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Provisional Driving licence

When you can apply

You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you're 15 years and 9 months old.

You can start driving when you're:

  • 17 if you want to drive a car
  • 16 if you want to ride a moped or light quad bike

Your licence will say when you can start driving different vehicles.

 To get your first provisional driving licence online for a car, motorcycle or moped you must:

  • be a resident of Great Britain - there's a different service in Northern Ireland
  • meet the minimum age requirement
  • meet the minimum eyesight requirement (see below)
  • not be prevented from driving for any reason
  • have a valid UK passport or other form of identity
  • have your National Insurance number if known
  • provide addresses where you've lived over the last 3 years

Your licence should arrive within one week if you apply online.

Minimum eyesight requirement

You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

You must also have an adequate field of vision - your optician can tell you about this and do a test.

(Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0)