A driving licence is an official document authorising its holder to drive various types of motor vehicles around the United Kingdom. This help guide covers all the popular services and your legal obligations.
DVLA LICENCE: You need a drivers licence to use or operate vehicles on the roads and highways in Great Britain.
DVLA is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. They administer driving licences in England, Scotland and Wales. The DVA operates a similar role in Northern Ireland.
The police and local authorities enforce the Road Traffic Act 1988. The law states you need a driving licence for driving vehicles on any UK highway.
As a rule, British nationals do not carry identity cards. Even so, the modern photocard driving licence may serve as one, in certain situations.
A UK driving licence can meet the same purpose as an identity card even in non-driving situations. For example it may confirm proof of your identity when opening a bank account.
FIRST PROVISIONAL LICENCE: You can apply for your first provisional driving licence online or by post. You get it from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.
FULL DRIVING LICENCE: You can apply for a full driving licence after passing the practical driving test. As a rule, the examiner sends the pass certificate to the DVLA. It takes around 3 weeks to get a full driving licence.
REAPPLY FOR A LICENCE: DVLA can revoke driver licences (take them away) or you may need to surrender it. Check how to apply for a driving licence following a medical condition.
REAPPLY FOR A LICENCE: Check how to reapply for a driving licence if you got disqualified. A disqualification can be for drink driving or for other offences.
RENEW A DRIVING LICENCE: You can renew a driving licence online with the DVLA. Check the current cost, payment methods, and what documents you need.
REPLACING A FULL LICENCE: Check how to get a replacement provisional or full driving licence. You can apply online to replace a driving licence if it gets stolen, lost, damaged, or totally destroyed.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: There is no fee to change address on a driving licence in the UK. Check out the easy process for changing an address on a driver's licence online or by post.
CHANGE OF NAME: Getting married means you may need to change the name on a driving licence. Check how to complete form D1 and what supporting documents you must send to DVLA.
CONTACT DVLA: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency take between 2 and 6 weeks to process applications. Wait until the processing time has past before contacting DVLA.
DVLA Vehicle Registration Enquiries
Telephone: 0300 790 6802
Monday to Friday: 8am to 7pm
Saturday: 8am to 2pm
DVLA Postal Address
Vehicle Customer Services
DVLA Swansea SA99 1AR
COST OF A DRIVING LICENCE: Check the current cost to renew, replace, or amend your driving licence. The section lists driving licence fees for the different types of licences and how to pay.
EXCHANGING A PAPER LICENCE: Learn how to exchange a paper driving licence for a photocard. You can use the online process or make the change by post.
ID FOR DRIVING LICENCE: Find out which documents you need for driving licence identification in the UK. In some cases you need to provide specific proof of your identity when you apply to get a driving licence.
LAW GUIDE: The list of drivers legal obligations includes having valid and current documents in place. Find out what the law says you must do before you drive a car or ride a motorcycle on the roads.
EYESIGHT RULES: What are the eyesight requirements for driving in the United Kingdom? This guide explains the DVLA legal eyesight standard for driving and for passing the driving test.
TELL DVLA: Prevent further correspondence by telling DVLA a driver has died. Check what information you need to give and how to deal with road tax if you keep or sell the vehicle.
RENEW ONLINE: Licences expire when you reach 70 so you would need to renew a driving licence at age 70 or older. Over 70s driving licence renewal online is easy or you can apply by post using form D46P.
TOWING LICENCE: Check the rules for towing with a car licence and the meaning of Maximum Authorised Mass. Further information explains how your driving licence categories determine what type of trailer or caravan you can tow.
TRAILER SAFETY CHECKS: You should carry out certain checks before you tow a caravan, horsebox, or trailer with a car. The law requires you to tow trailers that are safe and legal.
CHECK LICENCE DETAILS: You can inspect or share your driving licence information online. It is a useful way of creating a 'check code' when hiring a car and to see what information DVLA holds on your licence.
Driving Licence Regulations in the United Kingdom