Buy a driving licence in the UK as a foreigner

Buy a driving licence in the UK, Winter is fast approaching. Yellow leaves cover the sidewalks, and days are growing shorter. Maybe you’re starting to think about switching your daily underground commute for the comfort of your own car? We’ve put together a little guide to help you understand how to get a driving licence in the UK as a foreign national.

Important: You might also want to check whether your driving licence issued from abroad is valid in the UK. More information here

Here are the 4 steps you should take to get your UK driving licence:

1. Check whether you meet the legal requirements

In order to drive in the UK, you need to be over the age of 17, and have a valid licence to drive motorised vehicles on any public roads. You should also be able to read a licence plate from 20 metres away. Only residents can apply for a UK driving licence, so foreign nationals are reauired to prove they have been living in the country 185 days within the past 12 months.

2. Apply for a provisional licence

  • Where to go? You can apply for a provisional licence on the DVLA website.
  • What will you need? You will be asked to input basic identity and contact details, as well as your addresses for the past 3 years. Through the process, you will have the option to enter your National Insurance Number (NIN), which is useful as it helps the ID verification process.
  • How to verify your identity? For this part, timing is essential. Unless you own a British biometric passport, you will need to send your original identity documents physically to the DVLA office in Swansea, along with a passport-style photograph and a return envelope.
  • How much does it cost? £610, payable by card at the end of the process.
  • What if you can’t apply online? Then a post option exists. Just fill in the D1 form available in certain post office branches and the DVLA website, and post it to the same address. You’ll need to include your original identity document, a passport-style photo and a £43 cheque or postal order.
  • When will I receive my provisional licence? Whatever method you have chosen, you should receive your provisional licence 3 weeks from the successful confirmation of your identity 📬

Buy a driving licence in the UK

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