Girl who's just passed her driving test

Learning to drive

What happens after I’ve passed my driving test?

Phew. Well done! It's taken many hours of wallet-emptying driving lessons but here you are. You made it.

Now what?

  1. Your driving test pass certificate

    After your test, you examiner will give you your pass certificate.

    You can use this as evidence that you have passed until you get your photocard driving licence, but you actually don't even need to carry it with you.

  2. Your driving licence

    Your examiner will take your provisional driving licence photocard to send to the DVSA, where it will be updated for your new full driving licence.

    You'll get your updated full licence photocard through the post within 3 weeks, but you don't need to wait for it to arrive before you drive.

    Driving licence

    If you keep your provisional licence because you need to send it off yourself (to change your address or photo, for example), you MUST exchange it for your full licence within 2 years. If you don't, you'll have to TAKE YOUR TEST AGAIN. The idea is making me cringe.

    Paper counterparts won't be in use from 8 June 2015, so you won't need to give yours to the examiner if you still have one.
  3. Your car insurance

    Although you can drive before you get your driving licence photocard, you MUST be properly insured.

    Any learner driver insurance you had does not cover you as a qualified driver, so you need to call your insurance company to change it (if you want to stay with them), or arrange new car insurance.

    L Plates

    If you took your test in your own car, your learner insurance may cover your accompanying driver (for example, your driving instructor or parent) for the ride home - but it's best to check with your insurer.

    (Just so you know, we do car insurance for young drivers. It's pretty awesome and you can get discounts if you drive well. I'll just leave this here: how ingenie works.)

  4. Your vehicle tax

    Just like insurance,vehicle tax is a legal requirement. If you have a lovely car waiting for you to hop in and go, is it taxed?

    You can tax your car online on GOV.UK and you don't even have to wait for a tax disc to arrive through the post - they don't exist any more!

  5. Your first drive

    Once your car insurance is sorted, you can go out for your first drive alone. There's a few things you might want to keep in mind:

    • Your first drive probably isn't the time to try out a motorway - in fact, you'd be wise to ask your driving instructor for a post-test lesson on motorways.
    • Really do consider P-plates. You may think they're beyond lame but they warn other road users that you're loose with no dual-controlling instructor next to they might want to think twice about pulling up real close behind you on a hill.
    P Plates
  6. Don't go and pick up a bunch of rowdy mates. It's tempting, but it will also be tempting to show off if you do, and nothing good can come of that. You need to be on super alert for your first drive - no distractions.
  7. Still in the market for a car?
    Take a look at our top 10 cars for young drivers.


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 .

  • Waqas

    Hi I passed practical last week they send me licence automatically or I need to send them my pass certificate

    • Hi there. If your examiner took your provisional licence photocard, you should get your new licence through to the address you confirmed with them (the one on your green photocard) within 3 weeks. If they didn’t take your photocard, you need to apply here: Let me know if you need any more help.


      • Waqas

        Thanks alots
        Ya he took my provisional

  • Sharoon

    Hi do I need to send My pass certificate as the examiner did not take my provisional licence because i wanted to change the address as I’ve moved from where I was living previously.

  • Soni

    I’ve just pass my driving test 2 days ago. Can i insure my car before I receive my photo card, what number do I use?

    • Hey Soni – amazing! You can insure your car without your photocard and you can drive without it too.



  • Gaurav

    Hi Guys,

    Quick help please.

    I passed my driving test recently however as i had to update my change in address the instructor suggested to fill D1.

    Question i have is on D1 do i need to (a) Send proof of identity (since i do not have a British passport it requires sending passport / BRP original) ..But i thought this was required only for name change and not for address change (b) Do i need to send my photograph. I assume they should be happy to use my provisional photo. Is this mandatory.

    All help welcome please. Many Thanks.



    • Hi Gaurav. Congratulations on passing your test! You won’t need to send off a photograph as you have a photocard so they’ll just use that photo. Your ‘original documents confirming your identity’ can be anything from this list:

      Hope that helps!


