Apply for First Provisional Driving Licence

Getting a provisional driving licence is the first step to get on the road (excluding motorways). A provisional licence is further needed before booking the theory test; multiple choice questions, hazard perception and even at the time of the practical driving test.

The driver needs to be aware of a few instructions before applying for  a provisional licence from the DVLA, The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency:

When to Apply

The minimum age to apply is 15 years and 9 months.

L Plates:

‘L’ plates must be displayed at the back and front of the vehicle.

Provisional driving license requirements:


The candidate must be 17 years of age to drive by law but can apply for a provisional licence at the age of 15 years and 9 months.


The applicant must be able to read (with contact lenses or glasses if necessary) a standard license plate made after September 1st, 2001 from a distance of 20 meters.


The applicant must be a resident of The United Kingdom.

Medical condition:

The applicant must inform the DVLA if there’s any medical condition that may affect driving.

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How to Apply

There are two ways to apply for a provisional licence, the applicant either can apply on the DVLA website or apply through post by filling out the D1 form.

Apply for a provisional licence online:
The online application costs £34 and it takes up to one week to process. Additional requirements for applying online are:


  • Address of where the applicant has lived for three years.
  • National Insurance Number. It can be found on the national insurance card, pay slips or from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
  • A £34 fee is payable either by Debit card, Credit card, MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta card.
  • A proof of identification; a valid biometric passport or a birth certificate.

Apply for provisional licence via post:

The applicant needs to complete the D1 application form; it can either be taken from the DVLA form ordering service (website) or picked up by a selected post office.

The fee for postal application costs £43 and takes up to 3 weeks to process and deliver.

Required documents for the post application are:


  • A form of  identity or a valid UK biometric passport.
  • A colored passport style
  • A postal order or cheque of £43 application fee payable to DVLA. Note: Application fee must be paid via cheque or postal order only; cash payments will not be processed.
  • Documents from the UK should be sent to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD.

Applying for a provisional licence with non – UK documents:

  • In case of non – UK documents, the payment and documents should be sent to Swansea, SA99 1AF.

Provisional driving licence valid for how long

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The provisional driving licence lasts for 10 years, however; the driver has 2 years from the date to pass the written theory test to take the practical driving test. If the date is missed the driver has to re take the theory test.