Applying for a provisional licence

By Chris Haycock     24 August 2015

Before you decide that you want to learn to drive, you'll need to apply for your first provisional driving licence. There are a few important factors to consider in order to get your first licence.

You've decided that you want to get yourself on the road in your first car, but realise that you need a provisional driving licence in order to begin your lessons. It sounds daunting, but it's a straightforward process that's easy to follow.

In order to obtain your first provisional licence you will need to submit your details to the DVLA. You can do this online. Click on the button below to go the the DVLA online facility.

Apply for a provisional licence

Alternatively, you can apply for a licence by completing and sending a D1 application form from your local Post Office, which can take up to three weeks for them to send through your licence.

What is the criteria

You'll need a provisional driving licence if you want to drive a car, motorcycle or moped, and will need to ensure that you:

• Live in Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland)

• Are old enough - 17 for cars, 16 for mopeds or light quad bikes.

• Your eyesight meets the minimum required to drive

• Have a valid, up-to-date UK passport, biometric residence permit (BRP), EU national identity card or UK certificate of naturalisation

• Know your National Insurance number

• Can provide full postal addresses of where you have lived in the previous three years.

You can submit an application for a driving licence when you turn 15 years 9 months of age. However, if you receive PIP (Personal Independence Payment) you may be able to drive a car when you are 16 years of age.

How much does it cost?

It costs £43 for a licence if you apply by post - remember to enclose a cheque or postal order only (no cash) with your application form, and make it payable to DVLA.

It costs £34 for a licence if you apply online - a saving of £10.

Where do I send the application form?

If you decide to fill out and complete the application form instead of submitting it online (see above), you will need to send the form to the following addresses:

If your documents are all from the UK:

DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD

If any documents are from outside the UK:

DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AF

How long will it take?

It'll take up to three weeks to get your licence through the post. Once you have your first provisional driving licence then you'll be able to start learning how to drive. Use this website to search for driving schools and instructors in your area.