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?
- 1 Steps on How to Get a Driving Licence in the UK
- 2 How to Get a Driving Licence in the UK for Foreigners
- 3 Can a Foreigner Drive With a Non-GB Licence?
- 4 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.
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.
A provisional driving licence will allow you to drive a car, motorbike, moped, and other allowed vehicles.
- Visit GOV. UK’s Apply for your first provisional driving licence
- Click Start Now.
- Read the instructions before you start and click Continue.
- Answer the question – Have you been issued with a Great Britain (GB) provisional driving licence before? – and click Continue.
- 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.
- If you select Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey, or any other country, you cannot apply for a provisional driving licence.
- 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
- 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.
- Then, enter your UK passport number.
- Next, state if you have a National Insurance Number and enter the details.
- Afterwards, the page shows that the verification is complete.
- Follow the next instructions on the page. Alternatively, you can also apply using the old online service via DVLA.
- Pay the online application fee of £34 by debit or credit card.
- 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
5. Apply for a full 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.
- Complete the declaration on your driving test pass certificate.
- Get the form D1‘ application for a driving licence’ in a Post Office and fill out the details.
- Confirm your identity with legal documents.
- Submit a passport photograph for those who have a paper provisional driving licence.
- 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:
- Visit GOV. UK’s Exchange a foreign driving licence
- Click Start Now.
- State whether you are a resident of Great Britain. Those living in Great Britain for 185 days a year are considered residents.
- If you click No, you cannot exchange your driving licence for a British licence since it is only for residents.
- If you click Yes, state the type of vehicles you can drive.
- 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)
- 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.
- Visit GOV. UK’s Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB licence
- Click Start Now.
- State if you are a resident, a visitor, or a foreign student in Great Britain.
- State the type of driving licence you currently have.
- Select the region where you passed the test.
- 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.
- Driving in London is one of the best options if you plan to have a road trip within London.
- Pay attention to the Congestion Charge when driving in London.
- Before you decide to get a driving licence, you may want to know how much you are going to spend before applying for one. Check out our guide to how much for a driving licence.
- Choose one of the Best Driving Schools in London if you decide to learn to drive and get a full driving licence.
- You may want to know How Many Driving Lessons You Need to Pass the Driving Test.
- How much time should I spend on learning to drive? Read our guide to How Long Does It Take To Learn to Drive.
- Applying for the driving licence, but don’t know how to fill in the form? Download INF1D Booklet and read our guide to solve the problem.
- After applying for your driving licence, you may want to track your driving licence and know whether it is legal to drive if your Driving Licence Has Not Arrived.
- After getting your driving licence, you may be happy to learn more about it. Check out our guide to UK Driving Licence Explained.
- Want to check your driving licence online? Check out our guide to How To Check Status Of Driving Licence.
- If you are unlucky Losing your driving licence, it is not the world’s end, follow our detailed guide to Lost Driving licence UK | How To Replace And Apply.
- Can’t find out your Driving Licence Number? Don’t worry about it, here is a step-by-step guide to How to Get Driving Licence Number if Lost.
- Unfortunately, you get a Private Parking Ticket, but you don’t know how to deal with it. Should you pay for it? Check out our guide to Do You Have To Pay Private Parking Tickets.
- You may want to buy Car Insurance but don’t know how to buy it. Check out our guide to A Comprehensive Guide on Car Insurance in the UK.
- Can’t Remember your Car Insurance Company? Check out our guide to Who Am I Insured With.
- If you forgot your Car Insurance Expiry Date and want to find it out, here is our guide to 5 Ways To Check your Car Insurance Expiry Date.
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!