Archive Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Residency rules

A provisional driving licence is issued in order to enable a driver to take a driving test. To apply for a provisional driving licence, you must therefore be 'normally resident' in the UK for more than 185 days.

Applicants who are not UK citizens or citizens of another European Union or European Economic Area state (EU/EEA) will not be considered 'normally resident' for the purposes of a driving licence application if they:

  • do not have leave to remain in the UK
  • are in the country on a temporary basis without leave to remain either while awaiting a decision on an application to stay in the UK or following a decision refusing such an application.

To obtain a driving licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), you will also need to have a permanent address in England, Scotland or Wales.

Residency rules for European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) drivers wishing to take a GB driving test

EU/EEA drivers who wish to pass a first test, or gain additional entitlement, must be normally resident in the UK. Drivers who have moved to the UK having been permanently resident in another state of the EU/EEA must normally have been resident in the UK for 185 days in the 12 months prior to the application for a driving test and a full licence. Normal residence means the place where an individual resides because of personal and/or occupational ties.

Access keys

If you would like to take part in our website visitor survey, please visit the site and then come back and select this link to take part in the survey.