Archive May 2019

10 Tips for passing your Theory test

Theory Test

Keeping in mind that the ultimate goal of preparing for your driving theory test is to make sure you’re a competent and safe driver, here are 10 tips to help you pass.

1. Don’t rush to make your booking

As eager as you justifiably are to officially have your driver’s licence in your hands, don’t be in a rush to make your booking. Book only once you’re completely ready, resisting the urge to use a looming date as a motivational factor to push you to get ready.

2. Take a mock test

There’s undeniably lots of hard work lying ahead for you to be ready for your Theory test, but in order to establish the difference between where you currently are and where you need to be, take a mock test. There are plenty of apps and websites available through which to take a free theory test that features the official questions.

3. Plan out a detailed study terrace

After getting over the initial shock of just how much work needs to be done, plan your study terrace in a detailed fashion and thank your lucky stars that you didn’t put yourself under undue pressure to be ready in time for a looming d-day.

4. Make your learning a visual exercise

Hazard perception, as part of the theory content matter can be difficult to try and memorise and recall the conventional way, so rather make studying for your Theory test a visual exercise. Test yourself in your everyday environment, in real-world situations, such as applying the theory when commuting to work, school, when you’re in a vehicle with someone else, etc.

5. Ongoing revision

Remembering the answers to all 1,000 possible questions becomes so much easier if you make learning them a visual, real-world exercise, but come test day you will only have to answer 43 multiple choice questions correctly. A minimum of 20 hours revision time is recommended by the DVSA in order to be ready for the test, which is easily scalable if you’re having fun learning and revising visually.

6. Take a mock test (again)

Once you’re confident you’re ready, take a mock test again to see where you are.

7. Book your test

Learner Driver

Book your test if you consistently hit the requisite score, having taken it multiple times. You’ll need to take it multiple times because of the different combinations of questions available.

8. Keep revising

Remember that you’re learning driving theory to make sure you become a competent and safe driver, so keep revising for the sake of learning and not just cramming to pass the Theory test.

9. Arrive early and be organised

Get to the venue as early as possible – 30 minutes prior to the exam should be enough and make sure to take your provisional licence as part of being organised.

10. Flag tricky questions

Don’t waste time mulling over questions you might have temporarily forgotten. Instead, flag them to get back to later and carry on with the test so that you can accumulate as many correct answers as possible to make up the requisite score of 43.
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Personalised number plates

Contact DVLA

Things You Need To Know About Getting A DVLA Personalized Number Plate

Many people considering getting a DVLA personalised number are discouraged by the fact there are more than 45 million registrations available and so getting the most suitable number plate might seem a daunting exercise. However, knowing how to navigate the search process will help you find the ideal number plate faster than you could imagine. The search process takes some creativity to get what you need and mostly if you are using the official DVLA site, you could search using the yellow super search box available on the top of the homepage. 

You only need to enter your initials or name or something you fancy that you would like added to your number plate and you will be given a selection of choices. Once you spot a number plate that impresses you, just click on the “View Results” link and you will be redirected to see a wider selection in the style. 

Can I take over a previously used number plate?

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to resurrect a personalized number plate that was used previously, and it does not matter if the vehicle no longer exists. This is the position on the official website of registrations and unless the status of the process is updated, you cannot be assured of such an offer. 

Things to note before buying

Before you make a purchase, there are important things you should know. One of the things you might want explained is the issue about the age of your vehicle. You might come across restrictions due to the age of your vehicle, so those with very old vehicles might face challenges while trying to buy a personalized number plate. If the registration number comes with an age identifier, you are only allowed to use it on a vehicle whose age is equal to what is indicated or newer. 

Vehicle requirements to be met
Your vehicle also has to meet certain requirements so as to qualify to be assigned a personalized number plate. One condition you must ensure is met is that the vehicle should be of the appropriate age to get the registration number. The vehicle must also be registered in the United Kingdom and its registration information should be under your name or bear the name of the nominee. You also must ensure the vehicle has an MoT certificate. 

Buying on behalf of someone else as a gift
If you are buying the personalized number plate for someone as a gift, you will be required to provide details of the person so the records can be updated showing the purchaser (you) and the recipient. When adding a nominee, check that the name provided matches with that of the registered keeper. 

Steps for buying a personalised number plate

The steps involved in buying a personalised number plate are simple and straightforward. You will not need to worry a lot about complex processes because all this can be done online with no requirement for physical documentation. 

Head to the official DVLA registrations website and search for the number you like. After you have spotted the number of your choice, you only need to click on “Buy Now” and your order will be processed. You will need to follow a few on-screen instructions to complete the purchase, and these are simple processes you will not need to worry about as they are well explained. If you don’t have an account, make sure to create one as this process requires that you log in to your account so the information is saved in the database. 

DVLA auctions

Besides buying directly, you could apply to be included in the several actions held per year. These auctions offer approximately 1500 registration numbers. You can get highly sought registrations here, most specifically during the ‘Traditional’ auctions. 

You could also take part in ‘Timed’ auctions, which are held up to four times each year, and on this you will get registrations that were requested by the public. To register for the auctions, log on to the DVLA site and download a catalogue of the upcoming auction from the “Auctions” and register as a bidder. The site also gives you answers to many questions you might have about joining a DVLA auction. 

Things you should know after buying your personalized number plate

You need to understand a few things after you have purchased a number plate from the DVLA site. After your online purchase, you will be sent a confirmation of sale, which should take not more than 24 hours. You should also get the Certificate of Entitlement (V750), which is posted to your address (should be received in a maximum of two weeks). 

