Before driving on a public road or take your theory test, you will need a valid Provisional Driving Licence. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) application form (Form D1) can be obtained from your local Post Office but you can also apply online from the official 'Gov UK' site.
You can apply for your licence up to 3 months before your 17th Birthday but it will not valid until you actually turn 17 so you will not be able to take lessons on a public road, or take your theory test until then.
You can apply for your first British provisional driving licence online if you:
Are a resident of Great Britain
Meet the minimum age requirement
Can meet the minimum eyesight requirement
Are currently not prevented from driving for any reason
Can pay by Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, Electron, Delta or Solo debit or credit card
Have a valid UK passport or another form of identity
Can provide addresses of where you have lived over the last three years
As a photo is required for your licence the DVLA can use your passport photo if you have one. If you don't have one, or you want to use a different one, this will need to be sent to the DVLA separately.
Only once you have passed this can you apply to take your practical driving test.
The actual theory test questions are no longer published which means that those found in revision materials of any kind will give you an idea of the questions and answers to expect but will NOT be exactly the same as those you will face during the test itself.
This change was introduced to ensure you gain a better understanding of driving theory rather than simply memorising questions and answers.
Before you start the hazard perception part of the test, you'll be shown a short video clip about how it works before being shown a series of video clips on a computer screen. The clips
feature everyday road scenes and contain at least one developing hazard - but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction and what you need to do is identify these as early as possible to get as high a score as possible (max 5 per clip).
Below is one of the new official computer generated clips
Ok, you have your theory test out of the way so when your driving has reached a suitable level, you can look to get your practical test booked. How far in advance you'll need to book varies depending on the number of other learners applying at the same time.
You should not just go ahead and book the test before checking that a car will be available first!
An 'independent driving' section is now included as part of the practical test during which you will be required to follow signs to a particular location to see how well you deal without direction from your examiner.