      • Gaurav

        Many Thanks. That was very quick. Cheers !

        So i do need to send proof of identity, i was hoping since they verified it before )provisional license) it should be ok !

        Do i need to send anything as proof of current address ?

        – Gaurav

        • Hi Gaurav – sorry, you do actually need a photo (they don’t make this easy!). I assume this is to check against your photocard to make sure you’re you. Luckily, you can drive straight away so waiting for your new licence won’t hold you up.

          There’s a PDF here that tells you how to fill out the D1. The bit about identity and what you need to do starts on page 8:

          Let me know if you need any more help.


  • Sepehr Soltan

    hi sir i passed my driving test 1 month ago . but i don’t received my photo card yet. what can i do?

  • Michael litchfield

    Hi can anyone answer this question am passing my bike test and car test around the same time if I pass one the then I have to send the license off to be exchanged for a full licence but am gonna need the provisional for the other test what can I do . thanks

    • Hi Michael,

      Whichever test you pass first, you can choose to keep your provisional photocard and send it off yourself at a time that’s more convenient. The only rule is that you must do this within 2 years – otherwise you have to take the test again!

      Hope that helps,


  • Bewar3them00n

    I’m a new older driver ( 40’s)2 young kids and I’m looking for the best insurance, for me, and obviously with 2 kids I will be driving carefully, so I’m looking for any way to decrease insurance costs, black boxes that monitor driving or similar etc… I will probably be getting a Citreon C4 Picasso, any ideas who caters best for me in my position?

    • Hi there. Shame we can’t insure you, sounds like it would be a perfect fit! I’d say because you have a few very specific idea in mind for what you want from a policy, your best bet is to hit a comparison site like MoneySuperMarket. Lots of black box providers are on those now, so you should have a fair range to choose from.

      Hope that helps!


  • akinyemiadisa

    Hi, I passed my practical driving test last week but did not handover my license to the examiner to send to DVLA. it is a full motorcycle license and since I was going to continue to ride my motorcycle to work, I decided that I would send it off to DVLA myself to be upgraded with the car entitlement. How do I go about this and what documents do I need to fill out when sending the license off to DVLA to add and/or upgrade my current motorcycle license with the car entitlement. Thank you.

  • Sophie Lloyd

    Hi i have just passed my driving test but didnt let examiner send away my provisional as just changed addresses so said i would do it myself. I also had to fill in a v62 as previous owner of the car i have bought did not send of vc5 although they did give me vc5/2 slip. I have filled the form in but the lady in post offive said she did not need the vc5/2 slip to send away but i thought this had to go with form?? I did pay a £25 fee to do this so im wondering if thats why she didnt need it?

    • Hi Sophie.

      You’re right – the £25 fee means you don’t have to send the v5c/2 slip. Really, because you had the slip you shouldn’t have had to pay the £25 but the important thing is that you’re all set now!


  • paula

    I past my driving test in Jan last year and I still haven’t update my provisional to a full license! Help! Is there a timescale

    • Hey Paula,

      Don’t panic! You just have to send off your pass certificate to the DVSA within 2 years of passing your test. You’re still good to go but I’d get it done ASAP. You do NOT want to have to take your test again. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.



      • paula

        Thank you sooooo much! That’s a weight lifted off my shoulders!
        Have a good day 🙂

        • No problem Paula, enjoy your Monday.

  • Neil G.

    Hey… I passed my theory test in Jan 2015… I am no longer in UK but i want to apply for the driving test…is it possible? The address on my provisional DL is outdated… Can i ask the test taker to change the address (in case i manage to pass) to a relatives address at the time of the test… Kindly help

    • Hi Neil,

      You should be able to do that but the way to then change your address is to keep your provisional licence after your test and send it off to the DVSA yourself. There’s some information here:

      Hope that helps!


      • Neil G.

