Legal Requirements to Learn to Drive

Before you can learn to drive a car, moped or motorcycle you must apply for a provisional driving licence. Provisional driving licences are available from the DVLA, and may not be applied for online, as you are required to physically confirm your identity. If you already hold a valid full driving licence and want to learn to drive larger vehicles, minibuses or buses you will need to apply for provisional entitlement for these vehicles –

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In order to learn to drive on British roads, you must meet several legal pre-requisites. These are simply put as:

  • You must hold a valid provisional driving licence
  • You must be of an appropriate age to drive the vehicle
  • You must display learner driver identification “L” plates
  • You must be supervised by a person who is over 21 and

Has held a valid full drivers licence for 3 or more years.

Applying For a Provisional Driving Licence

Before you can learn to drive a car, moped or motorcycle you must apply for a provisional driving licence. Provisional driving licences are available from the DVLA, and may not be applied for online, as you are required to physically confirm your identity. If you already hold a valid full driving licence and want to learn to drive larger vehicles, minibuses or buses you will need to apply for provisional entitlement for these vehicles.

In order to apply for a licence, you will need DVLA form “D1”, which is available from your local post office. With this form, you will need to enclose original documentation confirming your identity, a passport style colour photograph and the fee of £38.00. The form has the address of the DVLA to post to.

Confirmation of your identity should usually be your passport; however, the DVLA also accepts the following items as proof of identity.

  • UK birth certificate
  • certificate of registry of birth (provided your name is present on the certificate)
  • adoption certificate
  • identity card issued by a member state of the European Community / European Economic Area (EC/EEC)
  • travel documents issued by the Home Office
  • certificate off naturalisation

If your photograph does not appear on your chosen certificate of identity, you will need to have your photograph certified as a true likeness of yourself by a ‘person of worthy stature’. This certification is part of the “D1” form, and may be completed by

  • a local business person or shopkeeper
  • a librarian
  • a professionally qualified person, for example, a lawyer, teacher or engineer
  • a police officer
  • a bank or building society officer
  • a civil servant
  • a minister of religion
  • a magistrate
  • a local councillor or an MP (AM, MEP and MSP)

DVLA aim to deliver your driving licence to you within three weeks of receiving your application. This time may become longer if the DVLA have to check in on any of your details, or do not receive all of the information which they require.

If you are applying for provisional entitlement to drive larger vehicles, you will require form “D2” and form “D4”. The “D2” form is the application for the provisional licence, and form “D4” is a medical report to certify that you are of sufficient health to drive a potential threat to others. The form “D4” has to be completed by a doctor and you should ensure that all the relevant questions are completed.

In addition to these two forms, you will require to send confirmation of your identity (as above), a passport style colour photograph, and your current driving licence. There is no fee for this enhancement of you driving licence.

Medical requirements for driving

You must tell the DVLA if you have ever had, or currently suffer from a medical condition or disability that may affect your driving.

You must also provide details of a medical condition or disability that has become worse since your licence was issued or you develop a new medical condition or disability, as it may affect your fitness to drive. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

All driving licence application forms contain a series of health questions and you must declare if you suffer from a notifiable medical condition or disability.