Legal Checklist for Learner Drivers

Driving licence photocard and paper supplement

Before you head out on the road to becoming a successful motorist, you must be sure you meet the legal requirements for learning to drive:

  1. Are you old enough to drive the relevant vehicle?
  2. Are you in possession of a valid provisional driving license?
  3. Does your training vehicle display ‘L Plates’ that identify you as a learner driver?
  4. Is your training vehicle roadworthy, properly taxed and fully insured?
  5. Is your driving instructor over the age of 21 and have they possessed a valid, full driving license for at least 3years?

UK Age Requirements for Learner Drivers
The minimum age requirements for driving in Britain are 16 years for mopeds and tractors, 17 years for cars or motorcycles up to 25kW, 18 years for medium-sized goods vehicles and 21 years for large lorries and buses.

Applying for your Provisional License
You must apply for a provisional driving license before you can learn to drive a car, moped, motorcycle, or agricultural vehicle on UK roads. These are available from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

To apply for a license, head to your local post office and pick up DVLA form ‘D1’. The completed form must be supported by original personal identification documents, a passport-style colour photograph and payment of the processing fee, currently set at £38.00 (June 2006).

Passports are preferred as proof of identity, although the DVLA will also accept the following documents:

If you chosen form of personal ID does not include a photograph, you must have your picture certified as a true likeness of yourself by ‘a person of worthy stature’. The certification forms part of the D1 document. People qualified to complete this section include:

The documents should be returned to the DVLA by post. The address of the office is Swansea, SA6 7JL.

If you are already in possession of a valid, full driving license and wish to learn to drive larger vehicles, minibuses or buses, it is necessary to apply for a provisional entitlement for these vehicles. In this case you will require forms D2 (the application form itself) and D4 (a medical report completed by your doctor to certify that you are fit to drive larger vehicles). These should be returned to the DVLA together with confirmation of your identity (as above), a passport style colour photograph and your current driving license. There is no charge for this enhancement of your license.

Medical Requirements for Learning to Drive
It is a legal requirement to make the DVLA aware of any medical condition or disability that might affect your driving.

Driving License application forms contain a series of health-related questions that should be answered in full. You must declare all relevant medical conditions / disabilities that you have ever suffered.

You must also provide details of any medical condition / disability that has developed or worsened since your license was issued, since this may affect your fitness to drive. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.