Before young people can get to the exciting part of learning to drive (actually getting behind the wheel) they need to apply for their Provisional Driving Licence. Due to COVID-19, the application for these was paused but luckily, you can now apply for one – so we’re running through how you do this!
You can apply for a provisional moped licence from 15 years and 9 months because you can drive a moped from when you turn 16. You need to wait until you're closer to 17 before you can apply for a provisional car licence, unless you receive Personal Independence Payment.
How to apply for a provisional licence online
It’s really simple to apply for your provisional driving licence online – simply head to the DVLA website and go through the form. You’ll need to pay for your licence when you apply, as well as providing some proof of your identity. Here are some important things to be aware of before you get started:
- You must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away – this ensures your eyesight is good enough to start learning to drive
- It costs £34 to apply for your provisional licence online. There are no tests to take in order to get a provisional driving licence – you just need to fill in an application and meet all requirements, pay for the licence fee and submit it online
- You need to provide an identity document (unless you have a valid UK biometric passport, in which case you can use the 9-digit passport number instead)
- You also need addresses of where you have lived over the last 3 years
- You need to supply them with your National Insurance number if you know it
If you’re a parent wondering if you can apply for your child’s provisional licence, we’re afraid that you cannot apply for a licence for someone else, but that won’t stop you sitting and helping them go through the form, of course.
Can I apply for a provisional driving licence by post?
Yes - you can apply for a provisional driving licence by post. This involves downloading a D1 form or picking one up from a post office and sending it off. During COVID-19, these forms were not available however you can now use these again to apply for your provisional licence. This will cost you £43, as opposed to the online price of £34.
How long does a provisional licence take to be delivered?
Once you’ve applied, you’ll get a confirmation email from the DVLA and your licence should arrive within one week of you applying – however, this can take a little longer during busy periods or if the DVLA feel they need to do a few more checks.
Can I start driving as soon as I have received my provisional licence?
If you’re 16 you can start driving and moped, and if you’re 17 you can drive a car provided you’re accompanied by a supervisor. This could be either an Approved Driving Instructor during driving lessons or private practice with an experienced driver who is aged over 21 and who has held a full UK driving licence for 3 years or more.
If you head out for private driving practice, you must also ensure that you have the correct insurance cover in place before hopping behind the wheel. Insurance options like car insurance for learner drivers on a parents car and annual cover for learners and new drivers are great if you’re driving a parent or friends car, or annual insurance on your own car if you’ve got your own set of wheels.