Minimum ages and rules You can take your theory test once your provisional license becomes valid.
Normally, for car drivers, the earliest date your provisional license 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 license 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.
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 practise 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 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 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 license for Great Britain or Northern Ireland
Make sure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured
If you want to practise 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 licence 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 licence. You cannot start to drive a car until your provisional driving license has been accepted and in your possession.
About driving theory test
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 centres around the country.
Passing your driving theory test is your first step towards being a safe driver on the road.
DSA driving theory test consists of two elements:
A. Multiple choice questions
This section is designed to tests your understanding of the theory behind driving. There is a 15-minute practice session you can work through before starting the tests. There are 50 randomly selected, multiple-choice questions and you need to get at least 43 answers right to pass.
B. Hazard Perception Test
This is the second section of the theory test and must be passed at the same time.
Hazard perception test is conducted to test the ability of learner drivers how they will respond to hazards on the road while driving. There are 14 videos, each about a minute long.
This section is designed to tests your awareness of potential hazards whilst driving.
The videos feature various types of hazard, such as road conditions, vehicles and pedestrians. The earlier you spot a hazard developing that may require the driver to take some action, the higher the score.
There are 15 scoreable hazards in the tests and candidates can score up to 5 points on each hazard. The pass mark is 44 out of 75.
Preparing for your theory test
We recommend you to study following -
§ The Highway Code -
The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone. Its rules apply to all road users: drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians as well as horse riders. It contains most up to date advice on road safety and the laws, which apply to all road users.
§ Traffic signs -
It is important to know road signs and markings that you are most likely to encounter.
§ Driving Theory test questions
Is a set of latest questions published by DSA from which the exam questions are taken. DSA may change questions time to time it is important that you study the books where latest questions are published.Preparing for hazard perception test -
It is best to practice hazard perception skills on the computer if you have access to one. There are many websites and PC-CD ROMs in the market, using which you can practice your hazard perceptions skills.
About car practical test The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is now able to offer tests outside the normal test times at a number of test centres. This provides customers a wider range of appointments over an extended working day.
Practical tests are generally available at all permanent test centres. Saturday and weekday evening tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday.
The driving part of your test lasts about 40 minutes. Throughout the test, your examiner will be looking for overall safe standards of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises. 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.
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