When did I pass my driving test?

If you took your driving test somewhere back in the mists of time, you’d be forgiven for not remembering the exact date. But what if you need to know? Here’s how to find out when you passed your test.

If you took your driving test somewhere back in the mists of time, you’d be forgiven for not remembering the exact date. But what if you need to know? Here’s how to find out when you passed your test.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
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Posted 1 MARCH 2021

How can I find out when I passed my driving test?  

Wondering when you got your first driving licence? The good news is it should be pretty easy to find out.

For most people, it’ll be simply a case of looking on the back of your photocard driving licence. Check column 10 – this should tell you the date you passed. The same column will also tell you what kind of vehicles you’re qualified to drive. Column 11 will tell you the date you’ll need to renew your driving licence – that is, when you turn 70.

Why would I need to know when I passed my driving test?

When giving you a quote, insurance providers will want to know how experienced a driver you are. So, it’s likely that they’ll ask you for the date when you passed your test. If you’re hiring a car abroad, you might also find that the rental company wants to know when you passed.

For these reasons, it’s always useful to have the information to hand.

What happens if I’ve lost my driving licence?

If you can’t find your driving licence and need to find information from it, the easiest solution is to send off for another one.

You can apply for your replacement driving licence online. It’ll cost you £20 and you’ll need details of your address history for the past three years.

You’ll also need to provide your driving licence number, National Insurance number and passport number, if you know them.

What happens if my driving licence says the wrong date on it?

If you took your driving test before 1973, the date you see on your photocard may well be different to the date on which you actually passed. That’s because it was only in 1973 that driving licences started being issued through the DVLA. Before then they were issued through local tax offices. Any licences issued before 1973 won’t name the date you passed your test, only that it was some time before 1973.

What if I need to see my driving licence information?

The DVLA offer a service where they’ll let you see the information on your driving licence. This allows you to:

  • See what type of vehicles you’re qualified to drive
  • See whether you have any penalty points on your licence
  • Generate a licence ‘check code’, which you can then share with an insurance provider or car-hire firm

How do I renew my driving licence?

Have you turned 70? Or are you going to in the next three months? If so, you’ll need to renew your driving licence. The good news is you can easily do it online. You can apply on the DVLA website and you should receive your new licence within a week.  

How often do I need to renew my driving licence after age 70?

Beyond age 70, you’ll need to renew your driving licence every three years. You may also need to look for specialist car insurance.

How has the driving test changed over the years?

The driving licence was first introduced more than 100 years ago, back in 1903. In those days there was no driving test – the licence was simply a useful way of identifying cars and their drivers.

Jump forward and there are some 38.4 million vehicles licensed for use on UK roads, as of the end of June 2020. According to Government sources, driving is far safer today than it was even 30 years ago – with a 68% reduction in road fatalities, despite a 15% growth in population.

Did you know…? Here are some interesting facts about the driving test:

  • The first driving test was taken in 1935.
  • Before 1975, driving test candidates had to perform hand signals during the test.
  • In July 1996 the driving theory test was introduced.
  • There’s no minimum number of lessons you need to take before attempting your test.

In 2017, the driving test was updated. In the new test, you’re expected to:

  • Follow directions from a sat nav
  • Answer two safety questions related to the vehicle
  • Complete one of three reversing manoeuvres

In the old days, you’d have been asked to reverse around a corner or perform the three-point turn in a road. Not anymore. Now your examiner will tell you to either parallel park, reverse for two car lengths before re-joining traffic, or park in a bay.

What do I need to get a car insurance quote?

To get a car insurance quote, you’ll just need to provide us with your:

  • name, age and address
  • car details, including model, age and registration number
  • annual mileage
  • occupation
  • no-claims discount details
  • driving history, including any convictions or accidents

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