I am looking to obtain a provisional driver's license in the UK, so I can start taking lessons.

All the forms and documentations indicate that they need to be mailed to Swansea along with your original identification.

I only have a full valid passport as identification, from a different EU member (Netherlands).

As you might imagine, I don't want to send my only form of identification to Swansea by mail, so I am looking for a way around this.

Does anyone know if the online application circumvents this?

  • This Gov.UK page suggests UK passport holders can just supply the details for the DVLA to check, while everyone else has to send an approved ID document and wait several weeks to get it back. Do you have one of the other kinds of documents from their list?
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 17, 2014 at 15:53
  • @Gagravarr I have a full valid passport from the Netherlands (modified question to make that more clear). I am not keen on sending my only means of identification to Swansea, and am looking to see if I can get around that.
    – Amber
    Mar 17, 2014 at 15:58

3 Answers 3


If you apply online on the motoring site, they will ask you about your current details and NI number, which might be enough for them to confirm your identity without needing to send your passport to them. This usually fails though, in which case they will still ask you to send your ID.

If you require to have your passport with you your best bet at this time is to also apply for a Dutch Identity Card at the Embassy, which will give you another way to identify yourself.

  • Thank you, I accepted this because of the added advise to apply for a ID card, which I am currently in the progress of doing
    – Amber
    Aug 20, 2014 at 9:30
  • gov.uk/id-for-driving-licence has a useful list of identity options - including the ID card. Apr 29, 2015 at 23:42

I have got my provisional license last month. Believe me, there is no way around it. You have to send your passport. Most you can do to safeguard your document is send it via tracked post. This would not cost more than £7 if you are in London.

I got my passport back in 5 days so it was not that bad. Make sure you do not plan any abroad travel during this time.


On this page they say (while explaining why the DVLA wants passports sent to its Swansea office)

Applicants who are concerned about sending their documents through the post can visit a DVLA Local Office, who will arrange for the application to be sent to Swansea via secure transit. Alternatively, documents can be sent to DVLA via recorded delivery and, if a pre-paid recorded delivery return envelope is provided, the Agency will use this to return the identity documents.

I'm going to guess most DVLA Local Offices aren't going to be very enthusiastic about sending documents to Swansea via 'secure transit'. So Suhas' suggestion above to post the passport via tracked post and enclose a special-delivery return envelope is probably the best way to go.

I'd also add -- before you send off your passport, scan every nonblank page on it. If it does get lost, you'll need to go to the police and embassies to report the loss and the copy may help.

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.