Rules for Learners

Before you learn to drive or ride a new vehicle make sure you know about the rules and restrictions that apply to you. Different vehicles have different minimum ages and restrictions

Rules for learner drivers

Before you start to drive, you must:
  • 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
It is important to learn safe driving practice from the beginning of your driving career because bad habits are hard to break.

It is unlikely that anyone except an approved driving instructor (ADI) has the experience, knowledge and training to teach you properly. Learning safe driving habits from the start will improve the safety of yourself and other road users.

If you want to practise your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full licence, in the relevant vehicle category, for three years.

As a learner driver you must display 'L' plates ('L' or 'D' plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving.

Minimum age you can take a test

You can take your theory test once your provisional licence becomes valid.

Normally, for car drivers, the earliest date your provisional licence can become valid is your 17th birthday. You can apply for the licence up to three months before your 17th birthday however, you will still have to wait until your birthday before you can take your theory test.

For more information about applying for a provisional licence, please click on the link below.


Disability living allowance

If you are receiving disability living allowance at the higher rate your provisional licence will come into effect when you are 16, but you can apply for it within three months of your 16th birthday.