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Do you need to take a driving theory test?

Learner drivers, who wish to drive, must pass driving theory test comprising with multiple choice questions and hazard perception test. If you have a driving license you donít have to take another theory test unless you are changing the vehicle category.

UK license holders

To drive a new category of vehicle you need to appear for theory test exam.
If you have a motorcycle license and want to drive a car then you have to appear for car driving theory test.
If you want to drive within a vehicle category you donít have to take theory test. For example: If you already have full automatic car license and you want a manual car license you donít have to take theory test.
This is very important to note that you have correct license for the vehicle you are driving. If you have any doubt to take theory test then please speak to the driverís vehicle license agency (DVLA) or the driving standard agency (DSA).

Exchanging or updating your driving license

If you are visiting Great Britain and holding valid normal driving license you can drive any vehicle till your license remains valid. If your wish is to enjoy the full privilege for the vehicle it must be shown on your driving license.

Exchanging your paper driving license for a photo card
Now the driver and vehicle license agency stop giving the paper driving license. The European Union has informed all the member states to issue driving license in a card format with the license holderís photo and signature.
  • Photo card driving licenses are safe and secure and there are very few chances for misrepresentation.
  • Identity of the person appearing at various driving test stages is confirmed. It makes sure same person is getting full driving test you appeared for theory, practical test.
  • Age eligibilty can be confirmed
  • Low chances of duplicate licenes to same person
  • Increases accuracy of the DVLA database, that will in turn provide better information to the police and courts

You can use the online DVLA service to get the exchange paper driving license for photo card driving license. If you are applying by person or by post then you will need to complete the D1 Ďapplication form for driving licenseí obtained from the DVLA service and post office branches.
  • Send a passport type photograph
  • include the fee of £20.00
  • Send all your documents to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BU or use the premium checking service at selected Post Office branches or DVLA local offices

Foreign licence holders:

If you hold a valid Community licence and you are visiting Great Britain, you can drive any vehicle for as long as your licence remains valid. The appropriate full entitlement for the vehicle you wish to drive must be shown on your licence.

The EEA countries are as follows:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Outside Europe

If learner holds full driving license issued outside the EEA it may be possible to exchange it for a correspondence British license. You should contact the driver and vehicle license Agency (DVLA) to find out if you can exchange your foreign license. If you cannot exchange foreign license you will have to apply for a British provisional license and take theory and practical test.
Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
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