Requirements for Learner Drivers

Before you start to drive, you must:

  • Be of legal age to drive
  • hold a valid, provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • make sure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured

The minimum age that you can legally drive a car on public roads is 17. You can apply for your Provisional Licence up to three months before your 17th birthday, but you will not be permitted to drive or take your theory test until you've received this first Provisional Licence and have reached your seventeenth birthday.

Eyesight Requirements

Before you start to drive, you should also be aware if the eyesight requirements. If you need contact lenses or glasses to meet the requirements, you must make sure you wear them every time you drive. If you have had sight correction surgery you should declare this when you apply for your provisional licence, along with any visual condition which affects your sight (not including colour blindness or long or short sight), for example, if you only have sight in one eye.

It's a good idea to have an eye test is just before you apply for your licence, and mention to the optometrist that you are about to start learning to drive.

Driving Requirements

As a learner driver, you are required to display 'L' plates ('L' or 'D' plates in Wales) in a prominent position on the front and back of the body of the vehicle you are driving. You may not drive on your own until the day you pass the practical part of the Driving Test - you must be accompanied by a driver over the age of 21 who has held their full licence for at least three years.