Learning to drive


Applying for a licence

Before you can learn to drive a car, moped or motorcycle you must apply for a provisional driving licence.

You can do this via the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) secure and easy to use online service, available through: www.direct.gov.uk

The theory test

After you have your provisional licence, taking your theory test is the next step in getting a full licence. The theory test is made up of a multiple choice part and a hazard perception part – you need to pass both parts. Once you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.

The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse. If you pass one part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole test, and you’ll need to take both parts again.

You can book your theory test here: www.gov.uk/book-theory-test

You can practice your theory test here: www.gov.uk/practise-your-driving-theory-test

Finding an instructor

Recent surveys indicate that nine out of 10 learner drivers who passed both the theory and practical test first time were taught by an instructor.

A fully qualified approved driving instructor (ADI) must display a green certificate on the windscreen of the car while teaching you. Some trainee driving instructors are granted a licence so they can gain experience before their qualifying examination. These trainees must display a pink certificate on the windscreen.

You should take advice from your ADI on:

• All aspects of driving
• What books to read
• When to take your test
• How to practice

As a government agency, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is not allowed to recommend an instructor. We suggest that you ask friends and relatives to recommend someone they know, or search on the Honest Truth website for a local instructor.

You can book your driving test here: www.gov.uk/book-driving-test

You can find an overview of the test here: www.gov.uk/practical-driving-test-for-cars/overview

Visit the DVSA online shop for a variety of publications to help you prepare and pass your theory and practical driving tests: www.safedrivingforlife.info