        Do i need to send my original passport as well… I am not from EU…

        • Ah, OK. How much are you in the UK? You have to be here a minimum of 185 days a year to be considered ‘Normally resident’ and therefore able to get a UK driving licence:

          • Neil G.

            i have a visa valid till 2018 but i haven’t been in the UK and won’t be till the September of this year for probably a week..I applied for my PDL without being there for 185 days as well

          • It’s a sticky situation Neil but I’m afraid I can’t really advise you on taking the test in the UK as it’s a requirement that you live here for 185 days out of the year. Sorry!

          • Neil G.

            Thank you so much for your help anyways 🙂

          • You’re very welcome Neil, sorry I couldn’t help very much.

  • Ryan Footie Davis

    Hi I passed my test in September and have been driving with my provisional as I haven’t got round too making it a full one yet, but I lost my provisional today and only have my pass certificate left now ! I don’t know what to do I have a D1 form at my house but it confuses me lots ! Thanks Ryan

    • Hi Ryan.

      It’s not a situation I’ve come across before but I would think you’ll need to replace your provisional in order to get your full licence, as you need to send that off with your certificate. It costs £20 and you can do it here:

      Sorry I don’t have an easy fix for you!


      • Ryan Footie Davis

        Thanks do you think it will be ok to drive still for now ? As I have to commute places… Aslong as I have my certificate?

        • As everything is electronic these days, your licence status is easy to look up if you’re stopped. When you pass your test and the examiner takes your provisional, you’re fine to drive while you wait for your licence – so you’re OK now but get it sorted ASAP. You don’t need to carry your certificate around but it might make you feel safer!

    • Ryan Footie Davis

      Haha thanks! Well the instructor gave me it back as it needed it’s address changed so I never remembered to send of for a full license …. I’ve only ever had a provisional, so I doubt they would be able to track my license as I’ve only been a provisional licence holder! But now I’ve lost my provisional so still ok??

      • So – the DVSA say “If you are unable to return your driving licence please complete forms D1 and tell us why in section 1.” That covers you applying for your full licence without a provisional photocard. When you do this upgrade after your test (and have no photocard for three weeks) you’re fine to drive but it’s a very grey area that they don’t share information about.

        If you HAVE to drive while you’re waiting for that form to be processed, call the DVSA to make sure it’s OK:

        It’s a tricky area! Hope that helps,


        • Ryan Footie Davis

          Sorry that’s confused me haha can you explain that in a different way? Sorry haha

          • The D1 that you have? Fill that in WITH an explanation of why you don’t have your photocard (there’s a box for that apparently) and send it off as per the instructions. The DVSA has no published material that tells me if it’s OK for you to drive (I was basing my assumption on the period in which you wait for your photocard after your test, in which you CAN drive), so I’d advise you to call them.

            You see, you’re supposed to swap it as soon after your test as possible. That makes it a complicated thing!


  • Yasmin Kaur

    hi i have a provional licence but ended up paying for a full licence? did i do something wrong? because i did when applying tell the insurance company that i have a provisional license and have payed the full amount for a year? when i pass my driving test , the new licence that i get will that change anything? becuase on my insurance certificate my provional licence number is written on it? pls help . really worried . the problem is that i am unable to contact the insurance company . 🙁

    • Hi Yasmin,

      When you buy insurance before you pass your test, you get a price based on you not driving by yourself yet. When you pass, just call your insurance company to tell them and they’ll update your policy. The price might go up at that point because you’ll be driving alone.

      Hope that helps!


  • distaster

    I come to the U.K. from another EU country 3 months ago. I would like to apply for provisional licence right now and pass theory exam in May/June. Can I do that? I know that if I want to apply for full driving licence I have to be here at least 185 days. What about PDL and theory exam? Can I pass it before 185 days and take a driving exam for full DL afterwards? Thanks.

  • jess

    I’ve passed my driving test about 2 months ago and still haven’t received my driving licence? can someone help or advise me as its not clear what I should do.

