Provisional driving licence (How much is a provisional licence?)

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How much is a provisional licence UK?

The cost of a provisional licence UK depends on how you apply, online or by post:

  • An online application costs £34
  • A postal application will cost £43

Just think how many novelty air fresheners you could buy with that extra £9!

You can pay by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card.

Once you pass your test, you exchange your provisional for a full driving licence for free.

Watch out for scams!!!

Several third-party sites are offering to handle the provisional licence application process for you. The cost for a licence with these websites is often several times the value of the provisional licence itself for the privilege.

Be warned: these sites also offer many other, mostly unnecessary, services, such as vehicle tax. Don’t  be fooled into giving them your money.

As seen below, applying for a provisional licence is not hard. So don’t waste your hard-earned cash, and make sure you use the Gov.UK website.

How much is a provisional licence NI?

Unfortunately, a Northern Ireland provisional licence cost is £62.50, which is dearer than the remainder of the UK!

Who sorts out Driving licences in the UK?

In England, Scotland and Wales, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on the GOV.UK website.

Northern Ireland is the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) on the NI DIRECT website.

How to apply for a provisional driving licence online UK

You can apply online for your first provisional driving licence for a car, motorbike or moped from DVLA.

The simplest, quickest and cheapest way is to apply for a provisional licence online. To do so, you’ll need a valid biometric UK passport.

If you have a biometric passport, your provisional driving licence photo online is sorted, and you won’t need to provide a photo as DVLA use the same one from your passport.

However, if you don’t own a passport, you will need to apply by post by post, see below.

You must:

  • Be at least 15 years and nine months old.
  • Be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away.
  • Have legally lived in the UK for at least 185 days in the past 12 months.

To apply for a provisional license online, you’ll need:

  • A biometric passport for an online application.
  • Address for the last three years.
  • You may have to give additional information, such as your National Insurance number.
  • The licence fee of £34 to apply online. You can pay by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card.

Your licence should arrive within one week if you apply online. Unless DVLA requires additional checks, it may take longer.

Apply Provisional licence UK

APPLY GOV.UK

Apply for a provisional licence NI

Are you a resident of Northern Ireland? If so, you’ll need to use a different website and apply to nidirect for a provisional licence.

You can apply for your NI provisional driving licence by completing the DL1 application form from the main NI Post Offices.

You will need to enclose original documents confirming your identity and a passport-style colour photograph.

How much is a provisional licence ni

Unfortunately, a NI provisional licence cost is £62.50, which for some reason unknown to us is dearer than for the remainder of the UK.

Full info on how to apply NI

Click the button below to find out how to apply for a provisional licence in NI.

Apply Provisional licence NI

APPLY NI DIRECT

What do you need for a provisional licence UK? Infographic

Applying for UK provisional driving licence

How do I apply for a provisional driving licence by post UK?

Applying for a provisional driving licence by post is not as straightforward as an online application. You’ll need a D1 form, which you can pick up from most Post Office branches, or the DVLA form ordering service.

To apply for a provisional licence by post, you’ll need:

  • Completed D1 form.
  • Cheque or postal order, payable to the DVLA for £43.
  • Original form of acceptable ID documents
  • Passport-size photo.

How long does a provisional licence take to be delivered by post?

When you apply for a provisional licence a postal application can take up to three weeks to arrive.

However, the process is often within a week when you apply online.

Full info on how to apply with the Post Office

Click the button below to find out how to apply for a provisional licence by post.

Apply Provisional licence by post UK

D1 FORM POST OFFICE

EU, EEA and other foreign nationals applying for a Provisional Licence UK & NI

You don’t have to be a UK citizen to apply for a UK provisional driving licence. However, you will need proof you have legally lived in the UK for at least 185 days within the past 12 months.

There is no particular place for foreigners to get a UK provisional driving license.

You apply like you would if you were 16 years old and just learning to drive!

You must provide your addresses for the last three years—whether UK based or abroad.

8,000,000

The total number of provisional driving licences registered with DVLA for the UK & Northern Ireland is over 8,000,000.

Source: The RAC Foundation, 2019

At what age can you start driving with a provisional licence UK & NI?

You can apply for a provisional licence three months before your 16th birthday.

Provisional licence age restrictions

  • At 16, you can start riding a moped or a quad bike.
  • You can only start driving a car at the age of 17.
  • If you receive the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of the Personal Insurance Payment (PIP), you can start driving a car at 16.

