for my provisional and had my photo countersigned and sent off by post, 4 days ago however it says you still havnt received my application and I need it in 10 days ?? is there any way to fast track it or something ahh
George - 17-Oct-18 @ 3:41 PM
I sent for my provisonal about 3 weeks ago and still hasnt come back
Markyb18 - 10-Oct-18 @ 2:23 PM
I sent off my provisional application just over 3 weeks ago... I have not received my license and I filled the application out correctly, and am using my passport photo. I have spoke to someone and they have said my application has not been received but this is the second time. What should I do?
Sammmm - 9-Oct-18 @ 10:37 PM
Hi, I applied for my provisional license online and sent it all of over a week ago. What are the chances I will have it back by next week? Thanks
Kazza - 19-Sep-18 @ 1:34 PM
I got banned 10 years ago while I had my provisional. Do i need to re-apply from the beginning now?
Scott chiz - 10-Sep-18 @ 7:14 PM
Hi my son has just had his license revoked due to a first time speeding offence given 6 points within his first 2 years of driving can he apply on line for his provisional licence straight away where does he do this please
Fraggle - 15-Aug-18 @ 8:20 AM
I applied for my provisional online and sent back all the info you needed a couple of days before the dead line what will happen if you receive it after the deadline will I have to apply again? Usually on top of these things but due to having a baby recently my mind was else where
Tinab - 17-Jul-18 @ 11:20 PM
Can i fill this in and send it of as its a surprise present for my daughter's 17 birthday if i sign it help
Harris - 3-May-18 @ 7:22 PM
Lilginge- Your Question:
Hi I recently just applied for a provisional first time, it asked for my passport photo which I don’t want to use daft question but will I get contacted to provide one to them by post or will my provisional end up coming with no picture?

Our Response:
They will write back and ask you for a photo. If you applied online and gave your passport number, they will automatically use the photo on that.
YourDrivingLicence - 30-Apr-18 @ 12:12 PM
Hi I recently just applied for a provisional first time, it asked for my passport photo which I don’t want to use daft question but will I get contacted to provide one to them by post or will my provisional end up coming with no picture?
Lilginge - 28-Apr-18 @ 3:35 PM
Jamie - Your Question:
I just applied for my provisional and chose not to use my passport photo but was never asked which photo I want to use or given any details on how to send a photo??? Any ideas

Our Response:
If you chose not to use your passport photo, you should have sent one with the application. The DVLA will probably contact you soon asking for your photo.
YourDrivingLicence - 18-Dec-17 @ 11:12 AM
I just applied for my provisional and chose not to use my passport photo but was never asked which photo I want to use or given any details on how to send a photo??? Any ideas
Jamie - 15-Dec-17 @ 12:39 PM
Hi am just wondering am aye allowed to apply for new provisional by post a couple weeks before my ban is up so a have it straight away once ban has finished
dan - 5-Sep-17 @ 8:58 AM
J.P- Your Question:
Hi I sent off for my provisional licence last Friday still hadn't been sent out how long dose it take its my first time and I done it online

Our Response:
It can take several weeks, it usually arrives within 2 weeks in our experience.
YourDrivingLicence - 19-Aug-15 @ 2:45 PM
Hi I sent off for my provisional licence last Friday still hadn't been sent out how long dose it take its my first time and I done it online
J.P - 19-Aug-15 @ 2:31 AM
I am just sending off for my provisional licence and I have just had they eyesight question come up. last time I had my eyes checked I was told I had 20/20 vision. I haven't had them done this year and so I have put that I can read a number plate from 20 meters away. what happens if when I receive my actual licence but have gone to the opticians since then and have been told my eyesight has gotten worse?
Lyds - 25-Jun-15 @ 5:31 PM
@kerry.muli. You could try calling the DVLA on 0300 790 6802 and asking them.
YourDrivingLicence - 4-Jun-15 @ 2:05 PM
Hello :). I sent off my application last week friday. I urgently need my provisional to come by the 19th of June. Do you think i'll get it back by then?.
Kerry.muli - 2-Jun-15 @ 1:11 PM
@theresa you will need to go through the usual process of applying to replace a lost or stolen licenceyou can do so here.
YourDrivingLicence - 11-Mar-15 @ 2:35 PM
I've got a provisional drivers license but its a old one (without picture) I bought it for my 17th birthday but never got around to taking lessons but now I'm wanting to start my lessons but I filled the back in with my new address (at the time)but miss placed it before sending it off now I've moved to a different address to the one I filled in on the back,how do I go about renewing it with my new address?
theresa - 8-Mar-15 @ 5:31 PM
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