  • Hi Cammie,

    I think that information is out of date – it’s not an actual DVSA site. You want this one for the correct information:

    You should have got your theory test pass certificate when you took your theory test. I did take my certificate to my driving test but I wasn’t asked for it. You can get the information you need from it here:

    You DON’T need a paper licence counterpart for your driving test now – they’ve been scrapped.

    Hope that helps!


  • mat

    HI, I have a provisional but the address on it is different to the current one. I will be taking the driving test soon. Will i need to change my address to the current one before taking the test or if i pass it, will there be an option to put my new address ?

    • Hey Mat,

      I had the same thing when I took my test. Do you still have access to your old address to pick up your licence? If so, it’s probably less hassle to change the address on it after your test here:

      I just tried to call the DVSA but they’re only open until midday – can you wait until tomorrow morning? I’ll ask them if it’s possible to change your address on test day – it used to be on your paper counterpart licence but they don’t exist anymore!

      Your provisional licence should show your current address so if you have time before the test, I would update it.


      • mat

        Hi Honor, No i dont have access to the old address. i can wait until tomorrow morning. Will you be able to reply to the comment here ?

        • Yup, I’ll just message you again. Sorry I can’t help you now – government offices apparently don’t do 9 to 5 like most people!

          I’ll get right on it tomorrow morning.


    • Hi Mat,

      Just got through to the DVSA and they assure me it’s not a problem – if they ask you, just say you need to change your address. If you pass (FINGERS CROSSED!), you’ll keep your licence instead of the examiner taking it. Then you’ll need to go through this process:

      Good luck Mat, hope you pass!


  • Dawid

    Hi I just pass my practical exam for HGV, i still got my old driving licence and I need send them own in next week, because I got my CPC module 4 (demonstration) for which i need me licence, Do i’m a legaly way right to work as a driver class 2 after pass my CPC and before there come back my driving licence?

    • Hi Dawid – so sorry I missed this comment! I’m afraid I only really know about young driver stuff so I can’t help with your HGV question. Hope you got it sorted.


  • Paris Jade Laneesha Denwood

    I have a query,

    I passed my test around a month ago and I’m just filling out the D1 form. Do I need to send a new photo with the form when I already have a provisional as on the D1 form it says I need to send a new photo when applying for a license whether provisonal or full. Confused!

    • Hi Paris,

      I’m afraid the instructions are REALLY mixed between the form and the GOV.UK website. However, the Post Office also issues the D1 form and they say you do need a passport photo for your full driving licence. I know it’s a pain!


  • Ryan Lawrence

    Hi guys,

    So I’m considering provisional insurance until my next driving test, which is currently in 2 1/2 months time.
    What I’m wondering is:
    – How easy is it to switch from provisional insurance to full license insurance after passing the test?
    – Can I pay for provisional insurance for the months leading up to the test and then purchase a year of full licence insurance when I pass? Or would I have to pay for a full years worth of provisional cover, and then pay for a year of full licence cover?

    Please help me, I’m so confused 😂😂

    • Hi Ryan,

      You buy insurance on your provisional licence then when you pass, all you need to do is ring us up. Your year’s price will likely change but only for the months you have left (so your monthly price would change or you’d pay a top-up if you had paid it all in one go).

      It’s not separate insurance – just updated when you pass. It’s really easy and you can drive as soon as you’ve called us to let us know you’ve passed.

      Hope that helps!


  • Ryan Footie Davis

    Hi I have passed my driving test around eight months ago…. I never managed to send off for a full license so was driving on my provisional until i lost that …. So now all I have is my pass certificate I was wondering if it’s ok to drive on that until I get a full license sorted as I have to get to work and other things I’ve got a d1 form to send was just wondering don’t want to get stopped and then get into trouble…. Thanks !

    • Hi Ryan,

      You don’t need to carry either to be driving but you must get your photo card replaced ASAP. The police can check you’re licensed through a database but it would be an awkward conversation to have if you were stopped. Maybe keep your pass certificate in the car in the meantime just to help if you have to explain you’re waiting for your new licence.



