How long does it take for a provisional license to arrive?

Before you can drive on the roads, it is essential to get a hold of your driving license. The first step to becoming a licensed driver is to apply for a provisional license. Read about How long does it take for a provisional license to arrive?

If you want to get started with your driving lessons, you will need your provisional license. You can easily apply for a provisional license if you are above the age of 15 years and nine months, but the license will be valid when you turn 16. 

A provisional driving licence will allow you to drive your car/vehicle on all UK roads. However, you can not drive on the motorways until you pass your driving test. However, even when you are driving, you need your driving instructor or any other experienced driver over the age of 21 years to supervise you. 

Moreover, you will require your provisional license to take your theory as well as practical driving tests. A provisional license is also required when you are going to take your first driving lesson. 

With a provisional license, you will be able to do the following:

  • Start learning how to drive a light quad or moped bike at the age of 16
  • Start learning how to drive a car at the age of 17

However, even with a provisional license, you can not do the following:

  • Drive a car without having an experienced driver with a permanent driving license or a driving instructor by your side
  • Drive alone or on the motorway
  • Drive a car without having the correct insurance. 

Moreover, when learning to drive, you should display L plates on the front and rear of your car/vehicle. The experienced driver supervising you must sit with you in the front passenger seat. You can also take other passengers in your car. 

How much does a provisional license cost and how to apply for it?

The most effective way to apply for a provisional license is to visit the official GOV UK website and go to their provisional driving license page. 

To get your provisional license, you will need:

  • You must be able to read the number plate of a car/vehicle from 20 meters away
  • Submit a legitimate ID preferably a UK biometric passport or any other valid ID
  • Pay £34 by debit or credit card
  • Provide residence addresses for the last three years 
  • Your national insurance number if you know it

Your provisional license should normally arrive within a week unless the DVLA decides to run additional checks.

Alternatively, you can visit your local post office, fill in a D1 form, and send it by post. You must submit a postal order or cheque payable to the DVLA, along with a passport-size photo and a valid form of ID.

However, you must keep in mind that postal applications will take longer and your provisional license may take around three weeks to arrive. 

It will be a good idea to start reading the Highway Code to familiarize yourself with it while your provisional license arrives. 

It will cost you around £34 to apply for a provisional licence online at the official website of the UK government. However, it will cost you around £43 if you apply by post. If you are going to apply online, you must refrain from using unofficial sites as they will charge an additional fee to process your provisional licence application. 

Declare Medical Conditions on your Application

As part of your provisional license application, you must declare any medical conditions that you have that can affect your ability to drive. These conditions include:

  • Fainting
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Heart conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma

If you have any of these medical conditions, you must mention them in your application. The DVLA will contact your GP to decide whether or not to give you a provisional license.

You may also be called for a medical exam to understand whether you can drive safely or not. 

Depending on your medical condition, the DVLA will grant you a provisional licence. They may also ask you to make certain vehicle adaptations. 

However, it is important to note that declaring medical conditions can slow down your provisional licence application. According to reports from Heycar, as of March 2022, 300,000+ people were waiting for a renewed or new medical driving licence decision. 

The delays started in December 2021, when processing provisional licence applications was stopped by the DVLA to free up the NHS resources to boost the Covid-19 booster vaccine programme. 

Read more: HIIT Bike Workout: Everything you need to know

How long is the provisional driving licence valid? 

Your provisional driving licence will be valid for 10 years. However, you must keep in mind that you have to take your practical driving test within two years of clearing your theory test. If you fail to take your practical test within this time, you will have to sit for the theory test again before you can go for the practical test. 

Is Car Insurance required with my provisional driving licence?

Even when you are a learner driver with a provisional license, you are required by the law to have at least a third-party car before you hit the roads.

If you are planning to learn with a family member or friend, you will be required to take out a provisional driving licence or learner driver car insurance. This will apply whether you are learning to drive in your car or someone else’s car. 

How to track your provisional driving licence application?

Your provisional driving licence usually will arrive within one week of online application, but you can track it as well.

To track your provisional driving licence application, you will need two things:

  • Password
  • Government Gateway ID

The safest and fastest way to get your provisional driving licence would be to apply online on the official website. However, if you don’t have any time constraints and are scared of applying online, you can send your application to the DVLA by post. Once you get your provisional licence, you are ready to experience a new phase of your life. 

Further Readings: Show me, Tell me questions in UK

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