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.
What age can you apply for a provisional licence?
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
It costs £34 to apply for your provisional licence online, and you can pay by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card.
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 the licence fee, and submit it online.
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. This will cost you £43, as opposed to the online price of £34.
What do I need to apply for a provisional licence?
- 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
- You must have been given permission to live in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) for at least 185 days
- You will need an identification document (unless you have a valid UK biometric passport, in which case you can use the 9-digit passport number instead)
- You must provide the addresses of where you have lived over the last 3 years
- 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 from sitting and helping them go through the form, of course!
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 parent's car and annual cover for learners and new drivers are great if you’re driving a parent or friend's car, or annual insurance on your own car if you’ve got your own set of wheels.
Can I drive without insurance on a provisional licence?
No, you need to have your own learner insurance whether you are practising in your own car or in someone elses. Check out our blog on driving without insurance on a provisional licence for insight on rules and regulations, and choosing which insurance is best suited for your needs.
Don't forget your L plates!
If your child has a provisional licence, why not plan ahead for lessons by purchasing your L plates directly from Marmalade on Amazon? Perfect for private practice! Unsure of how to fit them? Check out our top tips for applying L plates!