If you get your provisional license during that first 12 months, you are not required to show L-plates during that first 12 months (the time that your foreign licence is still valid). You also don't need to be accompanied, and you can drive on motorways (again, just during the first 12 months). After that first 12 months, you must show L-plates and be accompanied, so it's best to start the process as soon as possible.

What will be triggering date of these 12 months? When the residence permit (RP) is issued or when the resident reached the UK (which could be a few weeks or months later than the RP issue date).

  • 1
    Can you edit your question to explain what "RP" means please. Is it "residence permit"? Nov 23, 2018 at 11:49
  • @MartinBonner I took the liberty. Muhammad, I also presumed that the first paragraph is quoted from elsewhere, so I put it in a quotation block. If I misinterpreted anything, please advise.
    – phoog
    Nov 24, 2018 at 14:37
  • @phoog The text you have quoted doesn't read like something from an official website. I think it is the OP's interpretation of what he has read. Nov 24, 2018 at 17:21
  • @Martin Bonner it doesn't. But it is also not written in the same style as (the original version of) the second paragraph. So I presume that it was quoted from an unofficial website.
    – phoog
    Nov 24, 2018 at 17:42
  • @MartinBonner the source appears to be Can I use my international driving license instead of a provisional one to pass a driving test?
    – phoog
    Nov 24, 2018 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


The 12 months period starts on the date you entered the UK on your visa.

From gov.uk:

You can drive in Great Britain on your full, valid driving licence for 12 months from when you became resident

(my emphasis)

  • 1
    I think that it leads naturally from the fact that having the provisional doesn't actually affect the entitlement to drive without plates. When you begin residence in the UK, you are allowed to drive for 12 months on a foreign licence. Getting the provisional licence doesn't extend that period.
    – MJeffryes
    Nov 22, 2018 at 14:53
  • 1
  • I have edited the answer to incorporate the link that @MJeffryes found, and extracted the relevant quote. If you like the change, please approve it. If not, feel free to discard it. Nov 23, 2018 at 11:53
  • Original comment on requesting reference deleted and upvoted answer.
    – B.Liu
    Nov 23, 2018 at 15:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.