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Stop, You Need a Licence for That! The Complete Guide to Applying for Your Provisional

As anyone who’s ever tried to borrow the car to “pop to the shops” knows – without a licence, you ain’t going nowhere. But what exactly is involved in obtaining that coveted plastic card of freedom, the provisional driving licence? Read on for our step-by-step guide to successfully applying so you too can “learn to drive” as soon as possible!

Check the Eligibility Criteria

Before getting excited about lessons or car shopping, first verify you meet the minimum requirements. In the UK, drivers must be 16 years old to apply for a 50cc moped licence, 16-17 for a car, and 17+ for a motorcycle licence. You’ll need to provide proof of identity, address and UK residency. Those with medical conditions or disabilities should check DVLA guidance too. There’s no point proceeding until you’re 100% eligible to avoid time and money wasted.  

Gather Required Documents 

With eligibility confirmed, you’ll need digital photos meeting DVLA specifications, plus original identity documents like passport and birth certificate for first-time applications. A passport-style photo costs around £10 at most pharmacies. Check what’s acceptable on gov.uk as photo rules are strict. You’ll also need your national insurance number for the application. Preparing these in advance will save headaches later.

Decide Licence Category 

Before applying online or by post, pick your licence category – B for cars, AM for mopeds, A1 for small bikes etc. This determines the questions you’ll see and cost. It’s easy to change categories after receiving your licence if you want to drive other vehicles, but chooses wisely the first time. Speak to us for recommendations based on your needs and experience level.

Complete the Online Application

The DVLA website walks you through the simple application process, usually taking 30 minutes or less. You’ll fill in personal details, declare any issues, upload photos, pay the £43.50 fee and submit. Cards are sent within a few days by first class post. Key tip – take your time to avoid mistakes that could delay things. For help applying, come see our friendly team who can guide you through smoothly.

What Happens After Applying?

Once issued, your photocard licence is valid for 10 years if you pass your test within 2 years of application. If not, you must reapply and pay again. This provisional licence entitles you to learn on UK roads when accompanied by an approved driving instructor like us here at Wimbledon Driving School. Simply contact our team, and we’ll get you booked in for your first lesson as soon as you have your licence in hand!


From eligibility to application, we’ve covered the most important steps to obtain your all-important provisional driving licence. Don’t put it off – get the ball rolling today and join the ranks of aspiring drivers who will soon bypass walking and discover the freedom that wheels can bring. See you at your first lesson!


Ready to start learning? Get in touch online or give us a call on 0203 524 7968 to book your free assessment and pick up some handy application tips from our experts. We’ll have you licensed and behind the wheel in no time!

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