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How to Get a Provisional Driving Licence in the UK

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So, the time has come. You’re ready to start learning to drive and itching to hit the open road. But hold up – you need a provisional driving licence first. That’s right – before you can take driving lessons or practice in your own car, you must have a provisional licence.

But how do you get one? How much will it cost, and how long will it take to arrive? We’re answering all of these questions and more in this article. Read on for a complete guide to applying for your provisional driving licence.

How do I apply?

Applying for your licence is pretty straightforward – and mercifully it can all be done online. You won’t need to queue up at a test centre or anything like that.

The entire process can be completed on the Government website. When you hit start now, the site will walk you through the process step-by-step – it shouldn’t take too long provided you have the right documents to hand and meet the necessary criteria. Speaking of documents and criteria, what are they?

Who can apply?

In order to apply, you’ll need to be:

  • At least 15 years and 9 months old
  • Able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
  • Have been given permission to live in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) for at least 185 days

Before you apply, you’ll need a form of identification handy (a passport, for example), along with a list of addresses you’ve lived in for the past three years. You may be asked to provide your National Insurance number too, so have that ready just in case.

How much does it cost?

£34. The site accepts both debit and credit card payments from MasterCard, Visa, Electron and Delta, so you shouldn’t have any trouble there.

How long will my licence take to arrive?

Typically, around a week. With that said, the DVLA does experience busier periods so waiting times can vary a little.

How long will my provisional licence be valid for?

Your photocard licence will be valid for 10 years, so you should have plenty of time to take lessons and pass your test!

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