So what do you need to do first?
You can apply for your provisional driving licence up to three months before your 17th birthday by filling in Form D1 available from your local post office or by applying online.
When you receive your licence you can also apply for your Theory Test which your instructor can help you with. You need to have passed the Theory Test before you apply for your Practical Driving Test.
The Theory Test
The Theory Test is an assessment of your knowledge of the Highway Code, plus your ability to recognise hazards quickly. The test comes in two parts, multiple choice questions and hazard perception. If you fail either part you will have to take the test again. The 50 multiple choice questions are based on the information in the Highway Code. You must get at least 43 correct answers to pass this part of the test.
Hazard perception is a simulation of a real scenario that is played out on a computer screen. As the clip plays, a series of potential hazards will develop and you are required to click the mouse to confirm. You must score at least 44 out of 75 in order to be successful. Once the theory test is passed successfully you have two years to pass the Practical Test. After two years your Theory Test certificate expires.
Book your theory test here:
The Practical Test
The Practical Test includes an eyesight test where you must be able to read an old-style car number plate from 20.5 metres away, or the new-style from 20 metres. If you fail this, your Practical Test will not continue.
The documents required for the test are:
- both parts of your provisional licence; the photocard and paper counter document. (If you have the old type paper licence you will also have to bring a valid passport as no other form of photo identification will be accepted).
- booking form or reference number.
- Theory Test pass certificate (for the practical test).
The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set manoeuvres. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test.
You will be asked to carry out two set manoeuvres which will involve any of the following:
- reversing around a corner
- turning in the road
- reverse parking
You will be asked several “show and tell” questions about safety and maintenance relating to your car and any wrong answers will result in driving faults. To help you prepare for your test you can study the questions and answers on the “Show & Tell” page of this website.
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop / controlled stop exercise.
At the end of your test, the examiner will give you a debrief and tell you if you have passed. If you are successful, the next step to consider is Pass Plus – a scheme specifically designed to help newly qualified drivers stay safe and maybe get a discount on their insurance.
Cancellations for either the Theory or Practical Test require three working days notice.
Book your practical test here:
Recommended Books & DVDs
The Highway Code is essential reading for any road user. It explains the rules of the road and gives good advice about best driving practices.
The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers contains all the questions in the multiple choice part of the Theory Test, together with the answers and explanations.
The Official DVSA Guide to Driving; The Essential Skills explains the best driving practices in more detail.
The Official DVSA Theory Test CD-ROM for Car Drivers contains all the questions and allows you to practice for the multiple choice part of the Theory Test.
The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception DVD will help you prepare for the hazard perception part of the Theory Test. This is also available as a video and workbook-based training pack.
Prepare for your Practical Driving Test – the official DVSA guide DVD clearly demonstrates the driving standards you need to achieve to reach Level 5, the practical test pass standard, for each of the 24 key driving skills examined in the test.
Local Theory Test Centres
Kingston upon Thames Theory Test Centre
Drapers Court (4th floor)
Kingston Hall Road Kingston upon Thames
Staines Theory Test Centre
Church House (ground floor)
Church Street Staines