    • S lewis

      Just a heads up. The dvla website states that you have to send off for your full licence within two years of taking your test or you will have to take the test again.

      • Thanks, literally just had a question about that so I’ll add it in.


  • Umm Ubaydah

    Can I rent a car with my pass certificate? As I passed Friday gone I would like to rent a car for a while until I have enough to buy my car? Or do I have to wait for my licence to arrive for proof for the rental company?

    • Hi Umm,

      Unfortunately I’m pretty sure any rental company will require you to hold a licence for more than a year before you can hire a car. It’s worth ringing around but I think you’ll probably get the same answer.



  • Jodie Coutts

    Quick question are you able to take your test with a provisional even tho its a different address on it. Test is in two weeks so know there is not time to change it before hand now?

    • Hi Jodie,

      I rang the DVSA recently to ask this very question. They assured me it’s not a problem – if the examiner asks you, just say you need to change your address. If you pass (FINGERS CROSSED!), you’ll keep your licence instead of the examiner taking it. Then you’ll need to go through this process:

      Good luck!


      • Jodie Coutts

        brilliant thank you for getting back to me so fast. fingers and toes are all crossed 🙂

        • You’re welcome. The very BEST of luck for your test.


  • Hi Sachin,

    As long as your photo is still in date, you don’t need to send proof of identity. Congratulations on passing!



    • Sachin

      Thank You Honor!

  • Hi James,

    It depends where you are in your policy year. If you pass early on, you’d probably have the difference spread over your monthly payments. In the middle, you might need to pay a deposit and then have the rest spread. Right near the end, you’d probably need to pay the full sum.

    Hope that helps!


  • Christine Spittle

    Hello Honor,
    My boyfriend passed his driving test over 2 years ago but he never sent off for his full license. Does he definitely need to retake his test? Theory and practical? Or might they still issue the full license if he just sends everything off now?

    • Hi Christine,

      I’m afraid it’s definitely two years. The GOV.UK site says he’ll have to retake his practical test but I would call the DVSA on 0300 790 6801 to make sure it’s not the theory test as well.



  • If you have proof of address, I’d include it. The rules around updating your licence are notoriously complicated so you might want to check by calling 0300 790 6801.



  • Jenny

    Hi! If I pass my driving test and I don’t own a car or drive for 3 years, does my insurance cost go down? I will obviously take refresher lessons but at the moment, i wouldn’t really use my car if I brought it now.

    • Hi Jenny. Because your age is quite a big factor in your insurance cost, it’s pretty likely your insurance would be cheaper in a few years. Taking some refresher lessons is a great idea when you’re ready to buy a car.



  • Hi Sarah,

    That’s a pretty specific situation you’ve got there! If I were you, I’d call the DVSA on 0300 790 6801 and ask them. I suspect there’s an extra form you have to fill out that means you don’t have to get a new provisional but they’ll need to tell you for sure.

    The earlier you call in the day (they open at 8am), the quicker you’ll get through.



  • Claudia Kowalczyk

    HI I passed my test this morning can I go and purchase a car from a show room on finance with just my test certificate or do I need the card aswell?

    • Hi Claudia,

      Well done! Pretty awesome day if you’re about to buy your first car too! You don’t actually need your licence to buy a car (remember that you could have bought one to practise in as a learner) but it is an expected form of identification for getting finance, which just makes it a bit trickier.

      If I were you I’d wait the 3 weeks or so for your licence to show up. If you don’t want to wait (I bet you don’t!) go into the showroom and ask if your pass certificate is acceptable or another form of ID (like your passport) will do.

      Congratulations and enjoy your car,


  • Armando Calderon

    Hello guys . I have a road test coming up. And I need to know if I can drive and insure a Car right after I pass the test

    • Hey Armando – you say ‘road test’ which makes me think you’re in the US? If that’s the case I’m afraid I don’t know. In the UK, you can technically ring up the insurance company and within 5 minutes be insured, but it’s recommended that someone drives you home FROM the test because you’ll be quite shaky / excited!