Assigning the new plates on your vehicle
There is no restriction on when you should assign the new number plate on your vehicle. What you need is to simply apply to assign it. For a vehicle that is not registered (brand new), you should talk to the dealer to have it registered with the new personalized plate. 

If this is agreed upon, you will need to fill the Certificate of Entitlement (V750) and choose “unregistered vehicle” then sign and add the date in this section. This certificate should be handed to the dealer before the vehicle is registered. 

In case the vehicle is registered, you need to apply to be allowed to use a new number plate. Attach the Registration Certificate (V5C) of the vehicle along the Certificate of Entitlement (V750). 

What happens if I changed address recently?

If you changed your address and you are yet to apply to put the number plate on your vehicle and you have at least 5 days before the offer expires, there is room for you to apply for a change of address through your DVLA online account. A new certificate will be delivered within two weeks. 

Note that you must only get your plates made by a registered plate supplier. This will help to ensure your plates are designed and made following the right legal standards. See more about this on the official DVLA website.

How can I check when my Driver’s Licence expires with the DVLA?

UK Drivers Licence

Unlike the old paper licences, UK photocard Driving Licences need to be renewed every ten years to keep the photograph current. According to the DVLA, this is to help identify people using licences fraudulently. Driving with an out-of-date licence can lead to a £1000 fine, so it is important to renew on time. Paper licences issued before 1998 do not expire until the owner’s seventieth birthday, although they can be upgraded to a photocard licence for £20 at any time. All drivers over the age of seventy need to renew their licence every three years, regardless of whether they have a paper or photocard licence.

When does my licence expire?

The simplest way to check when your Driving Licence is due to expire is to look at the photocard itself. Section 4b to the right of the photograph gives the ‘valid to’ date. If you do not have the licence to hand, you can check the expiry date and other details using this service from the DVLA. You will need to provide some further details including your date of birth, national insurance number and home address. 

All drivers should receive a D798 Renewal Notification through the post two months before the expiry date of their licence.

How to renew a photocard licence

You can renew your licence online, by post or in person at selected Post Offices. At £14, renewing online on the DVLA website is the cheapest method. You will need to be a resident of Great Britain, have a valid UK passport, provide your addresses over the last three years, and enter your national insurance number if known. Payment is by credit or debit card.

Renewing by post costs £17 pounds using form D1. You can pick this form up from a Post Office or order it online at this DVLA web page

If you want to renew in person, you can go to a Post Office which does DVLA photocard renewals. The branch finder web page will help to find the nearest one. The Post Office service costs £21.50, including taking a photograph to DVLA standards and checking that the form is filled in correctly. You will need a D798 Renewal Notification or your old photocard licence.

Residents of Northern Ireland can only renew their Driving Licence by post, following the instructions on the nidirect website.

UK Driving Licences can be renewed for free when the driver is over seventy, or has a short period licence due to a medical condition. You can also renew a licence free of charge to change your name, address or gender, provided that the photograph is not changed at the same time. You can update these details as many times as you want, but this does not affect the expiry date of the licence.

More information

The DVLA and the Post Office provide useful information about how to renew your licence on the pages below.

Renewal information from the DVLA website

Frequently Asked Questions from the Post Office

How Do I Change the Address on My Driving Licence?

UK Drivers Licence

Updating addresses after moving is something most people have to do and changing the address on a driving licence is one of them. After you have moved you should contact the DVLA immediately. 

Remember – failure to report a change of address can result in a fine of up to £1,000.

How to do it

It is vital that a driver notifies the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) when a change of address is made. This includes not only permanent moves but temporary ones as well. For example, if a driver is going to university and is to live on campus or away from the home address, the address on the driving licence needs to be changed. 

Application to change the address of a driving licence can be made by post or online. 

– Applying online requires the applicant to go to the DVLA’s website and navigate to the correct page. Applying requires a Government Gateway User ID; if the applicant does not have one, then it is a simple matter of registering for one. This allows the applicant to log on to the site and complete the application. Applicants will also need their driving licence and addresses at which they have lived for the past 3 years. The applicant must be a Great Britain resident and not be banned from driving. 

– By post has different processes for those with the latest form of photocard licence and the older paper type. For those who have a photocard licence it is a matter of completing the ‘changes’ section on the letter – titled D741 – that came with the photocard licence. If the letter is lost, another can be obtained by going online and ordering a licence application form. This is in two versions named D1 for cars and motorcycles and D2 for lorries or buses. 

Paper Licence

For paper licence holders a D1 of D2 document has to be completed and sent together with the original licence, a passport photograph and original documents that prove identity; these are a current, valid passport; an EU or EEA Identity Card; or, in the case of foreign nationals, a Biometric Residence Permit. For those who hold a modern biometric passport (with photo and the signature on the same page) only the nine digit passport number needs to be sent. 

There are other documents that can be used as proof of identity; for example pensioners can submit a bank or building society statement with the National Insurance and pension payment numbers or a document confirming that the applicant is eligible for a state pension.  

Paper Drivers Licence

Because the new licence will be a photocard type paper licence applicants will need to submit an up to date passport-style photograph properly verified.

As with online applications, those applying by post will need to be Great Britain residents and not be banned from driving. 

What Happens After Application

Those who apply online should receive an email confirming receipt of the application and a new licence should arrive within a week. 

With postal applications the new licence should arrive within 3 weeks.

DVLA Drivers Licence