The law for the learner driver

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The Learner Driver
The learner driver must have a valid provisional driving licence, be insured to drive the vehicle, meet the legal minimum eyesight standards, and only drive when supervised in a car displaying "L Plates (or D Plates in Wales)".

Provisional Driving Licence
People can apply for a provisional licence when they turn 17 years old.  They must have possession of the licence itself before they drive on the road.  A provisional licence allows the learner to drive a car on the road (not on motorways) while under supervision and while displaying L Plates, they should also be fully covered by the full license holders insurance.

The D1 form is needed to apply for a provisional licence can be found in your local post office.  First time Licence applications can be processed on-line with the DSA.

Eyesight
As a learner driver, you also need to meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving, that being in good daylight, you MUST be able to read a vehicle number plate from a required distance as set out by the Driving Standards Agency. 

New Changes from May 1st 2012

The full standards are published in the AT A GLANCE GUIDE which is direct PDF download.

If the learner needs glasses or contact lenses to read these number plates then they must wear them when they drive.  If in doubt, visit an opticians for expert advice.