How to apply for a provisional driving licence in the UK

comprehensive guide for applying for a provisional licence

Written By John Nicholson

March 5, 2023

Step-by-step guide for how to apply for provisional driving licence

If you are reading this, then you are learning how to apply for provisional driving licence. So, if you want to make the process easier you’re in the right place. Keep reading because by the end of this blog post you will know:

  •  How to apply for a provisional licence.
  • Common traps and how to avoid them.
  • What age you can apply for a provisional licence

The requirements to apply for a provisional licence

Before you can apply for a provisional licence, you need to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Are you at least 16 years old?
  • Do you want a guide on getting your licence quickly and cheaply?

If you answered “yes,” keep reading.

My name is John and I’m a trusted driving instructor in Darlington. I’m sharing the stories of my real students. You’ll understand how they learned to apply for a proivisional driving licence and achieve the result they wanted.

I receive multiple enquiries that come through in my local area, and guess what? Everyone who has contacted me is now a licensed driver.

My students get access to my free driving test checklist walking them through the provisional licence application process.

how to apply for provisional driving licence and pass

Are you eligible to apply for a provisional driving licence in the UK?

I have written this blog post to accompany the free learner driver checklist. If you haven’t yet downloaded this, you can do so below. You can read this blog post and gain a lot of valuable information. But, the checklist offers step-by-step guidance of what you should do to get your licence faster.

The free driving test checklist gives you clear guidance on applying for a provisional driving licence.

By opting for the free learner driver checklist you will learn:

  • How to apply for provisional licence without being scammed.
  • How to book your theory test.
  • The best materials for passing your theory and practical test the first time.
  • Get a free syllabus for learning how to drive.
  • How to save money when purchasing car insurance in the UK.

I highly recommend you claim your copy of the learner driver checklist. Now, let’s jump into how to apply for a provisional driving licence in the UK.

Applying for your provisional driving licence

This is the first step to learning to drive. Without a provisional licence you cannot legally operate a vehicle on the road. 

After applying for a provisional licence, it should take a few weeks to arrive in the post. Sometimes it will arrive sooner.

It’s hard to wait, but don’t begin driving without your provisional licence.

Don’t get scammed when applying for your provisional licence

Ensure you are applying for a provisional licence using the correct website. Unfortunately many scammers will write articles about applying for a prvisional licence. Their intent is to rank a webpage on Google so when you arrive at their page they promise you a cheap and easy path to applying for a licence. But, usually they charge double or rtiple the cost of applying for a licence.

Instead of letting them aply for you, always use the .gov website. Never let someone apply for you because they will have access to your personal data and could overcharge you. 

Your licence will cost £34 if you complete the application online.It will cost £43 to apply by post.

Click the link below to apply for your provisional licence on the official website. Then keep reading because once you apply you are not yet ready to start learning. 


Learn the basics of the road with a family member or driving instructor.

Now that you have your provisional licence, it is time to start learning the rules of the road. You may assume it is safe to hop in the car and start driving with a qualified driver. But in reality you need to take a few extra steps before you can drive legally and with peace of mind. 

Before you get behind the wheel, you need to have learner driver car insurance. Without insurance, you will be driving illegally.

You could receive a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points on your licence if you are caught driving a vehicle that you are not insured to drive. If the case goes to court you could get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.

Save yourself the hassle and drive legally. 

Once you’ve purchased insurance coverage using the above link, you can begin practising your driving skills. You should opt for one of the following types of insurance.

  • A 7-day policy is best to learn the basics of the road with friends or family before scheduling lessons with an instructor.
  • A 30-day policy is best for those who want to learn the basics with an instructor to build confidence.
  • A 12-month policy is best if you’re under 17 or will keep a provisional licence for at least a year before taking your practical.

You don’t need to practise with a driving instructor. You can practice with anyone as long they are over 21 years old and have driven for three years or more. You can learn about all types of car insurance in the UK if you need more clarification on which type of cover is best for you. 

Start studying driving test materials before applying for a provisional licence.

Every driving instructor uses a syllabus to teach a learner how to drive a car. I want you to succeed and feel at ease on the day of your exam.

Get the OFFICIAL DVSA theory test kit.

Did you know the DVSA theory test pass rate for 2019/2020 was 47.1%? Less than half of the people who took the test passed it…


I don’t want you to experience that. So, if you want to be one of the 5/10 people who will actually pass, you must study the official theory test materials from the DVSA.

This theory test kit has helped dozens of my students pass and it can help you too.

The official theory kit comes with flashcards for road signs, so you don’t feel confused on test day. Or, if you’re looking to help someone pass their exam, the official theory test kit is the perfect gift.

Grab your test kit to excel at the theory test, and avoid looking at the test computer with your mouth wide open, guessing and hoping your answer is right.

And for maximal results, get the app to accompany your study materials. The app will give you specific videos to follow regarding the hazard perception tests. These two study materials accompany each other. The former emphasises test questiosn menwhile the app focusses on hazard perception. 

Until now we have only talked about getting ready for the theory test as you apply for an obtain a provisional driving licence. OU need to learn how to drive after this. So, here is a short a list of manoeuvres from my learning-to-drive syllabus. If you would like the full list, please sign up for the learner driver checklist. 

If you’re learning with friends and family, knowing these manoeuvres will ensure you’re prepared to pass your driving practical the first time you take it.

The cockpit drill

The Cockpit Drill is the set of preliminary checks to ensure that your vehicle controls and ancillaries are functioning correctly and put on your seatbelt. If you fail to do the cockpit drill on test day, you’ll fail before taking off and may not even be allowed to drive. The drill takes a while to become familiar to you but once practised, it can be completed mentally in a matter of seconds.

There are five basic parts to the cockpit drill: doors, seat, steering, seatbelt and mirrors.

Use this acronym to remember what to check before taking off.

DSSSM – Don’t Start Steering, Stay Mindful.

DSSM driving manoeuvres for driving test

Moving Off

One of the hardest things about driving is stopping and starting safely, so once you have mastered this you will be well on your way to passing your test.

The first thing you need to do is get the car ready to move, and this is done by reaching the biting point. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  • Clutch down: using your left foot, engage fully and press down on the clutch pedal until it touches the floor.
  • Next, put the car in first gear.
  • Engage the accelerator: lightly press the accelerator pedal with your right foot until you hear a slight humming sound, keeping the gas at that level by not moving your foot (it is easier to stay in this position if you place your heel on the floor).
  • Reach the biting point: it is now time to slowly release the clutch with your left foot making sure you are listening to the engine to hear it reaching the biting point. You can detect this by a change in the sound of the engine, or you might see the front of the car lift – detecting the biting point will soon become familiar.

To learn all the manoeuvres you could see on your driving test so you can practice appropriately, download the free learner driver checklist.


We have covered everything you need to know when applying for a provisional licence in the UK. If you follow this guide you will avoid scams and falling prey to people who want to take your money. Also, you will learn valuable information that will prepare you for obtaining a full licence once your provisional arrives.

Did you like the article and find it helpful? If so, please consider sharing it by using the buttons at the left or bottom of your screen so we can help more people.


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