A provisional driving licence is a leaner driver’s permit that allows you to drive on all UK public roads while supervised by an adult that meets the legal requirements. The legal requirements for supervising a learner driver are as follows:
All UK roads except motorways:
- A fully qualified driving instructor (ADI) or,
- A trainee, or part qualified driving instructor (PDI) or,
- Any person who is over 21 years of age and has held a full driving licence for 3 years or more for the type of vehicle they intend to supervise you in (for example, if you are being supervised in a manual car, they must have a full manual car licence).
- UK motorways
- A fully qualified driving instructor (ADI), using a vehicle that is equipped with dual controls.
As well as learning to drive, a provisional driving licence is also required for booking and taking the theory test and practical driving test.
While learning to drive, you are legally permitted to carry passengers, but the person supervising your driving must be seated in the front passenger seat.
Regulation size L plates must also be clearly displayed on your vehicle while the learner is driving. One must be affixed to the front, the other the rear of the vehicle.
You can only start learning to drive once you have received your provisional driving licence in the post. The provisional licence allows you to learn to drive in a manual or automatic car – the choice is yours.
Can You Drive an Automatic Car on a Provisional Driving Licence?
Yes, you can drive an automatic car on a provisional driving licence as well as a manual car. If you pass the driving test in an automatic car, you’ll be entitled to drive automatic or semi-automatic cars only. If you pass in a manual car, you’ll be entitled to drive manual cars, plus automatic and semi-automatic cars.