  • Armando Calderon

    Thank you ingenie yes am in usa NY

  • Olivia Snell

    Hi there,
    I just passed my test this morning (woohoo!) but when the examiner asked if i’d like her to send off for my new license, i declined as i am going out tomorrow and wanted to use my provisional as ID. This was the only reason for not getting her to send off for it ie my address, name and photo have not changed. How do I apply for a full license once i’ve finished with my provisional tomorrow? The DVLA only give details of the doccuments needed if something on your provisional has changed so I don’t know what I need to send off? Do I need to send off my certificate etc?

    • Hey Olivia. Congratulations! That’s a fairly good reason tbh as you won’t have ID for a couple of weeks.

      The process for applying is still the same:

      – fill in the declaration on your driving test pass certificate
      – fill in a D1 ‘application for a driving licence’, available from the DVLA form ordering service or selected Post Offices
      – provide original documents confirming your identity
      – send your provisional licence and documents to the DVLA

      It’s a bit of a pain to do yourself but more of a pain to be without ID when you’re going out.

      Well done for today – you rock!


  • Hi Katie,

    When you pass your test you’ll just need to call up your insurer to update your policy. They’ll run a quote for you with your new status and tell you how much your premium will change. It’s likely it will be more because you’ll be driving alone, which is obviously a bit more of a risk for a new driver.



  • Hi Adam,

    I’m not sure how long it will take to update but your insurer should wait as this is fairly standard practice. Try again today and if it’s still not updated, call the DVSA on 0300 790 6801 to check how long it will be.

    Congrats on the test pass!


  • Hi Olivia,

    Just follow the instructions on the back of your certificate if they’re different from online.



  • Mark Small

    Hi bit of a different situation I have, I passed my test last month in NI as I’m from there but I live in England. Because I have a British provisional I’ve had to send away for my full license myself. They told me to fill in a D1 form and send my provisional and pass certificate. I did that but just got a letter back saying they didn’t receive my certificate even though I sent it along with the provisional. Good thing I have another copy of the certificate which I have sent away along with on the letter they sent me to give the details of where I passed the test, is there a number I can ring to see if they have received it and also why they never recover the original certificate? Cheers

    • Hi Mark,

      You can call the DVLA on 0870 280 5543 to check a licence application.



  • Hi Madara,

    I’m afraid I don’t know anything about how it works in the US – I’m just a humble UK lady! Hope you get that sorted out.


  • Adrian Kaizer

    Hi, just a quick question. If i’m holding my provisional driving licence for 5 years and i pass my practical test now, how does it count for insurance? Does it star from zero or does it say ill still hold my licence for 5 years?

    • Hi Adrian,

      Insurers look at how long you’ve held your full licence and that’s what affects the price of your insurance.


  • Tom scott

    Hi how long does it take for them to update their online records? As when I do a check ( 1week after passing) it says i still have a provisional ,

    • As the DVLA is a government department, it could take a while. I don’t think there’s any set timeframe except the usual wait to receive your full licence – up to 3 weeks.



  • I passed my test two weeks ago (13th October) and rather vainly wanted to update the photo on my provisional as it was taken from my already 6-year old passport (I’m 29).

    I completed a D1 form, signed the pass certificate, enclosed a postal order for £17 and my provisional card and sent it all to the DVLA (SA99 1BJ) via Special Delivery, which was delivered and signed for on Saturday 15th October. Theoretically that means I should receive my full license by the 5th November.

    I’m now wondering what the situation is with purchasing a car and insurance – I’ve seen several posts here saying that I don’t need my full license to buy a car, but when I check my license online still gives the status as “provisional”. How would car dealers and insurance companies know that I have passed my test, given that I no longer have a provisional photocard nor my paper pass certificate?

