Driving in the UK

Driving in the UK

Many refugees want to be able to drive in the UK.
Do you want to drive in the UK?

UK Driving licence

You need a UK driving licence to drive in the UK. First, you need a provisional licence so you can practise driving, prepare for your practical test and book your theory test. When you pass your driving theory test, you can book your practical driving test. When you have passed both tests, you will receive a full licence.

If you have an international driving licence, it will become invalid when you apply for a UK provisional licence. Insurance connected to an international licence also becomes invalid when you get a UK provisional licence.

Road Tax, Insurance and MOT

When you have a car, you must have a road tax.
To drive your car on UK roads, you must have motor vehicle insurance.
You need a driving license (provisional or full) to get your insurance.
Any car 3 years old or older must have an MOT test to show that it is safe.
Insurance, road tax and an MOT are legal requirements.
Read about road tax: https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax
Read about vehicle insurance: https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-insurance
Read about MOT: https://www.gov.uk/getting-an-mot

When you have Leave to Remain, you can apply for a driving license. You will need to provide your Biometric Resident’s Permit to get your provisional driving license. https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence

Provisional driving license

Before you start driving practice, you need to apply for the provisional driving license.
You can apply for a provisional driving license at the government DVLA webpage or at the post office. To apply for your provisional license, you need a biometric residence permit or travel document and proof of address, and you need to pay. The cost in 2021 is £34 online or £43 at a post office.
The ID you need: https://www.gov.uk/id-for-driving-licence
This video shows you how to apply for the provisional licence:

The Driving Test

Before you get your full license, you must pass a UK Driving Test.
The Driving Test is separated into 2 parts:
The Driving Theory Test
Practical Driving Test
The Government DVLA website has links to free practice driving theory tests:

Booking your theory test

You can book your theory test here: https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test
You need your provisional license number to book the theory test. The test will happen at a centre, for example in Preston: https://theorytest.org.uk/preston-theory-test-centre/
You can find the theory test centre nearest your home here: https://www.gov.uk/find-theory-test-centre

Booking your practical test:

You can book tour practical driving test here: https://driverpracticaltest.dvsa.gov.uk/application?execution=e1s1
You need your provisional driving licence number and theory test pass number to book the practical driving test. You have to go to a driving test centre to take your practical test, for example in Heysham:
You can find the theory test centre nearest your home here:

The government DVLA pages tell you what you need to know, where to buy the highway code and driving theory books.
You can practice driving theory tests free online, and you can buy practice books or pay for more online practice tests.

Using a non-UK driving licence

If you have a non-UK international driver’s licence, and the car you are driving is appropriately insured, you can use your international driver’s licence for one year after your arrival in the UK. You cannot use it after applying for your provisional UK license.

Driving Theory Course

In Febraury 2021 Sophie Smith, a local driving instructor, taught a 10 week Driving Theory course online. Below are 10 PDFs which teach you everything you need to know to pass your Driving Theory Test.

Week 1:Intro
Week 2: The test, insurance and other documents; hazard awareness
Week 3: Road signs, incidents, accidents and emergencies
Week 4: Accidents and emergencies
Week 5: Motorways
Week 6: Rules of the road
Week 7: Your vehicle, safety, vulnerable road users
Week 8: Vehicle loading and safety
Week 9: Revision
Week 10: Sharing the road with different types of vehicle