5 Steps to Get a Driving Licence in UK | A Complete Step-by-Step Guide on the Application Process

Are you a UK resident needing a driving licence in the UK? Or are you a foreigner desiring to drive in Great Britain?

With a driving licence, residents can have the convenience of travelling and more job opportunities, whereas foreigners can enjoy the experience and excitement of driving in a new place.

Whether you are a resident or a foreigner, the first thing you need is a valid driving licence if you want to drive in the UK.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about the complete steps to take to get a driving licence.

In summary, the article tackles the following topics:

  • Steps on How to Get Driving License in the UK
  • How to Get a Driving Licence in the UK for Foreigners
  • Can a Foreigner Drive With a Non-GB Licence?
  • Ready to Drive in the UK?

Steps on How to Get a Driving Licence in the UK

Getting a driving licence in the UK is not as simple as sending an application. Like most countries, there are certain tests to pass and requirements to meet before you can apply for a driving licence.

Keep in mind that the UK has two types of licences: a provisional driving licence and a full driving licence.

A provisional driving licence is what you will need when you practise driving before taking the theory and driving tests.

A provisional licence


However, you can only drive with a provisional driving licence on roads, not motorways.

Moreover, it is also mandatory that you are supervised by another driver who has had a full driving licence for three years and is above 21 years old.

After passing the tests, you can then apply for a full driving licence, which is the official document that legally allows you to drive on motorways and public roads without supervision.

However, keep in mind that your vehicle should have unexpired car insurance. Driving without car insurance is illegal, and you will be fined.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting a driving licence in the UK.

1. Check if you meet the legal requirements to get a provisional driving licence.

  • 15 years and 9 months old and above
  • ability to read a vehicle number plate from a 20-metre distance
  • can legally live in Great Britain for a minimum of 185 days (England, Scotland and Wales)

2. Apply for a provisional driving licence

This step is for those who have not yet applied for a provisional driving licence in the past.

If you already have one, you can simply renew, replace, or reapply for a provisional driving licence.

A provisional driving licence will allow you to drive a car, motorbike, moped, and other allowed vehicles.

  1. Visit GOV. UK’s Apply for your first provisional driving licence
  2. Click Start Now.
  3. Read the instructions before you start and click Continue.
  4. Answer the question – Have you been issued with a Great Britain (GB) provisional driving licence before? – and click Continue.
  5. Next, choose your current address from the options (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey, or Any other country) and click Continue.
  6. If you select Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey, or any other country, you cannot apply for a provisional driving licence.
  7. If you click England, Scotland, or Wales, the page asks:
  • if you have a UK passport
  • if you intend to live in the UK for more than 185 days in a year
  • if you have lived outside the UK in the past year
  • if you have any current disqualifications from driving in the UK
  • if you meet the eyesight requirement
  • if you have a medical condition
  1. After answering the above questions, you will confirm your identity by inputting your details, including name, date of birth, sex, address, UK Postcode, duration of residence in the address, and country you were born.
  2. Then, enter your UK passport number.
  3. Next, state if you have a National Insurance Number and enter the details.
  4. Afterwards, the page shows that the verification is complete.
  5. Follow the next instructions on the page. Alternatively, you can also apply using the old online service via DVLA.
  6. Pay the online application fee of £34 by debit or credit card.
  7. Wait for the provisional driving licence to be delivered in seven days or more if there are additional document reviews.

3. Practice driving after getting a provisional driving licence

Check out some of the best driving schools and learn with a professional instructor.

4. Pass the theory and driving tests

To help you better prepare for the tests, you can refer to our guides on driving in London, parking in London, Congestion Charge, and penalties and offences.

A theory test costs £23, whereas a driving test costs £62 up to £75.

5. Apply for a full driving licence

uk driving licence

You can immediately apply for your full driving licence once you pass the theory and driving tests.

Keep in mind that you need to do this within two years of passing the test, or else you will have to take another test.

  1. Complete the declaration on your driving test pass certificate.
  2. Get the form D1‘ application for a driving licence’ in a Post Office and fill out the details.
  3. Confirm your identity with legal documents.
  4. Submit a passport photograph for those who have a paper provisional driving licence.
  5. Submit your provisional licence and other necessary documents to the DVLA at DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BN.

How to Get a Driving Licence in the UK for Foreigners

If you are a foreigner with a non-British driving licence, you can exchange it for a British licence.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Visit GOV. UK’s Exchange a foreign driving licence
  2. Click Start Now.
  3. State whether you are a resident of Great Britain. Those living in Great Britain for 185 days a year are considered residents.
  4. If you click No, you cannot exchange your driving licence for a British licence since it is only for residents.
  5. If you click Yes, state the type of vehicles you can drive.
  6. Choose which region you passed the test (European Union, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man, A ‘designated country or territory’, or Other)
  7. After selecting the location, the page leads you to the final answer, whether you can exchange your licence or not. It will also show the steps on how you can apply and the specific fees involved.

Can a Foreigner Drive With a Non-GB Licence?

If you cannot get a British driving licence, most foreigners can drive in the UK for one year using their foreign driving licence.

However, before driving with a non-GB (Great Britain) licence, you need to use GOV. UK’s online service first to check if you can drive in the UK.

Follow these steps to check your eligibility to drive as a foreigner.

  1. Visit GOV. UK’s Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB licence
  2. Click Start Now.
  3. State if you are a resident, a visitor, or a foreign student in Great Britain.
  4. State the type of driving licence you currently have.
  5. Select the region where you passed the test.
  6. The page leads to the results page and indicates how long you can drive in the UK with a non-GB licence, depending on your answers.

Further Reading for Driving in the UK.

Ready to Drive in the UK?

Have you read the instructions above and are ready to drive? Make sure you have completed the requirements and have the necessary documents.

If you want to know about the status of your application, or if your driving licence has not arrived after a long time, you can always track your driving licence application. Moreover, be prepared to pay fees.

Do you have any tips and suggestions for fellow readers? Don’t forget to write them down in the comments sections below!

4 thoughts on “5 Steps to Get a Driving Licence in UK | A Complete Step-by-Step Guide on the Application Process”

  1. Dear sir, i have applying online for provisional driver license since on 16 of february 2023 which i have not received the provision form.


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