To get your first provisional driving licence, you’ll need to apply to the DVSA. You can apply for your provisional either:
- Online – Applying for your provisional licence online is quicker (you should get your licence within one week) and cheaper (current cost is £34). Visit the DVSA website to apply for your provisional driving licence (link opens a new window).
- By post – If you prefer to apply for your provisional driving licence by post, you will need to first order the D1 application form (link opens a new window). Alternatively, you’ll be able to pick up the D1 application form from most branches of Post Office. It costs £43 to apply by post and you’ll receive your provisional licence within 3 weeks.
Where to Send DVLA D1 Application Form
Send the DVLA D1 application form along with payment to:
- DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD (if all your documents are from the UK).
- DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AF (if any of your documents are from outside the UK).
Provisional Driving Licence Identity Documents
As part of applying for your provisional driving licence, you’ll be required to show proof of identification. This can be in the form of:
- A valid UK biometric passport – Since 6th March 2006, all passports issued within the UK are now biometric, also known as electronic passports. These passports contain a chip that hold facial biometric information about you. You can tell if you have a biometric passport by simply looking at the front cover under the PASSPORT text. If you see a rectangle camera logo (look at main page image), then it’s a biometric passport. If you have a valid passport that has your photograph and signature on the same page, you do not need to send this in. Instead, supply the DVLA with the 9-digit passport number instead. If you’re from Northern Ireland, different rules may apply (link opens in new window).
- Other forms of identification – If you do not have a valid passport, other forms of identification will be required. See Identity documents needed for a driving licence application (link opens in new window).
When Can I apply for a Provisional Driving Licence?
You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you are 15 years and nines months of age, though different rules apply depending on your age and what you want to drive.
What Can I Drive?
- At 16 years of age, you can ride a moped on a public road once you have Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).
- At 17 years of age, you can learn to drive a car. The same licence allows you to learn to drive, you do not need to reapply.
Residency and Photo ID
Part of the application process will require you to inform the DVLA of the addresses you’ve held over the last three years and to provide a colour passport-style photo.
National Insurance Number
If you know your national insurance number, you’ll be required to provide this information. If you’re not sure what your national insurance number is, see find a lost national insurance number (page opens in new window).
In order to drive, you must be able to read a new style car number plate (on cars from 1 September 2001) from 20 metres away. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to do this, you must also wear them while driving.
Another eyesight standard for driving requires you to have visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale, again with glasses or contact lenses if required. Visual acuity is the detail you see in your central vision. You must also have an adequate field of vision. Visual field is how much you can see around your central vision while looking directly ahead. If you’re unsure whether your eyesight meets the minimum standards, have an eyesight test.