Provisional Driving License

Applying for a Provisional Driving License In The UK

If you live in the UK and want to learn to drive, then you must apply for a provisional driving license. You can apply for this license at any time after three months before your 16th birthday, but you cannot drive until you are 16 - and even then only if you are getting, or have applied to get the enhanced rate of the PIP mobility component. Otherwise you need to be aged 17 before you can make an application for a provisional driving license.

Provisional Driving License

If you apply for your provisional driving license online, then you should get it within a week. Otherwise, it could take up to three weeks to arrive. Once you get it, you are allowed to learn to drive, although there will be limits on the types of vehicles that you are allowed to drive.

Post Office Service

Note that unlike many of the other forms that you are likely to have filled out recently; you will not be able to make use of the Post Office service for certifying documents. You must send the original of every document that is asked for. These documents will be checked and then returned to you.

Personal Financial Details

Make sure that you do not include any personal financial details in the application. There is no need to send, for example, credit card details - or even your national insurance number. Send only what is asked for.

Compulsory Basic Training

Note that having a driving license only entitles you to learn to drive cars. You will need to complete a course called Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before you are allowed to ride motorbikes - even to take bike lessons. Also, when you are driving a car, you need to make sure that you are driving with someone who has a full license. You cannot go out on the roads by yourself until you have passed the full driving test.


The CBT is valid for only one year, but the provisional driving license lasts for much longer, so you have plenty of time to learn to drive. To get a full license, you must pass both a theory test (which includes a hazard perception test and some multiple choice questions), and a practical driving test which will require you to complete several different driving tasks, including driving on main roads, parking in various ways, and performing an emergency stop.

UK's Driving Test

The UK's driving test is quite stringent compared to the tests offered in many other parts of the world, so if you pass it you can be fairly confident that you are a good driver. Almost anyone can get the provisional license, the only exception are people with certain medical conditions which would make it unsafe for them to be in control of a vehicle on public roads. Before you are allowed to learn to drive, you will be expected to take a sight test. You can get the provisional driving license without the test, but if you cannot see well enough to read number plates at the specified distance, then no driving instructor that follows the national rules will teach you.

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