    Do I need to wait until the online system is updated to show my full license, and if not, what documentation do I need to actually purchase a car and insure it (most likely 24-hour insurance to cover the drive home, followed by an annual insurance policy the following day)?

    • Hi Craig,

      Different car dealers will have different rules – most would probably only need your licence if you were getting a lease though. For insurance, because we fit a black box, we check licences at the box fitting or the customer sends it to us later if they don’t have it. Different insurers will also have different rules though!

      I would think your online licence status will change before you get your photocard back so it might be easiest to just wait – frustrating I know.

      Good luck with getting your car,


      • Thanks for the reply! I’ve just called both the DVSA and DVLA to double-check things, and the DVLA have received the paperwork and are just waiting for my pass to be processed and forwarded electronically by the DVSA.

  • Kate

    Hi, I have passed my test and was wondering if I’m allowed to drive with only my passed certificate as the full licence hasn’t arrived yet? Thanks

    • Hi Kate. Yup, that’s absolutely fine! You can keep your certificate with you if it makes you feel better but you don’t really need to as the police use a database. Good luck 🙂



  • Hey Shannon,

    I don’t think the DVLA will be bothered to send it back to be honest – they’re a government agency with only so much time and money! If you send it with a stamped, addressed envelope and your request you might stand a chance but I you’re probably best off making a copy of it for yourself if you really want to hang on to it.



  • Aider Bsa

    I passed my test and I completed a D1 form, and I put the pass certificate and my provisional card and sent it all to the DVLA (SA99
    1BJ). After one month I called DVLA ask about my licence and they Answered me (we sent back your application, pass certificate and my provisional card on 4/10/2016) but I have not recieved them. I called them again and said reapplied. Can I applie without pass certificate and provisinol card?

    • Hi Aider,

      That’s a really tricky one. If I were you, I’d call the DVLA first thing tomorrow morning (you wait way less before 9 than later!). The number you need is 0300 790 6801 and they’re open from 8am.

      Hope it gets sorted, that’s a really annoying situation.


  • That’s a really upsetting situation 😞

    Have you tried checking your licence application online? If they received your documents and sent them back, you should be down as a full licence now. And that means you just need to get a replacement full licence – probably just sending some proof of ID to get a photo card sent out to you.

    If you’re not now licensed and you have to start again, I’m pretty sure there’ll be a way around it but I can’t tell you the exact forms. I know you already called the DVLA but you’d need to get their instructions for reapplying with no documents.

    Hope you get it sorted.

  • Hey Najeebullah. It usually takes 1 – 2 weeks. They say wait 3 weeks before querying.



  • Henry Armstrong

    Hi. I just passed my test and am wanting to get car insurance from you. Will I need my driving licence number to get insurance from you as i won’t have my photo card licence for another two weeks. Thanks

    • Hi Henry,


      You won’t need the driving licence number to take your policy out with us, but we will need to see your licence at your box fitting. If you still haven’t received this by then you can email it to us once it’s arrived.



  • Jon

    I’ve passed and have my certificate.
    Online it still says I have a provisional license…
    Am I still okay to drive with my certificate alone, despite it not being updated online?


    • Hey Jon, yep no problem. Keep your certificate with you if it makes you feel better but you’re completely fine.


      • Jon

        Perfect thank you so much!
        Also, when my license finally does arrive – is the certificate of any use to me (or will it be in the future) e.g will I need it if my license was stolen… or is it just something I’d keep for centimental value?

        Thanks again for all the help


        • DEFINITELY keep it because it would be much easier to replace a lost licence, as you said. I know, paper. Ugh.

    • Hi Jon,

      Sorry you had to wait – my comment disappeared! You’re absolutely fine to drive, just keep your certificate with you if you feel better.



  • Roch

    Hi, i had to send off for my license myself and my certificate along with it….im a little weary of driving without my license or certificate as i dont want get stopped and get into trouble, can anyone help?!

