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Driving at 16 with high rate mobility of DLA/PIP

If you receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) or the enhanced mobility component of PIP (Personal Independence Payment), DVLA may grant a provisional licence at age 16.

If a person applying for a driving licence at age 16 holds valid DLA/PIP entitlement, as set out in the Motor Vehicle (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999 – Regulation 9(4) and 9(4A), the DVLA may grant a provisional licence a year early, if all the other usual conditions are met.

Get a driving licence application form from your local Post Office or go on-line at: and apply for a provisional licence at age 16; under section 1) “What are you applying for?” you need to tick the box stating “To drive a car at 16 because I am getting/have applied for PIP (or DLA) Mobility Component at the enhanced (or higher) rate”. DVLA will then contact you for proof of your award or permission to contact DWP so that they can confirm your award. You can apply 3 months before your birthday.

It costs £43 to apply by post or £34 to apply on line.

You must not drive until you receive your licence as this will give details of what you can drive and when you can start driving. Check that the start date for Category B (cars) is correct; occasionally a standard licence is issued in error, this would permit the driving of Category AM (mopeds) from 16 but Category B (cars) only from 17.

When you are arranging driving lessons you must tell the driving instructor that you have a licence permitting you to drive at age 16. Some instructors are not able to teach 16 year old drivers as not all car insurance allows for this.

What happens if you are re-assessed for PIP after you receive your provisional licence and DWP downgrade your mobility allowance.

If you received your licence aged 16 because you were in receipt of DLA higher rate mobility component, are subsequently re-assessed for PIP and have your mobility allowance downgraded by DWP you should be able to continue driving whilst you are still 16.

DVLA have confirmed that if the provisional was correctly issued because as a 16 year old applicant you were in receipt of higher rate mobility of DLA, they would not revoke the licence if you were later re-assessed by DWP and subsequently had your mobility allowance downgraded. If you have a valid licence with the correct provisional entitlement you will be permitted to continue learning to drive whilst aged 16 and can take both your theory and practical tests. DVLA would then issue a full licence (when you are still aged 16, if applicable) when DVSA confirm a practical test pass.

Updated 25.08.2019