A few words about the legal aspects of taking a vehicle onto a public highway.

Minimum Age

You can take your theory test once your provisional licence becomes valid.

For the Car Driver

Normally the earliest date your provisional licence becomes valid is your 17th birthday, you can apply for the licence up to three months before your 17th birthday. If you apply for your provisional licence before you are 17 you will have to wait until your 17th birthday to take your theory test.

For the Moped or Tractor Driver

If you are 16 or over, ride a moped or drive an agricultural vehicle, and hold a valid provisional licence you can take your theory test. When you are 17, you will be able to drive a car on your provisional licence but only whilst accompanied by an appropriately qualified driver.

Provisional Driving Licence Application

You must apply for a provisional driving licence before you can learn to drive a car, moped or motorcycle.

Online Driving Licence Application

You can make an online application for your first provisional driving licence for a car, moped or motorcycle by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) online service.

Driving Licence by Post

You can apply for your provisional driving licence by completing the D1 application form that is available from the DVLA form ordering service or Post Office® branches. You will need to enclose original documentation to confirm your identity, accompanied by a passport style colour photograph and the licence application fee. Your completed application and payment can be sent to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD or you may be able to use the premium checking service available at some post offices.

Your Driving Instructor will ask to see a valid licence before you start your driving lesson, so allow at least three weeks for your licence to arrive before contacting DVLA.

Laws Relating to Driver Licencing

The law of driving is a complex topic which is fully covered on the official government website. Basically there are a few general points which normally apply when considering learning to drive a car:

  • You can apply for your Provisional licence at age 17 years which will allow you to start driving instruction.
  • If you are registered disabled you may be able to apply for the Provisional licence from the age of 16 years.
  • A standard UK driving licence (Category B) covers vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of 3,500kg.
  • A standard UK driving licence (Category B) issued after 1 January 1997 does not allow you to tow a trailer, caravan or horsebox etc.
  • To legally tow a trailer, you must take and pass the trailer towing test (Category E)

Other regulations apply such as for persons in the armed forces. Once again there is a wealth of information available on the driving licence section of the government website. Be sure to visit our useful links page to rfind out much more.