You must be at least 17 and have a provisional licence to drive on public roads but you can APPLY FOR YOUR LICENCE UP TO THREE MONTHS BEFORE its start date.

You can apply for a provisional licence online and use your photo identity on your current UK passport or by post. To apply by post complete driving licence application form D1 (available from most post offices), and send it with the £50 fee, original documentation confirming your identity, and a passport-sized colour photograph to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD. You can normally expect to receive your licence within 2 to 3 weeks.

Further information about driving licences is available on the website.


You must be able to read a new-style UK number plate at a distance of at least 20 metres (or 20.5m for number plates that are pre-September 2001). If glasses or contact lenses are needed for this, they must always be worn when driving.


The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) advises “The best way to learn is by having regular planned lessons with a good driving instructor and as much practice as possible.”

WE HOPE YOU WILL CHOOSE TO LEARN WITH LDS LOUISE DRIVING SCHOOL and if you are lucky enough to have private practice, you should be accompanied by a full licence holder who is at least 21 years old and has held a full British car licence for at least three years. We have arranged for a discount for learner driver insurance through Collingwood Learners and Marmalade Insurance for you to drive a friend or relatives car using your own insurance.

The number of lessons you need will depend on your natural ability, relevent experience and, to a degree, your age.


You can start driving lessons before you pass your theory test but you will not be eligible to book the practical test without having passed the theory test. The theory test is a computerised exam in two parts. If you fail either part you must take both parts again.

In the first part of the theory test you must answer 50 multiple choice questions in 57 minutes on road procedure, traffic signs, road markings, road sense, rules and regulations etc. You must answer at least 43 correctly to pass this part of the test.

In the second part your hazard perception skills are tested when 14 CGI film clips of road scenes are displayed on the computer and you have to click the mouse when you see a hazard developing. One of the clips will contain two hazards, the others contain one each.

Each clip is about one minute long and you can score a maximum of five points for each of the 15 hazards shown – the earlier you spot the hazard the higher your score. You must score 44 out of 75 to pass.

You will receive your result within 30 minutes of finishing the test.

See the official DVSA video on the theory test.

We recommend you study for the theory test at the same time as taking practical lessons as this will allow you to put the theory into practice and so aid understanding. As a LDS LOUISE DRIVING SCHOOL customer you will be entitled to FREE ACCESS to Theory Test Pro.

Sign up to Theory Test Pro

How to apply for the theory test:

The nearest theory test centres to St Albans are at Watford and Luton.

You can pay the £25 exam fee by debit or credit card for a telephone or online booking, or by cheque or postal order with a written application.

For a telephone booking, call 0300 200 1122 or Book Online.

If you wish to book by post, application forms are available from driving test centres, or you can ask for one to be sent to you by calling 0300 200 1122.

When you book you will be asked to state your driver number (printed on your provisional driving licence), your name, address, phone number, where and when you want to take the test and if you have any special needs or disabilities.


The practical driving test is about 40 minutes long, during which time you will be asked to carry out one set manoeuvre, maybe an emergency stop and drive independently (following road signs or a diagram) for about 10 minutes.

The possible manoeuvres are reversing around a corner to the left or right; turning the car around in the road; and reverse parking behind a car or into a parking bay. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop – a random requirement in about one in three tests.

You will also be asked to drive independently for about ten minutes. For this part of the test you will need to follow road signs or a series of directions or a combination of both.

You will fail the driving test if you accumulate more than 15 driver faults or a single serious, dangerous or potentially dangerous fault.

At the start of the test you will be asked two questions about vehicle safety checks. If you get one or both of these wrong, it will count as one driver fault.


See the official DVSA video on the driving test.

How to apply for a driving test:

We recommend that you get your instructor to book the test for you so they can ensure their car will be available when you need it. Simply offer them a number of possible times and dates. Our local test centre is in St Albans.

If you book the test yourself, you will be asked for your driver number (printed on your provisional licence), your theory test certificate number, what type of vehicle the test is for (car, motorcycle, lorry, bus), if you have any special needs, your name, address and phone number and where and when you want to take the test. Please also give them your driving instructors number (ADI Number) Ask your instructor for their registered number.

You can pay the £62 fee (£75 for Saturday or weekday evenings) by debit or credit card for a telephone or online booking, or by cheque or postal order with a written application.

For a telephone booking, call 0300 200 1122 or you can book online.

If you wish to book by post, application forms are available from driving test centres, or you can ask for one to be sent to you by calling 0300 200 1122.


When you pass your driving test your examiner will give you a test pass certificate and ask you to hand over your provisional licence so he/she can arrange for it to be exchanged for a full licence, which you will receive in the post directly from DVLA.

Alternatively, you can choose to do the paperwork yourself, by sending off your pass certificate and provisional licence to the DVLA. But you must claim your full licence within two years or your pass certificate will become invalid and you will have to take both the theory and practical tests again.