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When did I pass my driving test?

If you passed your driving test in the UK some time ago, you might not remember that much about it, including exactly when you took the test. But if you’re asked this question, there’s no need to guess – it’s really easy to find the correct driving licence date. 

You can also readily access more information on your driving licence and driving record online through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Here’s what you need to know.

A driving licence with the date displaying when the driver passed their test

 

How do I find out when I passed my driving test?

The date you passed your driving test in the UK should be on the back of your photocard driving licence. It’s easy to find but a lot of people probably don’t realise this information is there.

Look under column 10 on the back of your photocard driving licence and there you should see your driving licence date. You should see it formatted as DD.MM.YYYY. So if you passed your test on 8 April 2022, column 10 should show you 08.04.2022.

By cross referencing to the symbols in column 9, column 10 also tells you what types of vehicles you’re allowed to drive. In column 11, you should see the date when you turn 70, which is when you need to renew your licence every 3 years. 

 

Why would I need to find out when I passed my driving test?

When you’re getting a car insurance quote, it’s handy to know where to get the correct information about your driving test. Insurers want to know the date you passed your driving test so they can calculate your car insurance costs. More experienced drivers tend to pay less.

Another common reason for needing to pinpoint the date when you passed your driving test is if you’re hiring a car. The rental company also wants to know how experienced you are. New drivers and those who’ve only recently passed their driving test can be viewed as more risky, both by car rental companies and insurers.

By giving your insurance company the most accurate information, the price you pay for your car insurance is slightly less generalised.

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When did I get my provisional licence?

If you're learning to drive, you need to register for a provisional licence. You also need to make sure you have valid learner driver car insurance if you're learning to drive either your own car, or using your friend or family's car.

When getting a car insurance quote, insurers might ask when you had your provisional licence. If you need to find this date, like a full licence, you should find it under column 10 on the back of your photocard licence.

You can also find when your provisional licence expires by looking a the front of your photocard licence at section 4b. Provisional licences last every 10 years until they need renewing - but you might've passed your test by then.

Once you've passed your driving test, the DVLA should issue you your full licence within 3 weeks.

 

What if I need to see my driving licence information?

The DVLA allows you to check your driving licence information online.

This includes:

  • Personal information – date of birth, gender (as it appears on your licence) and address
  • Your driving licence status (whether it’s a full licence)
  • Driving licence number and issue number
  • The date your driving licence is valid from and when it expires
  • The types of vehicle you’re allowed to drive 
  • Any penalty points or disqualifications you may have picked up 

Along with viewing your driving licence information, you can also use the DVLA online service to share it with a third-party such as a rental car company.

 

How do I check my licence online? 

If you want to check your driving licence information online, you can access it through the DVLA driving licence service at GOV.UK. 

To access the information on your driving licence through the portal, you need to enter your:

  • Driving licence number
  • National Insurance number 
  • The postcode on your driving licence
 

What happens if I’ve lost my driving licence? 

If you’ve lost your driving licence and you’re a UK resident, the easiest way to apply for a replacement from the DVLA is through the GOV.UK website. Residents of Northern Ireland should apply through nidirect

You need to complete the online application and pay £20 by credit or debit card. If you apply online, you should normally expect to get your replacement photocard driving licence through the post within a week. 

Alternatively, you can apply for a replacement licence through the post, writing to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB, using the D1 application form. But the downside of applying by post is that it might take DVLA much longer to replace versus applying online.

 

What is a driving licence check code?

The driving licence check code allows others to access your driving record, including employers and car rental companies. When you access your driving licence information through the GOV.UK portal, you get the option to create a check code. This lets you share your driving licence details with a third-party.

By doing this, others can access the same information you can view on the website, including:

  • Details on what sorts of vehicles you’re qualified to drive
  • Information on any penalty points/disqualifications you may have

Once generated, the check code is valid for 21 days.