So, you’ve just turned 17 and you’re eager to learn how to drive. Or, you could be someone that’s always been a bit nervous about learning, but you’ve decided to face your fears and go for it. Well, happy belated 17th birthday, and good for you that you’ve decided to get out there and learn how to drive!
However, you cannot do this without a provisional licence. If you do drive on the open roads without one and get stopped, you could be in a whole heap of trouble so make sure you follow the rules.
What You Will Need
Whether you like it or not, the DVLA will have to gather some personal information about you. The reason for this is they need to be sure that you are in fact, allowed to learn how to drive. Of course, any personal information will be protected and not passed on to anyone that shouldn’t have it.
So, what will you need?
- You must be a resident of the UK.
- Obviously, you need to be old enough to drive and can prove this.
- You must let the DVLA know if there are any problems with your eyesight. This won’t necessarily stop you from being able to apply, but additional checks might be needed. Be honest! It will come back on you if you’re not, and the reason for that is your eyesight will be checked at some point.
- You must have a valid UK passport or some other form of ID such as a certificate of Naturalisation or Residence Permit.
- You will be asked for your National Insurance number (if you have one).
- You will also be asked to provide your address, or addresses for the past 3 years.
- A valid credit or debit card will also be needed (if you’re applying online) because there is a charge of £50 for the licence.
How to Apply
Most people will apply online these days, and the DVLA have made it very easy for you to do as long as you have all the documents detailed above. You can however, still apply through the post by completing something called a D1 application form. These can be found at your local post-office.
If you do intend to apply by post make sure you have original documents to prove your identity. If you send copies, the application will be denied. You will also need to send a photograph. For this, it’s best to use a passport style photo. Other than that, you will just need to send either a cheque or postal order for the £50 charge. The address to send your completed form and other documentation is provided on the form.
For first time drivers all of this can seem pretty daunting, but there really is nothing to worry about (as long as you have nothing to hide). All the documents required are pretty standard and easy to get hold of. Just make sure you’re honest and within 2 to 6 weeks you’ll be able to book your first driving lesson.