Most people want to get a provisional driving licence as soon as they can! This is because it allows them to drive on the roads with an instructor. Without this licence, it is illegal to drive on the roads. As a result, it’s no wonder that students want to receive a licence as soon as possible. Therefore, the real question is, how long does it take to arrive? Will you be tortured by waiting weeks, or does the licence arrive quite quickly?
There are two methods of application for your provisional driving licence: online and via post. If you apply for your provisional licence online, it will most likely take up to one week to arrive. However, if DVLA decide to do additional checks, this could take longer. In comparison, if you apply by post, your licence could take up to three weeks to arrive.
If you want to find out more information about the delivery times for provisional licences and why this differs between different methods, check out the rest of this article!
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How long does a provisional driving licence take to be delivered if you apply online?
Applying online is the fastest way to receive your provisional driving licence. You can do this by applying through the government website, which you can visit if you click here.
If you apply online, your provisional licence will take one week to be delivered. This is true in most cases.
However, sometimes, DVLA will have to do additional checks, making sure that all of your identification paperwork matches up. If this is the case, then it could take slightly longer.
Despite the short delivery time, provisional driving licences stay valid for quite a while. If you want to discover how long a provisional driving licence actually lasts for, check out this article from Think Student.
How long does a provisional driving licence take if you apply by post?
If you apply for a provisional licence by post, it takes a longer time for it to be delivered. On average, this will take about three weeks according to this article from the Driving Theory website.
However, again, if certain information has to be verified, this could take longer. If your licence hasn’t occurred within four weeks, you can then contact DVLA to ask them about it’s whereabouts.
If you apply by post, you would have also had to send off official documents, such as a form of identification. DVLA doesn’t give any specific dates for when these documents will be returned.
When should you order your provisional driving licence?
Put simply, you should probably order your provisional driving licence as soon as you possibly can. This is because not only can it allow you to drive, your provisional licence can also act as a form of ID.
This is especially useful, as individuals under 17 are then able to prove their age and identity when needed. You can apply for a provisional licence as soon as you turn 15 years and 9 months old.
Most students wait until they are 17 years old to apply for a provisional driving licence. However, in my experience, the best thing to do is to apply for your licence as soon as possible.
This is because there could be delays which are not foreseen, especially if you want to have a different picture from your passport. This means receiving your licence could take much longer.
You can discover what else you need in order to apply for your provisional licence on the government website if you click here.
Can you drive if your provisional driving licence hasn’t arrived yet?
It is illegal to drive without a provisional licence! It is essential that you have one before starting your driving lessons. If you don’t have a licence and drive, you could end up getting fined a lot of money or even be banned from driving!
You can also only drive if you are 17 years old. Therefore, even if you do have a provisional driving licence, you can’t drive on the roads if you are under 17 years old.
Also, you are only able to drive a car if you are accompanied by an adult, who have had a full driving licence for at least three years and are over 21 years old. Most of the time, this will be a driving instructor.
However, you can also ask other people to sit in the passenger seat whilst you drive, such as your parents or maybe even a neighbour. If you don’t have a provisional driving licence, then you wouldn’t be allowed to drive at all.
You can discover more rules you have to follow when learning to drive if you read this article from the government website.
What happens if your provisional driving licence hasn’t arrived by your first driving lesson?
The simple answer to this question is that you would have to cancel your driving lesson. It is illegal for you to drive a car without a provisional licence.
Your provisional licence is also needed for insurance when you are driving your instructor’s car. Insurance is also an essential part of learning to drive. If you don’t have a licence, then you can’t be insured, and this is also illegal.
You must always be insured to cover damage to other people’s property. This is known as ‘third-party insurance’. If you want to find out more about why provisional licences are so important and why you are unable to drive without one, check out this article from A-Plan Insurance.
How do you apply for your provisional driving licence?
Applying for a provisional driving licence is extremely simple! This is especially true if you are applying online.
All you need to do is fill in the form on the government website. You can do this straight away, if you click here. When you apply, you need to make sure that you have certain documents.
This includes a form of identification, such as a passport. You will also need to provide DVLA with the addresses you have lived at up to the last three years.
You could be asked for additional information too, such as your national insurance number. It’s best to complete this form with an adult, to make sure that you don’t give any incorrect information!
You can also apply for a provisional driving licence by post. All you need to do is pick up a driving licence application form from the post office and then fill it in!
You will also need to send a method of payment with the application and then it is ready to be posted. You can find a breakdown of these stages on this page from the Post Office website.
How much does a provisional driving licence cost?
It is no secret that learning to drive is expensive. You have to pay for all of the driving lessons, your theory test and your practical test. Sadly, purchasing a provisional licence also costs money.
This price varies depending on how you apply. This is because if you apply for a provisional licence online, you will have to pay £34. You can pay this sum with a Visa, MasterCard, Electron or Delta debit or credit card.
However, if you apply for your provisional licence by post, this is a bit more expensive. This is because if you apply by post, the cost of a provisional driving licence is £43. (These prices are accurate as of July 2023).
For more information about the costs of a provisional licence, check out this article from Think Student. If you want to find out more about the prices for different driving licences, check out this page from the government website.
Also, if you want to find out more about how much it really costs to learn to drive, check out this article from Think Student. Happy driving!