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Driving test time

What happens after the test pass?

Go team! You've all done a pretty amazing thing. Next, there are a few pieces of admin to attend to.

  1. The driving test pass certificate

    If the test went as you all hoped, your son or daughter will be given their driving test pass certificate. They don't really need to carry this with them while they're waiting for their photocard driving licence but it might make them feel more 'safe' just in case they're pulled over.

  2. The driving licence

    The examiner will ask for your child's provisional licence photocard (no more paper counterpart!) to send off to the DVLA. They'll change this for a full licence photocard and post it back to the address on the card.

    If the address on your child's provisional licence photocard is old and you don't have access to it to collect post, they'll need to change it online well in advance of the test.

    The new licence should come through the letterbox within 3 weeks but it's fine for your child to drive in that time.

  3. The car insurance

    If you're helping them with choosing a first car or they've bought one already, make sure it's properly insured before they jump in the driving seat.

    Although your child can drive without having to wait for their driving licence photocard, insurance is something you must have sorted first. Nope, not even just once around the block.

    Any learner driver insurance they had for practising in your car or their own will now be invalid, so one of you needs to put in a call to the insurer to update it. If you're planning on arranging new cover, you'll need confirmation of that before they drive.

    Get more information about learner driver insurance, including how to get costs down.
  4. The vehicle tax

    Another one that's got to be sorted before that first drive. Just like insurance, vehicle tax is a legal requirement for any car on the road.

    Luckily this is quick and easy to do - you can tax the car online and you don't even have to wait for a tax disc anymore now they've been binned.

  5. The first drive

    Ah, the elusive freedom of the open road - the time has come. You may be blankly terrified by this prospect but try to trust in the ability of your child, their driving instructor and the examiner: they wouldn't have got this far if they weren't capable of being safe.

    The key thing here is attitude. Driving unsafely is a choice and it's worth discussing a few general guidelines for the first drive - before it happens.

    1. Avoid the motorway. The first drive alone isn't the time to be pushing the limits - what with the excitement and nerves, new things should probably wait. In fact, a few post-test lessons would come in handy for getting on the motorway for the first time.
    2. Go for P-plates. This may be met with some resistance but they're very useful for letting other drivers know they might want to avoid breaching the personal space barrier. It can also act psychologically as a small safety net to bridge the gap between learner and qualified driver.
    3. Don't risk passengers. The temptation may be very great to go pick up everyone they know in their new car but it's a bad idea. Showing off + distraction + freedom = DANGER. Suggest they take their first few drives alone.

Passing the driving test is great - but does your child need post-test lessons?


Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .