Provisional license

Provisional license gives you the right to commence learning to drive a car, a moped or a motorcycle.

If you would like to obtain the driving skills to drive a car or ride a motorcycle, you can apply for your provisional license 3 months prior to your 17th birthday. Be aware that you may not start practice driving on the road until your licence has arrived and not until the day of your 17th birthday. If you would like to learn to ride a moped, you can apply for a provisional license at the age of 16. Be aware that you may not start practicing to ride a moped on the road until you have passed the compulsory basic training.

The provisional license is issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The easiest way to apply for a provisional license is by using the online application form, but you can also do it personally or by post.

Usually you will receive your provisional license within two weeks of your application. If you wish, you can check status of your application.

To apply online for a provisional license you need a valid debit or credit card for payment (Visa, Mastercard, Delta, Visa Electron and Solo cards are accepted), your UK passport if you have one and details of your previous addresses.

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Your provisional license is valid until your 70th Birthday. However, you have to renew the photo part of your license every 10 years.

Before getting behind the wheel you have to make sure:

• That you have received your provisional license and reached the appropriate age (17 years for cars and motorcycles or 16 years for mopeds).

• That the vehicle is taxed, insured and has a valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) test, if applicable.

• You are accompanied by either a registered driving instructor or someone over the age of 21 years who holds a current driving license in the relevant vehicle category and has for at least three years.

20 Oct 2012