The steps to getting your licence
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On your first lesson you will be asked to produce your Provisional Driving Licence. You can apply for your licence up to 3 months before your 17th Birthday but it is only valid when you turn 17 and you will not be able to take lessons on a public road or take your theory test until then.
You can apply for a provisional licence by completing and sending the application form (Form D1) which can be obtained from your local Post Office, however, you can also apply online from the official 'Gov UK' site.
Applying for your licence online requires that:
- You are a resident of Great Britain
- You meet the minimum age requirement
- Your eyesight is of the required standard
- You are not currently prevented from driving for any reason
- You can pay by Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, Electron, Delta or Solo debit or credit card
- You have a valid UK passport or another formal form of identity
- You can provide addresses of where you have lived over the last three years
A photo is required for your licence and the DVLA can use your passport photo if you have one. If you don't, or you want to use a different one, this will need to be sent to the DVLA separately.
You can find costs for all licence types here
Although you may already be taking lessons or even be ready to take your practical test, you can not apply for your practical test until you have passed the theory test.
The theory test is made up of two parts; a multiple choice questionnaire and a hazard perception video test. You will need to pass both parts to get your certificate.
Only once you have passed this can you apply to take your practical driving test.
The actual theory test questions are no longer published which means that those found in revision materials of any kind will give you an idea of the questions and answers to expect but will NOT be exactly the same as those you will face during the test itself.
This change was introduced to ensure you gain a better understanding of driving theory rather than simply memorising questions and answers.
Before you start the hazard perception part of the test, you'll be shown a short video clip about how it works before being shown a series of video clips on a computer screen. The clips feature everyday road scenes and contain at least one developing hazard - but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction and what you need to do is identify these as early as possible to get as high a score as possible (max 5 per clip).
Below is one of the new official computer generated clips
View DSA video with info on the theory test
Once you've passed your theory test, the final step to obtaining your full driving licence is the practical test.
Once your driving skills have reached a suitable level, and providing you have passed your theory test in the last 2 years, you can then look to get your practical test booked. How far in advance this needs to be done will vary depending on the number of others applying at the same time but this will be discussed with you when appropriate.
'Independent driving' is a section of the test where you will be asked to follow signs to a particular location to see how well you deal with driving without direction from the examiner.
Book your practical test . Please note you should always check with your instructor before doing this yourself.
Go to the official Gov site for more information on the practical driving test and many other aspects involved in learning to drive.
Official DSA Video
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