Obtaining Driving Licence in Great Britain: Useful Tips

Whether you are a local in need of a licence renewal or a student wishing to road trip around the U.K during summer break, getting your driver’s licence is a one way ticket to becoming more mobile.

There are a few things to bear in mind before you get behind the wheel. Find out what you need to know by reading the following post.

Where Can I Get the British Driving Permit?

Go to your local Driver and Vehicle licensing agency to apply for a licence. Those are available in Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

British Driving Licence Application Procedure

Applying for a driver’s licence in the U.K is no different to other European countries. The process somewhat varies from one to another, but the idea stays the same.

Here’s the step by step guide to obtaining a full driving licence in Great Britain:

1. Apply for a provisional driving licence.

Having a provisional driving licence permits you to drive while you are passing all your theory and practical exams. To get one you should submit a request via the official U.K government website.

2. Successfully complete a theory test.

The theoretical part consists of 50 questions and a hazard perception. To reserve your place for one you should head off to the official website.

3. Successfully complete a practical test.

A practical driving test will cost you somewhere around £62-£75. To be eligible to book one you have to obtain a certificate confirming you scored the highest marks on your theory test.

4. Apply online or by post for your full drivers licence.

Most applicants should be able to submit an online request, but if you own a paper provisional driving licence then you have to apply by post:

Documents Required for U.K. Driver Licence Application

Below are the documents necessary for your driver’s permit request. The list changes for every candidate, so make sure to choose what applies to you best.

  • A British passport / birth certificate / adoption papers / naturalisation certificate
  • A compliant digital photo that was taken no more than half a year before application
  • National insurance card / payslip / marriage certificate (submit those if you don’t have a passport to apply with)

For applicants submitting their form with other proof of identity than a passport, it’s necessary that a friend or a colleague signs the back of their photos for authorisation. They must be located in the U.K. and have a legal permit to stay.

For foreign citizens applying for a U.K. driving licence:

You have to provide your foreign passport with a proof of permission to stay in the U.K. Otherwise a biometric residence permit works fine too. You can also apply for British international driving license online on IDA’s website.

Can I Get a Driver’s Licence Photo Online?

Great thing about living in the digital age is that everything can be done online. You can use your own smartphone to take a selfie or ask a friend to take a snap of you. Once you have an image that you like, submit it to this simple online service. It will produce a perfectly competent photo that you can use for your driver’s licence. For only £7 you get a digital image and a separate photo with 4 pictures in it for printing.