Minimum Ages and rules for learner Drivers

Learning safe driving habits from the start will improve your safety and that of other road users. If you want to practise your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and, must hold a full licence in the relevant vehicle category for at least three years.

As a learner driver you must display ‘L’ plates in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of your vehicle. These plates should be removed when the vehicle is not being driven by a learner, as the maximum speed limit for a vehicle displaying ‘L’ plates is 45mph. This is irrespective of the driver being a learner or not (with the exception of goods vehicles, buses, and coaches on a motorway).

You can take your theory test 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 licence up to two months before your 17th birthday.

If you are receiving Personal Independence Payments at the enhanced rate, you can apply for your provisional licence three months before your 16th birthday. The licence will only come into effect on your 16th birthday.

If you want to ride a moped, you can take your theory test 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 licence for an agricultural vehicle or a moped, this will include provisional entitlement to drive a car but it only comes into effect when you are 17.

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