Legal Matters associated with learning to drive
This page has some useful information and links to further official websites regarding the legalities of learning to drive.
Voluntary Code of Practice:
Within the driving instruction industry there is a voluntary code of practice which I am perfectly happy to live up to.
This document spells out our official responsibilities to our pupils. If you are considering using a different school of motoring you may wish to look at the home page of their website to see if they adhere to it.
If not, why not?
psst... my commitment is at the bottom of the home page on the right (just saying)
Minimum vehicle requirements:
If you are planning to allow a learner to practice in your vehicle then these are the requirements that you will have to fulfill if you wish for them to take their practical driving test in your vehicle.
Having read them, you may well decide that they are a good idea for your time in the car together as well.
A word of caution if I may - sometimes I hear that a young driver has been encouraged to 'just have a go' in a family members car before the necessary steps have been taken to make this legal. Please be better than that! If the tyres are not up to standard and one of the lights is not operating properly then please make the vehicle worthy before handing it over to a learner.
I understand the excitement but the rules are their for a reason, and that reason is for the safety of us all!
Accompanying a learner driver:
Read these rules carefully and check with the insurance company before accompanying a learner driver. Just because the legal age to be able to accompany your friend is twenty one does not mean that your insurance company will cover you for it. It is not unusual now for insurance companies to insist that an accompanying driver is at least twenty five.
In my experience it can be very beneficial for a pupil to have the opportunity to practise driving between lessons with their instructor.
As long as the subject matter that has been professionally covered is not exceeded and the pupil remains comfortable with the areas into which they are going to be driving then this can be a very positive experience which assists significantly with their driving development.
Legal Requirements for the first driving lesson:
Occasionally a new pupil will ask me to teach without seeing their provisional licence until the next lesson for whatever reason
The answer is always a polite 'No thank you'.
Bring your Provisional Driving Licence:
I have a legal duty to check that you can produce a valid photo card provisional driving licence on your first lesson, Failure to do so will lead to the automatic cancellation of the lesson. Sorry, but if you cannot produce a valid licence then the car is not insured for you to drive.
Not got a Provisional Driving Licence yet?
The application forms are available from the post office. Applications usually take about two weeks though it is dependent upon demand. You may receive your licence virtually by return of post or it could be three weeks.
You can apply for your provisional licence online at your own convenience. Applications for licences online are likely to arrive quicker because you are cutting the postal element from the initial application, they can digitally use your passport picture if you do not fancy a trip to a local photo booth, and also the payment is transacted in real time rather than by cheque.
Your eyesight will also have to be checked on your first lesson. To do this you will be asked to read a number plate at approximately twenty metres.
Bring your additional details:
The paper counterpart licence used to contain important information but it is no longer provided when you apply for your provisional. You will need to go online and either, print off a copy from the government website, or download it onto your phone.
To access this you will need your Provisional Driving Licence Number and your National Insurance Number.
Some pupils tell me that this is inconvenient. I totally agree! However it is much preferable to supplying me with your personal data in the car only to find out that the local mobile mast has an issue and there is no signal today.
I do not need to retain your details I simply need to have seen them. This means that you have two options: you can either follow the process below on your mobile phone and show me the generated document on that, or you can follow the same process on a computer and bring a print off of the generated document with you. I have no preference, the choice is entirely yours!
Accessing Driving Licence Details Online
Click on Access your driving licence details online which will open in a new browser window.
Press the 'Start Now' button.
Enter your details in the boxes provided, tick the box to agree to sharing your data and press the 'View Now' button.
Click on the right hand link 'Share your licence information'
Click on the 'Get a code' button.
A code has now been displayed and underneath it is a link with the option to 'View, print or save your licence information'.
Click on this link and a PDF document will be produced and stored in your 'Downloads' folder.
Please either print off this document and bring it with you on your first driving lesson if you chose to use a computer, or show it to me on your phone.