Before driving on a public road or take your theory test, you will need a valid Provisional Driving Licence. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) application form (Form D1) can be obtained from your local Post Office but you can also apply online from the official 'Gov UK' site.
You can apply for your provisional licence up to 3 months before your 17th Birthday but it will not be valid until you actually turn 17 so you will not be able to take lessons on a public road, or take your theory test until then.
You can apply for your first British provisional driving licence online if you:
Are a resident of Great Britain.
Meet the minimum age requirement.
Can meet the minimum eyesight requirement.
Are currently not prevented from driving for any reason.
Can pay by Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, Electron, Delta or Solo debit or credit card.
Have a valid UK passport or another form of identity.
Can provide addresses of where you have lived over the last three years.
As a photo is required for your licence the DVLA can use your passport photo if you have one. If you don't have one, or you want to use a different one, this will need to be sent to the DVLA separately.
The actual theory test questions are no longer published which means that those found in revision materials of any kind will give you an idea of the questions and answers to expect but will NOT be exactly the same as those you will face during the test itself.
This change was introduced to ensure you gain a better understanding of driving theory rather than simply memorising questions and answers.
Before you start the hazard perception part of the test, you'll be shown a short video clip about how it works before being shown a series of video clips on a computer screen. The clips feature everyday road scenes and contain at least one developing hazard - but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction and what you need to do is identify these as early as possible to get as high a score as possible (max 5 per clip).
Below is one of the new official computer generated clips.
Once you've passed your theory test, the final step to obtaining your full driving licence is the practical test.
Once your driving skills have reached a suitable level, and providing you have passed your theory test in the last 2 years, you can then look to get your practical test booked. How far in advance this needs to be done will vary depending on the number of others applying at the same time but this will be discussed with you when appropriate.
'Independent driving' is a section of the test where you will be asked to follow signs or maps to a particular location to see how well you deal with driving without direction from the examiner.
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