United Kingdom Driving Licence or Driver Permit

United Kingdom Driving Licence : Getting a driver’s license in the United Kingdom allows you to legally operate motor vehicles on public roads. This guide covers how to apply for, renew, or replace a UK driving license.

Applying for a New UK Driver’s License

To get a new driving license in the UK, you must meet these requirements:

Be Eligible

  • Be at least 17 years old (16 for mopeds).
  • Pass an eyesight test at the application centre.
  • Have no medical conditions affecting safe driving.
  • Hold a valid UK passport or immigration status allowing licensing.

Study and Prepare

  • Study the Highway Code driving manual.
  • Take practice theory tests to prepare.
  • Practice driving lessons with an instructor.

Pass the Theory Test

  • Computer-based multiple choice test with 50 questions.
  • Pass mark is 43 correct answers out of 50.
  • Covers road signs, rules, safety, and hazard perception.
  • £23 fee to take the test.

Pass the Practical Test

  • On-road driving test with a DVSA examiner.
  • Includes maneuvers, parking, road driving for 40 minutes.
  • Must pass with no more than 15 minor faults.
  • £62 weekday fee, £75 weekends and evenings.

Apply for Provisional License

  • Apply at age 15 years and 9 months to get a provisional license.
  • Valid ID and proof of UK residency required.
  • Hold for 1 year before taking practical test.

Renewing a UK Driving License

  • UK licenses are valid until age 70 when renewal is required.
  • Renewal at age 70 involves retesting eyesight.
  • After age 70, renewal every 3 years with new photo is required.
  • £14 fee to renew a license at age 70+.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen UK License

  • Report lost or stolen license to the police.
  • Apply for replacement license at the DVLA.
  • Provide proof of identity, residency, police report.
  • Fee of £20 to replace a lost or stolen license.
  • New license sent within 3 weeks.

Changing Your Address on UK License

  • Change your address on your license within 2 weeks of moving.
  • Notify DVLA online or by post with new address details.
  • Provide proof of identity and residency documents.
  • It is free to update your address.
  • New license sent within a week showing updated address.

Taking the UK Driving Test

Both a theory and practical test must be passed to gain a full UK license.

Theory Test Details

  • Computer-based multiple choice test.
  • 50 questions with 50 minutes allowed.
  • 43 correct answers required to pass.
  • £23 fee per test attempt.

Practical Driving Test Details

  • On-road test with DVSA examiner.
  • Includes maneuvers, road driving for up to 40 min.
  • Assesses ability and safety behind the wheel.
  • 14 minor faults or 1 major fault results in failure.
  • Testing fees range from £62 -£75.

UK Traffic Penalties and Fines

Driving legally means obeying all UK traffic and road laws. Common offenses include:

OffenseTypical Fine
Speeding£100 + £2.50 per mph over limit
Running a red lightUp to £100
Using a mobile phone£200 and 6 points
No vehicle insurance£300 and 6 points
Careless or dangerous driving£100-£2500, 3-9 points
Drunk driving£2,500 fine, 3-11 points, jail possible
  • Accumulating 12+ points in 3 years may result in disqualification.
  • Serious violations can lead to vehicle impounding also.
  • All fines and points are doubled in road work zones.

Other UK Driving Services

  • International Driving Permit – allows non-UK license holders to drive
  • Driving classes – instruction from qualified driving instructors
  • Vehicle registration – register cars, motorcycles purchased in the UK
  • MOT test – annual vehicle inspection required for all vehicles over 3 years old
  • UK driver’s license translation – certified translation if license isn’t in English

FAQs on United Kingdom Driving Licence

1. How much does it cost to get a first UK driving license?

Plan on £100-£200 including the provisional, theory test, practical test, and new license fees. Instruction costs extra.

2. What is the minimum UK driver’s license age?

You can apply for a provisional at age 15 years and 9 months. A full license can be obtained from age 17.

3. How long is a UK driving license valid for?

Licenses are valid until you turn 70, when renewal is first required. After age 70 renewal is required every 3 years.

4. Can I renew my UK license if I’m not in the country?

Yes, you can renew a UK license from overseas by post or using the DVLA online service.

5. Do I need to retake any tests when renewing my UK license?

Only an eyesight test is required on first renewal at age 70. After that, no tests are needed to renew.