    • Hey Roch,

      If you’re in the UK then you’re fine to drive. I only tell people to keep their certificate with them if it makes them feel better but if you were stopped it’s something the police could check very easily.

      We’ll done and good luck!


      • Roch

        What should i keep with documents wise then?

        • It’s not the law that you have to carry licence documentation in the UK, so if you were stopped you wouldn’t be expected to hand over your licence. Also, the police know documentation takes a while with the DVLA. It’s pretty unlikely you’re going to get stopped (as long as you’re not misbehaving!) before the online database the police use is updated, which will happen before you get your licence back.

          Don’t worry at all, this is a very common situation and you’re fine.


  • James


    I passed my test today but did not notice until I got home that my examiner spelt my surname wrong on the certificate. Is there a way of getting another one? Do I contact the DVLA?

    Many thanks

    • Hi James,

      I think unless it’s wrong on your actual licence, you’re OK. Human error, as long as it’s not also on the DVLA’s system, shouldn’t cause you any problems.



  • Amy

    I passed my test in March of last year and upon passing my test the examiner suggested I keep my provisional license and send away for my full license myself as my photo was outdated and it would be best for me to renew it.
    However, I very stupidly continued to use my provisional license as a form of ID when I was going out and neglected to renew my provisional for quite some time. Unfortunately I’ve ended up losing my provisional license and there seems to be no way of applying for my full license without having it to send away with the D1 application form.
    I’ve tried many times to apply or re-apply for a full license however it will not allow me to do so. I think I may have to re-purchase a provisional license but am wondering if that will be possible considering I have already passed my test. I do have my certificate and all other documents required.
    I hope you can help as I can’t seem to find any advice on how I might go about solving this issue and urgently need my driving license.

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Amy,

      I’ve had this before and you’re right, it’s really hard to find the answer! My absolute best advice right now is to call the DVLA on 0300 790 6801 (that’s the licensing department) and ask them about your particular situation. As you didn’t technically ‘apply’ for a full licence, that may affect your licence status (provisional or fully qualified).

      Your licence status is held in an online database so as long as that says you’re a fully qualified driver, it may be possible to issue your full licence without having to go through the rigmarole of replacing your provisional. They’d probably ask you to send ID and a form.

      You need to get this sorted out ASAP because if that database doesn’t have say you have full licence status, you could get in serious trouble with the police.

      Good luck and do come back and tell me what happened because we could all do with a bit more help on it!


  • Hi Ali,

    Have you checked with the hire company that they’re fine with you being a new driver, your age etc.? Quite a few are pretty strict.

    The DVLA say about 2 weeks for you to get your photocard so I would imagine the database would be updated a few days before you get that in the post. The hire car company will probably ask you to provide a code for them to check your licence status – you do this in the same way you’ve checked already. I’d wait until your status has changed before setting up the hire, so you have everything you need.

    Hope it goes OK and well done on passing.


    • Ali

      Hello Honor,

      Thank you, for responding back to my query.

      I have checked with the car hire company they said they are fine, with me hiring a car right away. But they will have to check with DVLA, which they will do once I go to their office.
      I have hired car from this company before, I use to drive in UK with my Indian licence which was valid for a year.
      I reckon if DVLA’s the database is not updated then it might be a problem for me, as they wont let me hire a car if DVLA informs them that i still hold provisional licence.


      • I’d say you’re right, so keep checking online and hire the car when your licence has cleared.

        Good luck!


  • Ollie


    I have purchased insurance after passing my test just under a week ago, and the insurance company is requesting a copy of the DVLA driving licence information within two weeks of buying the insurance (by the 5th March). However, my driving licence information still says I only have a provisional licence. I have my test pass certificate, but will it be a problem if the DVLA information hasn’t changed?

    • Hey Ollie, sorry we missed you! This will be something that happens all the time – your licence information will have changed online by the 5th if you passed more than a week ago.

      Good luck!


With an ingenie black box, you could earn up to 21% off your car insurance.