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Claiming a driving test pass

Once you have passed your driving test (both theory and practical are needed), you'll need to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to exchange your test pass certificate and provisional driving licence for a new full driving licence as soon as possible.

The same is also true if you're the holder of a full driving licence and have passed a test for another vehicle, such as a lorry or bus. You'll need to return your test pass certificate with your driving licence to have the new driving entitlement added to your licence.

Beware of the time limit!

If you don't claim your test pass within two years of the date of your test, the driving entitlement, in which you gained the test pass, will be lost. You'll have to take and pass both parts of the driving test again for that category of vehicle if you wish to have it included on your driving licence.

Photocard Driving LicenceApply by post

To notify DVLA of your driving test pass you'll need to complete the declaration on your test pass certificate and send it, together with your photocard driving licence, the D740 paper counterpart and the appropriate fee to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BJ.

If your name has changed since your last licence you'll also need to complete a D1 application form that is available from DVLA's form ordering service or Post Office® branches. You'll also need to provide original documentation confirming your new name.

The same applies if you have a full driving licence and have passed another test for a different vehicle. However, there is no extra fee for this transaction.

Paper driving licences Apply in person at a Post Office®

The DVLA no longer issue paper driving licences and your new licence will be a photocard. If you're the holder of a provisional paper driving licence, you'll need to complete the declaration on your test pass certificate and the application form D1 that is available from DVLA's form ordering service or Post Offices® branches. You will also need to provide original documentation confirming your identity and a passport style colour photograph.

When you're sure that you have what is needed, take them to a Post Office® where your application will be checked, your identification passed back to you and your forms sent to DVLA for processing (there is a £4.00 charge for this service)

The same applies if you have a full paper driving licence and have passed another test for a different vehicle. However, there is no extra fee for this transaction other than the checking service fee.

Identity documents and photograph criteria

Apply by post

If you want to send your test pass certificate by post, enclose it with your completed application identification, photo, paper driving licence to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BJ.

How long your licence will take to be returned

DVLA aim to deliver your driving licence to you within three weeks of receiving your application. It might take longer if they have to check on your health or personal details. Please allow at least three weeks for your licence to arrive before contacting DVLA.

Can you drive before your licence is returned?

Once the DVLA has received your valid application, the law allows you to drive before the licence arrives as long as:

you have held a GB or Northern Ireland licence issued since 1 January 1976 or another exchangeable licence

you are not disqualified from driving (there are different rules for medium or large vehicles, minibus or bus drivers - the traffic commissioner for your area will decide whether to grant your entitlement to drive these vehicles) you have not been, and would not be, refused a licence for medical reasons you keep to any special conditions which apply to the licence

Plastic wallets

Please note that if you return your driving licence in a plastic wallet, the wallet won't be sent back. DVLA no longer issues plastic wallets with photocard driving licences. This decision was taken mainly to help minimise the costs of issuing licences. The agency has also received numerous complaints from members of the public about the size of the plastic wallet. As a result many drivers discard the wallet and use a different way of protecting their licence.

source: www.direct.gov.uk © Crown copyright (correct at 21/1/11)


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