Contacting the DVLA for a provisional Driving License

When applying for a new provisional license, always contact the DVLA directly.  There are other sites on Google that offer to sell you provisional licenses for all vehicles. Some of these sites may in fact send you a license, but it may not be legal, and could be massively overpriced and not worth your time. You should never have to pay more than £34 for your provisional driving license, which is the standard price on the government website. The government site from which you can buy your license will have a government symbol and .gov instead of .com in the url. Be weary when searching for the website, it will come up on the first page of your google search.

Once you’re on the DVLA site, you will need a few things handy before starting the process of ordering your provisional license. You must be a resident of Great Britain, this means England Wales and Scotland. There is another DVLA service for Northern Island, the DVLA site will redirect you. You must also meet the minimum age requirement (17 and over for a car license) and meet the minimum eyesight requirement. As well as this, you must have a valid UK passport handy, your NI number, and your address – which you must have lived at for at least 3 years. If you’re applying for a provisional license for a moped or small quad bike, the age requirement is 16 and over. The time it takes to process your application and send out the license to you is roughly one week. By applying online, you agree that the DVLA can share you personal information with the HMRC and the DWP to confirm your details. Once you have purchased your license, you can track the progress of your application using their online portal. For this you will need your government gateway user ID and password, which would have been created for you when you purchased your provisional license. If you forgotten or misplaced yours, there is a forgotten password link that can help you with this.

There is also another way in which you can apply for your provisional driving license. You can send your application by post. Simply fill out a D1 form, which you can request from the DVLA ordering service, or from the post office. Once this has been filled out, you can send the form, and original documents that confirm your identity – including a colour passport style photograph to the DVLA Swansea, SA99 1AD. You must also include a cheque or postal order of £43 – sending money is unfortunately not accepted by the DVLA, and the amount will be sent back to you.

For more information on any license, for lorries cars or motorbikes, telephone the DVLA contact number. Here you can find handy tips on saving money and guides on safe driving in the UK. As well as this, you can search for any query you have on the website, and you will be taken to the relevant page, which should hopefully answer any questions you have.


What to look for in a good Driving School

When looking for a good driving school or instructor, first take into account a few things.

Once you’ve received your provisional licence, you may want to jump into finding an instructor to help you get the ball rolling. However, you shouldn’t settle straight away. If you end up choosing the first school you find, you may find yourself making an error in doing so. A good driving instructor or school will have a large pass rate and great recommendations and testimonials from friends and on their website (if they have one).

Instructors with a Grade 4 or higher from their annual Standards Test should be considered above other instructors you may have found. Grades can go up to A/6 which equates to an excellent instructor.  There are many other differences between good and bad driving instructors that you will be able to notice yourself when researching for yourself. One of these differences is price. Even though it’s tempting to pick a school or instructor because of their cheap prices or deals, ask yourself why their prices are so low. Are the normal prices high and the current deals are low? Or is the grade of the instructor low from their Standards Test? The age of a car will not matter when learning to drive, so long as it’s ready to be on the road and is as safe as it can be for learner drivers. Instructors could also charge less if they have a low recommendation rate or low pass rate.
The only reason a driving school or instructor can charge more is in the case of their high pass rate and/or they teach learner drivers in a premium car, for example a BMW.

When researching hopeful schools or teachers, always read the fine print. There could be hidden charges on schemes run by a driving school. For example, if you find a school with a guaranteed pass crash course, it may not tell you how many lessons you need – meaning that in the long run you may end up forking out more money than you ever intended on spending.

When you think that you have found the right instructor or driving school for you, make sure that everything sounds right about them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding the state of their vehicle or for their current Standards Test Grade. Be sure to ask questions regarding individual pick up, for example will they pick you up from school/home? And charges for standard lessons without deals or the prices for a crash course.

Above all else, have fun when you’ve found the right instructor for you! The best part about learning to drive can sometimes be the company you keep along the way. If you find an instructor you actually get on with outside of the driving aspect, then even better.

If you’re struggling to find a good instructor, this government website lists the majority of driving school and instructors in your area. Alternately, you can google local driving instructors or even find some schools on Facebook and Twitter. However, the easiest way to find a great teacher is through recommendation. Ask your friends and family before going through the formal routes.

Learning to Drive

Before learning to drive in the UK, you must purchase your provisional license. You need this to pass both your theory and practical tests. You can apply for and purchase your provisional on the government website. Before you apply for a provisional license, you must make sure that you meet the requirements in order to purchase one. You must make sure you meet both the national minimum age (17 and over), and the minimum eyesight requirement test. You must also have a UK passport, an NI number and an address. Once you have these, you can then purchase your license for £34. Once this process has been completed, your license should be with you within the next week (if applying online and not over the phone).

Once your license has arrived, you can start looking for driving instructors. Some instructors charge around £20 an hour per lesson – however many offer group bookings with a large discount. For example many driving instructors will offer a group booking of 10 lessons for £180. It’s best to “shop around” before commiting to a driving instructor, however. Read up on reviews and their pass rate with learner drivers. Once you have found the right instructor for you, contact them directly to get the wheels moving.

There are two tests to pass in order to get your pink license, which allows you to drive. You must, ideally first, pass your theory test. This comprises of the theory test and the hazard perception test, which must be completed in one sitting. The theory test involves answering 50 questions – all revolving around driving. These can range from questions about driving on the motorway, or about when to use your hazard lights. The hazard perception part of the theory test involves watching a short video from a driver’s point of view. You must click the mouse every time you see a potential hazard in the road ahead. The result from both parts of the theory test are then added up, and your score will be given to you once leaving the test room. The second test is the practical test. Upon completion of this test, you will be a fully qualified driver. Both the theory and the practical test can be booked by either you or your driving instructor. The practical test comprises of two maneuvers and unassisted driving for 10 minutes. Your maneuvers can range from reversing into a bay, to making a turn in the road. All the maneuvers which could be asked of you will be taught to you by your instructor well before your test. Unassisted driving requires that you follow signs on the road until you have shown to your test invigilator that you can drive unassisted, this usually lasts for 10 minutes.

If you fail either test, you can reapply as many times as it takes to pass. Once you have completed both parts of your driving test, you are a qualified driver and can pursue buying a car or Pass Plus. Pass Plus is a course you can take after you have your pink license. On this course you will learn how to drive safely and on the motorway. A pass on the this course can lower insurance premiums on your first car, and ensure safer driving.