Go to content Go to menu

Appearing for driving theory test - Wait and read this!!!

Passing your driving theory test is your first step towards being a safe driver on the road. You need to know few things before you appear for the driving theory test.

Minimum ages and rules:

You can take your driving theory test online once your provisional licence becomes valid. Normally, for car drivers, the earliest date your provisional licence can become valid is your 17th birthday, however you can apply for the license up to three months before your 17th birthday.

So, if you apply for your provisional licence before you are 17 you will still have to wait until your birthday before you can take your theory test.

Disability living allowance:

If you are receiving disability living allowance at the higher rate your provisional licence will come into effect when you are 16, but you can apply for it within three months of your 16th birthday.

Motorcyclists direct access scheme:

Direct access is a scheme, which allows a person over the age of 21 to avoid the two year/25 kW restriction by taking a test on a machine of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. Any instruction given on a machine that exceeds the normal learner motorcycle specification must be supervised at all times by a certified motorcycle instructor who should be in radio contact. You should also wear fluorescent or reflective clothing and follow all other provisional licence restrictions.

Accelerated access:

Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25 kW (33 bhp) machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). They may practice on bikes over 25 kW (33 bhp) under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practicing (on a motorcycle greater than 25 kW (33 bhp) although test failure will not affect your existing license.

Mopeds and tractors:

If you want to ride a moped you can take your theory test online when you are 16, but again you must make sure you have a valid provisional licence. If you are 16 and already have a provisional license for an agricultural vehicle or a moped, this will give you provisional entitlement to drive a car when you are 17.

Rules for learner drivers: Before you start to drive, you must:

  • Hold a valid, provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • Make sure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured
  • If you want to practice your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full license for three years.
  • As a learner driver, you must display 'L' plates ('L' or 'D' plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving.
  • You're limited to less powerful motorbikes.

Apply for provisional license:

If you have never held a driving licence before you will need to apply for a provisional license. You cannot start to drive a car until your provisional driving license has been accepted and in your possession.

Driving theory test: must-have learning resources:

Preparing for your theory test is essential if you want to become a safe, responsible driver or rider. If you are a learner driver, you must take and pass your theory test before you book your practical test. The theory test is a computer based test and can be taken at various tests centers around the country.