The Provisional Licence

You can apply for your provisional licence 3 months prior to your 17th birthday, by logging on to the DirectGov website and completing the DVLA online application form.
The cost of a licence applied for online is £34.00.

Link to Directgov website

When applying online you'll be asked to provide your 9 digit passport number allowing the DVLA to confirm your identity electronically.  If this isn't possible, or you don't want to use the photo on your passport you will need to send a photo by post; once you have completed your online application the DVLA will post your application completion form to you for you to return with your photo. 

When applying online, payment is made using a credit or debit card so have this ready before you start your application.


Alternatively you can make a postal application to the DVLA on a  D1 form obtainable from your local post office.
  After completing the D1 form you will need to write your nine digit passport number and your signature in the 'confirming your identity'  section of the D1 form.  If you hold a digital passport (the photo and signature appear on the same page) the DVLA can confirm your identity directly with the Identity and Passport Service.  If you don't have a digital passport the DVLA also accepts other documentation as confirmation of your identity (these are listed and explained on the Directgov website - see  link below).  Unlike the digital passport though, you will need to send your original identity documentation with your application.

Your postal application can be sent to the DVLA Swansea SA99 1AD along with:

  • Your original identity documentation (if required)
  • A passport sized colour photograph
  • The application fee (currently £43.00 by post)

The Post Office offers a check and send service for postal applications if this is preferred - further information is available from the Post Office.

You can expect to receive your licence normally within two weeks.

Full information on applying for a driving licence
is available on the Directgov website.


Link to Directgov website

Check your Eyesight  

This is now a good time to check your eyesight - to drive you must be able to read a number plate at a distance of at least 20m.  If glasses or contact lenses are needed for this they must always be worn when driving. 

Practicing with Family or Friends

Once you have your provisional licence and you are 17 then you can legally drive on public roads.  If practicing with family or friends you must be supervised by a person who is over 21 and who has held a full UK licence for at least 3 years. 
Check carefully that you are properly insured to drive the vehicle you choose to practice in.  L plates must be placed securely on the front and rear of the vehicle and should not be placed in the windscreen as they will obscure vision.