Apply for a provisional driving licence

Before you learn to drive, you must apply for a provisional driving licence. If you already hold a valid full driving licence and want to add a higher category, you must first apply for provisional entitlement in the category you require.

Please remember to be alert to unofficial websites offering online driver licensing. You cannot apply for a Northern Ireland First Provisional driving licence online.

Apply for provisional entitlement for car, motorcycle or moped

You can apply for your provisional driving licence by completing the DL1 application form which is available from main Post Office branches or MOT test centres.

You will need to enclose original documentation confirming your identity, a passport style colour photograph and the fee of £62.50.

Send your completed application and payment to:

Driver & Vehicle Agency
Driver Licensing
Coleraine County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TB

Alternatively, you may submit your application at any one of the seven MOT test centres that provide a checking service. The test centres offering this service are situated in Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast , Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Londonderry (New Buildings) and Omagh or Coleraine County Hall.

The provisional licence has a green plastic photocard and a green and pink paper counterpart.

How to pay

Please do not send cash, bank notes or blank postal orders with your application; the DVA can't be held responsible if they go missing.

  • make cheques or postal orders payable to 'DVA’
  • do not post-date your cheque, DVA can't accept it
  • sign and date your cheque and make it out for the correct amount
  • the amount written in words must match the amount written in figures
  • write your full name, address, date of birth and/or driver's number if known on the back
  • if you underpay, your application will be returned to you for the correct payment
  •  if you pay in person at one of the listed DVA test centres you can also use a debit or credit card

Applying for provisional entitlement for larger vehicles, buses or minibuses

If you currently hold a valid full licence and want to add provisional entitlement to drive large vehicles, minibuses or buses, you must complete the DL2 application form and the DLM1 medical report form. These are available from main Post Office branches or MOT test centres.

The DLM1 must be completed by a doctor and you should ensure that all the relevant questions are answered. The doctor will normally charge you for completing the report and those registered for VAT are also required to charge the current rate on top of their fee.

Following a change in driver licensing regulations, anyone who is under insulin control for their diabetes or has diabetes treated by tablets in the Sulphonylurea or Glinide class, may apply for or renew vocational entitlements to drive categories C1, C1E, D1, D1E, C, CE, D or DE.

There are three stages you need to go through when applying for or renewing the vocational entitlements shown above. Details of these stages can be found at the link below:

If you are applying for a passenger-carrying vehicle entitlement (PCV), that is minibuses or buses, a Basic Disclosure Certificate is also required. Further information on the Basic Disclosure Certificate is available at the link below:

You will also need to send a passport style colour photograph, your current driving licence and the fee of £20.*

* Payable upon application for your first provisional entitlement in category C and your first provisional entitlement in category D.

The address to send this information to is:

Driver & Vehicle Agency
Driver Licensing
Coleraine County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TB

Return of supporting documents

The driving licence fee includes return of your supporting documents (where applicable) by second class post. If you would like your supporting documents returned by secure delivery, please supply an appropriate pre-paid Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope.

Please note, the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) will not provide compensation for any loss or delay resulting from the use of second class post.

DVA cannot guarantee to return your documents by a specified date, for example, a holiday.

When to expect your licence

The DVA aims to deliver your driving licence to you within three weeks of receiving your application. It may take longer if your health or personal details have to be checked.

You need to wait for your new licence to arrive before driving. Please allow at least three weeks for your licence to arrive before contacting the DVA.

What if you do not receive your licence

If your driving licence has not been delivered within four weeks, you should contact DVA enquiries.

If you don't inform DVA within eight weeks that your licence has not arrived, you must apply for a duplicate licence and pay the relevant fee.

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