How to get your driving license in the UK

Ángeles RiveroÁngeles Rivero
March 27, 2013

How to get your driving license?

I have to confess that I do not know how to drive… but this is going to end because a few weeks ago I started the paperwork to apply for my provisional driving license and I am going to drive very soon! In this post I am going to talk about the paperwork you need to get your provisional license and the next steps to have to do to get your full driving license.

The four steps are: get the provisional driving license, pass the theory test, pass the practical test and get the full driving license.

  • Provisional driving license

You can apply for you provisional driving license online here. You can apply as well filling a form sent to you on the post (here to order the form), you can get the same form directly from your closest Post Office or from your closest DVLA (Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency) office.

In order to apply you have to be a resident of Great Britain, meet the require age (you have to be 17 to start learning to drive), meet the minimum eyesight requirement, have a valid passport, have your National Insurance number, provide addresses where you have lived for the last 3 years and pay a £50 fee.

You will have to send as well a photography of you and your passport to the DVLA headquarters office to prove your identity as the provisional driving license is an official UK identity document.

Once this is done you will receive you provisional driving license in your home!

Provisional driving license and form to complete

  • Driving theory test
Now you have to learn the theory! There are loads of books and example tests you can use to prepare yourself for the theory test. Online you can find the Traffic Signs Guide and The Highway Code and in Amazon, eBay, Warwick University Bookshop or Supermarket you can find as well driving books and guides.

Once you are confident you can apply for your theory test online here. You will need to provide your provisional driving license number and pay a a £31 fee. Be aware that if you pass the theory test you will have two years to pass the practical driving test!

There are 2 parts to the theory test, the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part (both parts of the test are taken on the same day). The questions in the multiple-choice part and format of the hazard perception part depend on what kind of vehicle you want to drive.

Traffic signs

  • Practical driving test
Now you have to learn how to drive! You can learn with a responsible adult, like your parents, siblings, partners, etc. You don’t need a special car but you will have to be included in the insurance of the car. Another option is to learn with an instructor. Here you can find the nearest instructors in your area but you can use as well Google or ask friends. Driving lessons of an hour can cost around  £20.

Once you feel confident with your driving you can book your driving test here (you will need to pay a £62 fee). And good luck!

Driving test

  • Full driving license

If you pass the practical driving exam the examiner will give on the moment a provisional full driving license and a few days later the full driving license will be sent to your house.

Full driving license





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