A driving license in the UK is your ticket to the road, a way to get around and see the world. If you already have a license from your home country, it is valid to drive on for 1 year, after which you will need to apply for a UK license. The first step is applying for a provisional driver’s license.

How to get a provisional driving license in the UK

  1. The application is online

    Head over to the Official Gov UK site to apply for provisional driving license.

  2. You will to provide some information

    You’ll need to provide:
    a) An identity document unless you have a valid UK passport
    b) Addresses where you’ve lived over the last 3 years
    c) Your National Insurance number

  3. The payment for the application

    It costs £34 to apply for a provisional driving license in the UK.

  4. Confirmation and sending documents

    You’ll get a confirmation email from DVLA after you’ve applied, and you should get your license within a week of applying. If you don’t have a UK passport, one of the following ORIGINAL documents needs to be provided:
    a) a current and valid foreign passport
    b) a valid BRP
    c) a valid EU/EEA national identity card
    d) a travel document

Complete the application with all of the required information and submit it.

You’ll need to then send your identification document and a passport sized photo to the DVLA to complete the process. After you get your provisional license, you can start working towards getting a full license.

Preparing for the tests

The UK driving license exam has a theory and practical portion, and there are many different ways to prepare for the them. For the theory portion, most often suggested is the book The Official Highway Code or The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit app.

For the practical portion, you can look into local driving schools to help you get acquainted to the road of the UK. It’s up to you how many classes you wish to take, but definitely take as many as you think you need to feel comfortable. It’s important to ensure you are taught by approved driving instructors. You can find an instructor near you here. After you pass your exam, you must apply for a full driver’s license.

Booking the test

It’s best to book your theory and practical test via the GOV.UK website as the costs may be higher if you book elsewhere.

You can then complete the online application to apply for the tests. Keep in mind that if you intend on driving a manual transmission car, you will need to take your practical test on a manual or else you can only legally drive an automatic transmission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Good luck for your driving test and safe driving!

14 thoughts on “How to Apply for a UK Driving License”

  1. Abhayjit Hanjra

    I moved to UK on a tier 2 visa just 2 months ago.But I have been in the UK previously on a visitor visa for 6 months.
    When can I apply for a provisional driving license?

  2. Md. Ferdous Hossain

    In Bangladesh, we can obtain national/ normal driving license which have validity of 10 years for Bangladesh. We can obtain international license by a separate application which is valid for 1 year. Do I need to obtain international driving license to drive in UK or only national driving license for Bangladesh will be enough?

  3. I have international liscence ,is it valid for one year from date of issue or one year from UK entry??

  4. Thank you for the detailed information. As you explained, to one of the question writers that the UK driving license can be applied when the duration of stay is over 6 months. Could you please clarify if a visitor coming to the UK for 6 months or less, be allowed to drive using an International Driving Permit, say from Pakistan. Thank you very much.

  5. Hello, thank you for this wonderful information.
    I am from Uganda and i got to start my house job on 1/8/19. I hold a Uganda driving licence. I am wondering, if i apply for the temporary permit, am i allowed to drive as i process the permanent one? I have not been in the UK for more than a month

  6. Muhammad nadeem Tariq

    Secondly what can i write in column mentioning from how long ur staying in address as i first came in march n then left n now i came back in july

  7. Muhammad nadeem Tariq

    I have recently moved to uk as dependent in march .after staying for almost one month i go back n now in first week of july i came back again to uk.im eligible for provisional license ?

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