How to Apply for a UK Driving License

Updated April 07, 2017

Driving licenses in the UK are handled by two agencies. In England, Wales and Scotland licenses are granted by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, while in Northern Ireland licenses are granted by the Driver & Vehicle Agency. Licenses are available in two tiers. A provisional license allows you to learn to drive with restrictions on the type of vehicle and places you may drive, and a full license allows you to drive most vehicles which do not require special classifications.

Apply for your provisional license. This can be done online (see Resources) or by completing form D1, available at a Post Office or through Directgov's form ordering feature. Complete the application form and pay the £50.00 fee. If you do not have a UK passport, you will also need to send a photo to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD.

Book your theory and practical tests. This can be done online (see Resources), by calling +44-870-010-1372 or by filling in and returning form DL26 and TT26 from the Driving Standards Agency. Once you have passed these tests you will receive a Pass Certificate, which can be exchanged for a full driving license.

Exchange your Pass Certificate for a full driving license within two years of passing your theory and practical tests. If you do not exchange the certificate within two years, you will need to pass the tests again. Submit a new form D1 along with your provisional license and pass certificate, plus evidence of your identity such as a passport, immigration identity card or naturalisation certificate. This can be done in the same manner as the initial application for a provisional license. You will then be issued with a full photocard license.

Things You'll Need

  • Form D1 from the DVLA/DVA
  • Identity document (e.g., passport)
  • Photograph
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About the Author

Gwen Wark is a freelance writer working from London, Dublin, and New York. She has been a published writer since 1998 with works appearing in both university and local publications. Her current writing projects include SEO, web copy, print and advertising features. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in history from Rutgers University.