Applying 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. You can apply online or by post.
Apply for a provisional driving licence online
You can apply for your provisional car, motorcycle and tractor driving licence online at the link below.
If you apply online, you'll get your provisional driving licence much sooner than if you apply by post.
Apply for a provisional licence by post
You can apply for your provisional driving licence by completing the DL1 application form which is available from main Post Office branches
You will need to enclose original documents confirming your identity, a passport style colour photograph and the fee of £62.50.
- Identity documents and photographs guidelines
Send your filled in application and payment to Driver Licensing at the address in the link below:
The provisional licence has a green plastic photocard and a green and pink paper counterpart.
How to pay
Do not send cash, bank notes or blank postal orders with your application; the Driver & Vehicle Agency (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 right 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 right payment
Applying for provisional entitlement for larger vehicles, buses or minibuses
If you hold a valid full licence at this time and want to add provisional entitlement to drive large vehicles, minibuses or buses, you must fill in the DL2 application form and the DLM1 medical report form. DL2 application forms are available from main Post Office branches.
The DLM1 (medical report form) must be filled in by a doctor and you should make sure that all the relevant questions are answered. The doctor will normally charge you for filling in the report and those registered for VAT will also need to charge the current rate on top of their fee.
After a change in driver licensing rules, 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.
For drivers with diabetes on insulin or other medications, 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 needed.
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 at the link below:
Return of supporting documents
The driving licence fee includes the return of your identity documents (where applicable) by second class post. If you would like your supporting documents returned by secure delivery, include the right pre-paid Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope with your application.
The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) will not give compensation for any loss or delay resulting from the use of second class post.
The DVA cannot guarantee to return your documents by a set date, for example, a holiday.
When to expect your licence
The DVA aim 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. Allow at least four weeks for your licence to arrive before contacting the DVA.
If you don't receive your licence
If your driving licence has not been delivered within four weeks, you should email the DVA at the email address in the link below:
If you don't let the DVA know within eight weeks that your licence has not arrived, you must apply for a replacement licence and pay £30.00. Follow the link below to find out how to apply:
Provisional licence period
A provisional driving licence will expire (when the date at 4b on the plastic card part of your driving licence has passed) every 10 years.