How to get a UK driving licence

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Getting a UK driving licence requires a few easy steps:

  1. Apply for your licence,
  2. Book and pass your theory driving test, and
  3. Book and pass your practical driving test.


Step 1 - Apply for your licence


You can apply for your licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) only if your age is at least 15 years and 9 months old.

This step involves applying for the licence online and paying the fee of £34.

Required documents:

  1. A passport or valid ID,
  2. Address, and
  3. National Insurance Number.

You will receive your new provisional licence in the post within a week.


Step 2 - Book your theory test and take driving lessons


You can find a driving instructor and start taking driving lessons after receiving your licence. But if your age is less than the required age, you can only get lessons to drive on public roads with a full licence holder over the age of 21 in the car with you.

You must study the following books to prepare yourself for the theory and practice test.

  1. Driving - the essential skills
  2. The Highway Code
  3. Know your traffic signs


Step 3 - Book and pass your practical driving test


You can schedule your practical driving test if both you and your driving instructor are sure that you have gained enough lessons and have a high chance of passing. Before booking a driving test, you must first pass your theory test.


Renew your driving licence in the UK:


There is an expiry date mentioned in your driving licence. Photocard driving licences in the United Kingdom are valid for up to ten years and must be renewed before the expiry date.

Follow the steps to renew your driving licence:

  1. Online licence renews - This is only applicable to drivers in England, Wales, and Scotland. Northern Ireland follows a different procedure.
  2. You will be asked to submit some documents like a UK passport, addresses for the last 3 years, your current driving licence and your National Insurance number.
  3. Fill up the online application form and pay the fee of £14.
  4. After receiving your new licence, you will be required to post the old licence back to the DVLA.


What do you do about a lost driving licence in the UK?


If you lose your driving licence, you can replace it with no hassle. You can replace a lost or stolen driving licence by applying online, you just need to provide your driving licence number, National Insurance number and passport details. It charges £20, and the service is only available to citizens of the UK.

Your passport photo will be used for the new licence if your passport is valid and your driver's licence is about to expire within the next two years. You will be asked for permission to use the photo on your new licence.

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