How to get Provisional License in UK 2024: Comprehensive Guide

Experiencing the road as a new driver is super exciting as well as challenging for all of us. Have you ever been scared about merging onto a busy highway for the first time or trying to parallel park in a tight space? These are frequent experiences for newcomer drivers, and it’s quite normal to be nervous.

The initial step of this driving journey is to obtain a provisional license in UK. It is necessary element for learning to drive in the road under the supervision of 3 years experience drivers holding UK full driving license. It is crucial for new drivers to understand the process on how to obtain the provisional license, convert it to full driving license and many more.

In this article, we will help you to acknowledge to safely and responsibly navigate the road in UK. You will learn about the rights and limitations, preparation of theoretical test, idea of practical Driving test, converting provisional to full driving license, renewal and updates and overall aspects of provisional license.

What is Provisional License in UK?

A provisional license is a learner permit issued by the government body called DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) which allows new drivers to drive a vehicle on public road under supervision. They are also called learner license. There are some eligible criteria which include:

  • Aged 15 years and 9 months for provisional license of moped and 17 years for provisional license of car.
  • Able to read the vehicle plate number from 20 meters away to ensure you have good eyesight. (You may use glasses or lenses if required)
  • residing in UK for more than 185 days in last 12 months before you start to apply.
apply Provisional License in UK 2024

How can you apply for Provisional License?

You can apply the provisional license from government’s official website. You need to provide the basic information such as the addresses where you have been staying since last 3 years, your identity proof and national insurance number. You also required to provide photograph and signatures (it can be used from your passport if they contains it) which will be used in provisional license.

  • Choose if you had applied before or it is the first time you are applying for provisional license.
  • Select the region you live in.
  • Choose if you are willing to stay more than 185 days in a year in UK or not.
  • Choose if you have been restricted for driving in provide regions or not.
  • Choose the option for you eyesight legal requirements.
  • Choose whether you have any medical issues or not.
  • You can now create a driver and vehicles account which have a lots of benefits on checking MOT expiring dates, tax rates, types of vehicles you could drive, penalty points and so on.
  • After that, You need to click ‘Yes’ for the identity documents and continue
  • You can then take part in research or just skip
  • Provide your personal information and continue.
  • Enter your date of birth and continue.
  • After that, you need to select the type of document you want to use for identification.

If you are using the documents which are registered for verification of immigration status, the you will be redirected to older version of online process. You have to retype the personal details, all addresses for last 3 years, national insurance number, some other security questions. After that you have to click for declaration and pay £34. When you complete your application, you need to wait for application form that will be posted to your address by DVLA within 1 week which you have to fill up and send it back to DVLA for further procedures.

What are the rights and limitations of Provisional License?

The limitation of provisional license in UK is that it ensures that you can learn to drive but need supervision of person holding full driving license for 3 years who is above 21 years old. The vehicle which is used to learn driving must be equipped with L-plates on front and back side which is clearly visible so that other drivers may give priority or help building confidence from where everyone faced through. On the other hand, provisional license serves as identity proof and legal authority to learn driving.

Learning driving

After receiving the provisional license, you have to start to learn driving under supervision of qualified drivers or join driving classes. You will gradually increase to build on confidence, take right judgments, and navigate the road properly. Try to learn driving in less traffic roads in your initial phase and later you can drive on normal roads because road safety is very important. Be safe, drive safe and be responsible driver because you and the people around you will be directly affected how you drive in road.

Beside of joining classes, you can also check the best tips on driving on platform like You tube, where lots of people share a easy techniques along with their experiences. Make yourself known about the parts of vehicles and also learn on how to fix minor issues which will save a lot of money in future.

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Preparation of Theoretical Test

In addition to helping you pass your examinations, well-prepared theoretically helps you comprehend and be safe in any circumstance you may encounter while driving. Before the test, make sure you are well rested and try your best to remain focused during your test. You will be getting two sets of tests, one of them is MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and next is hazard perception. Both tests should be passes in order to considered successful in test.

You have to score 86% in order to pass in MCQs which means 43 out of total 50 questions must be correct. The topics covered are highway codes, traffic signs, and driving or riding essential skills. After this test, you will be facing the hazard perceptions where you have to identify the upcoming hazards and your reaction on it. You will be shown 14 different videos in which 13 of them are having one hazards and one video clips has 2 hazards in it. You score 5 points for each successful identification of hazards. You have to score around 60% to pass this test which means 45 out of 75.

After you have passed both sets of tests, you have 2 years to pass out your driving test otherwise it will be invalid and you have to re-seat for your theory test. You can practice the theory test through this link.

Practical Driving Test

On your first go, the practical driving exam might be a little challenging, so try to approach it normally. If you are success, you will get your driving license on hand and if you are unsuccess, you can try next time with more experience. Don’t regret if you couldn’t succeed if first attempt because if you go on road you will be gaining more confident because you have to face the situations whenever you are on road.

The test might last 40 minutes long so ensure you are prepared for that long time. The instructor may ask to read the car plate number 20 meters away to check your eyesight, so if you are using glasses or lens, don’t forget to use them. He/she may ask you one of the safety questions. You will then drive along the roadway for around 20 minutes under the instruction of examiner or according to the road signs whichever is applicable.

Don’t worry if you are going in wrong direction, because the people in road will understand you are new driver and give you priority. Just focus on the safety because it is the most important thing the examiner is seeking from you. He/she may ask you Safety question such as to show how you can turn the high beam headlight or wash windscreen.

Next, you may be told to do reverse in and drive out or drive in and reverse out in parking bay. You may be asked to do parallel parking, pull up at the side of the road and do emergency stop. Try to perform as per the instruction and also check for the safe side. If will know from the examiner if you have passed or not. If you have no major fault, or dangerous mistakes and has only few minor mistakes, you may success because you never know what you may have faced on the road during the test.

You can have a look on following video to get information about tell me and show me questions that might be asked by examiner.

tell me, show me questions for driving license test

Upgrading from Provisional License to Full Driving License in UK

As there is limitation with the provisional license, you have to upgrade it into the full driving license in some point of the journey. From the point view of jobs also, you need to hold full driving license in order to drive the vehicles for carrying out official works. If you successfully pass your practical test, you will be able to obtain the full driving license. This will provide you freedom to drive on your own without the supervision of experienced drivers.

Renewal and Updating Provisional License

As provisional license comes with expiry dates, you need to renew to keep it valid which is required after ten years. You can renew it through online or via post office with few paper works. Also, it is necessary to notify the DVLA if there is any changes with your medical condition and your personal details.


In this session, we have briefly discussed about Provisional License in UK and related contents. Best wishes for your new driving journey. Always consider safety of yours and others, follow traffic signals, indicators and help other new drivers to build confidence by giving them priorities.

If you have any query, suggestions or need article on your desired topics, you can write it down in the comment box. You can share this content with your friends or family members if they are planning to start the driving journey in the UK.

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