There are different types of cars in the United Kingdom and the types of drivers also vary. There are aged drivers, young drivers, disabled drivers, learning drivers and foreign or international drivers who drive cars in the United Kingdom. The eligibility criteria for these licences also vary from one licence to another. The different types of licences in the UK have been discussed below:

Various Licence Types in the United Kingdom

Learning driver insurance licence
Learning driver insurance licence or learning driver licence is also known in different names such as learner’s permit, driver’s permit, provisional driver’s licence and learner’s licence. This is a limited licence which is offered to an individual who has just learnt to drive but has not fulfilled the criteria for getting a full driving licence. It is necessary that a person holds a learner driver licence for a particular period of time before he sends an application for a full driving licence. In addition, attending a driving education course and qualifying a road test is necessary. For getting a learning driver insurance licence, one has to qualify a written driver’s permit test which is about the rules and regulations of the road (traffic). However, the procedure differs from one jurisdiction to another. The learner driver has to fix an ‘L’ plate in front or rear of the car and can go to school or work by car if he has the approval of his legal guardian.

Aged Driver Licence
Aged driver insurance licence is a licence which is meant for people who are aged 50 or above. Another name for aged driver licence is over 50s driver licence. For getting an aged driver licence, applicants need to undergo particular driving tests and their visual ability is evaluated as well.

Young Driver Licence
Young driver licence or young driver insurance licence is a special type of licence which is issued to people who are aged between 17 and 21. The legitimate age for driving in the UK is 17 years and a young driver can get either of the two following licences, depending on the type of car he drives and his driving experience:

  1. Provisional driver’s licence (given to a person who is not eligible for getting a full driving licence)
  2. Full driving licence

Foreign Driver Insurance Licence or International Driving Licence
Foreign or international driving licence refers to a complete and legitimate driving licence which has been issued in another nation which is outside the EEA (European Economic Area). The person who holds this type of a licence is typically allowed to drive in the United Kingdom for a period of one year.

If a person has a plan to get citizenship in the United Kingdom after this period of 12 months, his licence can be swapped with a Great Britain or Northern Ireland licence provided it is a British Forces Germany licence or it was received in any of the following countries:

  • Barbados
  • Australia
  • Canada (Great Britain licence only)
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Falkland Islands
  • Monaco
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea (other than motorcycle licences)
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa (Great Britain licence only)
  • Singapore
  • Zimbabwe
  • Switzerland

If the licence is not swapped prior to the conclusion of the one year period, the person will not be allowed to drive in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, there is a five year term from the time of his last visit to the United Kingdom within which an applicant is allowed to swap his licence and subsequently commence driving. If swapping is not done within this time, then the individual will need to submit an application for a provisional licence.

If anyone has a driver’s licence which was issued in a nation the name of which is not included in the above mentioned list, then he or she has to appear for a driving test in the United Kingdom for getting a full Great Britain licence. This is particularly helpful when you plan to drive once the 12-month term is over. However, getting a provisional driver’s licence is essential for this.

Full Driving Licence
A full driving licence is issued to a driver who has qualified a driving test in the United Kingdom within the past two years.