Tyger’s Diary: Applying for your Provisional Licence
Tyger Drew-Honey is an actor and star of BBC One's Outnumbered. Having recently turned 17, he's learning how to drive and we'll be sharing his experiences in an exclusive series of brand new video blogs.
Watch Tyger's first video and check out our step-by-step guide to getting your provisional driving licence.
1. Sort out your ID
All licences are issued by the Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) and you can apply up to 3 months before your 17th birthday.
To start with, you'll need to produce a valid form of identification, either a passport or birth certificate from the options below.
If you have a standard UK passport you'll need to post it to the DVLA with your application. Photocopies are not acceptable, so make sure you send the original document.
If your passport has a camera symbol on the front, you have one of the newer digital passports. In this case, the good news is you won't need to send your passport to the DVLA.
All you need to do is fill in your 9-digit passport number in the relevant section on the application.
Need your passport in the next month? Postpone applying for your licence in case your application gets delayed or lost in the post.
Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)
Birth and adoption certificates
If you don't want to send your passport or don't have one, original copies of your birth or adoption certificate can be used as a form of ID in combination with any one of these documents:
- National Insurance card or a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions showing your National Insurance number
- photocopy of the front page of a benefits book or an original benefits claim letter
- P45, P60 or pay slip
- college or university union card or school record
2. Get yourself a passport photo
You'll need to include a colour passport-style photo which has been certified in your application.
All this means is that a person from a recognised profession i.e. doctor, teacher, police officer, MP or librarian, who has known you for more than two years, needs to sign the back of your photo and complete a small section of the application form.
3. Fill out the application
There are two ways to apply; via the official government website, GOV.UK, or by post.
Applying online is quick and you'll only need to wait about 10 working days for your licence to arrive.
To apply by post either order the D1 application form direct from the DVLA or pick one up from the Post Office. Smaller branches don't always stock provisional driving licence applications, so check the Post Offices' online Branch Finder before making a special trip.
4. Track your progress
Keep an eye on the progress of your application on the official government website. Depending on how you applied, your licence can take two to three weeks, but if it's taking longer, this tool will give you an idea of what's going on.
You'll have to wait for your licence to arrive before starting any lessons.
5. Take to the road
Once your provisional driving licence hits the front door mat you're ready to grab your L-plates and get behind the wheel. Under supervision, of course.
You can now start your driving lessons and, when you're ready, you can book your driving theory test.
Put your paper licence somewhere safe as you'll need it for both your theory and practical driving tests.