What can you do with a provisional licence UK at 16?

A provisional driving licence can come in handy even if you’re too young to drive.

Your provisional is an excellent form of ID. Banks accept the provisional UK licence as proof of your identity and address.

Also, when you buy a lottery ticket, the licence will provide proof of age.

Can I apply for my child’s provisional driving licence?

We have never been sure what that question means precisely, but many parents ask it.

Of course, the application needs to be in Danny or Shannon’s name, but more often, it is a parent that does the form filling and makes the payment.

Warning!

Don’t be fooled into paying for your provisional licence through a third party website. There’s no benefit, and they could charge you up to three times the original price. Learning to drive is expensive enough already!

What ID do I need for a provisional licence UK & NI?

When applying for a provisional driving licence, it would help if you used a UK biometric passport as your ID. It’s much quicker and will save you from having to apply by post.

However, if you don’t have a biometric passport, the following forms of ID support a provisional licence application.

  • Any valid and current passport.
  • BRP (Biometric residence permit).
  • UK certification of naturalisation.
  • A European Union or European Economic Area national identity card.
  • Travel document.

Be aware that, if applying by post, you must send in the original ID document. No photocopies.

Track your provisional driving licence application online UK

You can track your provisional licence application and make the tricky part of waiting a bit easier. If you applied for your licence online, it should take a week to get to you (three weeks if you used the post).

Thankfully, you can track the progress of your licence. All you’ll need is your application reference number, and you’ll be able to find out how long it will be until you can get behind the wheel.

How long does a provisional licence last?

A provisional driving licence lasts for ten years. After passing your theory test, you have two years to take your practical driving test.

Do I need to have my eyesight tested before I drive?

You will have your eyesight tested before you learn to drive. The sight test will be at the beginning of your first driving lesson. Your driving instructor will ask you to read a car number plate 20 metres away. If you fail, you won’t be allowed to drive.

We recommend seeing an optician beforehand just in case and, if necessary, buying contact lenses or glasses to make sure you meet the correct standard.

Compare learner driver insurance

Learner Driver Insurance also is known as provisional insurance allows you to practice in your parents or a friend’s car without risking the owners No Claims Bonus

L plate

What is learner driver insurance, and why you may need it?

Once you are 17 and have your provisional licence, you can start your driving lessons as well as driving practice with a supervising driver, such as a parent.

When you take driving lessons from a driving instructor, the cost of your learner driver insurance is in the price you pay for your tuition.

However, if you are lucky and receive extra driving practice from your parents or friends driving their car, you will require learner insurance.

You have a couple of options either get your name on their insurance policy or take out personal learner driver insurance.

Learner driver insurance, also called Provisional insurance, is specifically for driving practice with a supervised driver.

A significant advantage of having your own learner driver insurance is that you protect the car owner’s No Claims Bonus in an accident.

Do learner drivers get accepted for car finance?

Many people may say it’s a bit early to be thinking of buying a car before you pass the driving test, and quite frankly, we agree.

However, most learner drivers are young and, as we know, when you’re young, you’re keen to get on with things as soon as possible.

More learner drivers than you might expect are looking to finance a car whilst still holding a provisional licence.

Not surprisingly, financing a vehicle whilst learning can be considerably dearer and more challenging to get accepted than if you have a full driving licence. But it is possible!

Crucial: don’t get penalty points on your licence before you’ve even received it

Nothing could be worse than ruining your shiny new provisional driving licence before it’s yet come through the letterbox.

Don’t even think of driving before you receive your provisional licence. You could be fined up to £1,000 and points on your new licence. It’s not worth the risk, so don’t do it.

You could still lose your licence even if you pass your test

If a driver has six or more penalty points on their provisional licence, they carry over to their full driving licence when they pass their test and remain on their driving record for four years after the offence.

Also, in the first 24 months of having a full licence, their licence will be revoked if that driver gets just one more penalty point. If this happens, you’ll need to start the application process again, including applying for a provisional licence and taking a theory and practical test.

Why wait? Start revising for your theory test!

You don’t need a provisional licence to start revising for your theory test. Do yourself a favour and get a head start on your revision. We recommend the official DVSA theory test revision guides. You’ll be saying bye-bye to those L plates in no time!