YOUR DRIVING LICENCE
You need to get a Provisional Licence before you can drive a car. If you have an old style paper licence you also need to sign it (photocard licences already include your signature). You can get an application form and explanatory notes from most Post Offices. Read the application form carefully and make sure that you comply with the requirements for getting photos signed by an appropriate person. If you have a recent passport you can apply for your provisional licence online.
The licence usually takes just a week or two to arrive. It consists of two parts - the photocard and the paper counterpart. Any time you need to produce your driving licence you must produce BOTH PARTS.
If you change your name or address, you need to send in your licence to get it changed. There is normally no charge for this. If you lose your driving licence and need a replacement then you will normally be charged.
If you have an International Driving Permit from overseas which lasts for one year, you will still need to get a UK provisional licence before you can take your test. Note that an International Permit only allows you to drive while you are a vistor to this country. If you have a permanent address in this country you may not normally be considered to be a vistor.
Can I take the test if I have lost my provisional driving licence?
If you lose either part of your driving licence (photocard or counterpart) just before your driving test you will not be able to take the test unless you can get a replacement before the test.
When you pass your test you can apply for a full driving licence. You are advised do this straight away and must do it before a year expires. With newer licences, the Examiner may offer to keep your provisional licence and you will automatically be sent your full licence.
For more information about licences visit www.dvla.gov.uk