Applying for a provisional driving licence
The minimum age for driving motor cars on a public road within the UK is currently 17 years. Therefore, in order to take driving lessons in a car, you must have a provisional licence and be at least 17 years of age. (The only exception to this is if you currently receive Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate, which may entitle you to drive from 16 years of age).
The earliest you can apply for your provisional licence is no more than three months before your 17th birthday (or your 16th, if you receive DLA at the higher rate).
Provisional driving licences are issued by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), and you must first complete an application form, pay the DVLA a fee of £50.00, provide a passport style photograph and submit original documentation proving your identity.
There are three ways that you can apply for a Provisional Driving Licence:
Online: To apply online, visit the Directgov web site and simply follow the online instructions.
By post: To apply by post, you must complete DVLA Form D1, which you can obtain from either the DVLA Online Form Ordering Service at Directgov, or by visiting the Post Office. You must send the completed Form D1 with a passport style photograph and original documentation confirming your identity to the DVLA at Swansea. The correct address is given on the leaflet that accompanies Form D1.
In person at the Post Office: To apply at the Post Office, you must complete DVLA Form D1, which you can obtain from either the DVLA Online Form Ordering Service at Directgov or from a main Post Office. You must take the completed Form D1, together with a passport style photograph and original documentation confirming your identity, to the Post Office. Post Office staff will check your application while you wait: they will check your identity and return your original documentation to you. The Post Office will then send the completed Form D1 to the DVLA for processing. Post Office Counters Ltd charge a separate fee of £4.00 over and above the £45.00 licence fee.
Note: Online applications are quicker – the DVLA aims to complete this within 10 working days. Postal and Post Office applications are scheduled within 21 days.