I am a Canadian citizen, resident in England, and I have recently learnt some things while getting a UK Driving Licence. First and foremost, the following website is a gold mine:


Read that whole webpage.

There were a few details missing, however, as regards insurance and provisional entitlements, and I will fill those in here. As you will learn at gregwtravels, you can exchange you Canadian licence for a Category B restricted to Automatic (this is code 78).

The first thing I can confirm is that you do not need to have your photos signed if you send in your Canadian passport (i.e. you do not need a UK passport). At the time of this writing gregwtravels says “I take that to mean that an up-to-date Canadian passport is identity enough.”. Yes, it was enough for me, and if you read the instructions that come with the D1 form, you can reassure yourself of this.

To fully understand the codes on your licence, you should refer to the following document:

Information on driving licences INS57P

The INS57P is the pamphlet code at the time of this writing, in case the link goes dead. You should be able to find the same pamphlet by searching for INS57P driving licences.

INS57P also tells you that you can find your provisional entitlements on your “Counterpart Driving Licence”, which is the paper document that came in the mail with your photocard. This is where you can verify gregwtravels’ claim that you can drive a Category B (without restriction) as a provisional driver. I have checked with a human at the DVLA, to confirm that you must be accompanied by a fully licenced (IN THE UK) Category B driver for this to work (i.e. not your Canadian partner who is still on their international driver’s licence).

The next question for me was “How do I insure myself to take the test in my own car?”. You need insurance that covers you as a provisional driver, plus the car must have its own “full” insurance. This cost me 85 GBP from , but at the time of this writing, I have not confirmed that my setup works. That is, I think I am covered because:

  • I also own the full car insurance (with my wife also listed),
  • I own the car,
  • the car is the correct category (B) and below the maximum value,
  • the car is taxed and MOTed; and,
  • I am provisionally entitled to drive this type of car. There are three pitfalls, however, that might apply (which I will clear up when I talk to a human at provisionalmarmalade); perhaps owning the main insurance voids the provisional insurance; and, perhaps the insurance is not valid during the test (this is apparently the policy of ecar insurance!); perhaps the fully UK Category B licenced driver needs to be listed on the full insurance of the car. Update: The following quotes from my insurance terms and conditions (and schedule) clear up the above doubts, more or less confirming that I am covered during my test, and that I can drive when supervised by a driver meeting the conditions mentioned: “Driver to be accompanied — (Name) We will not provide cover while your vehicle is being driven by, or is in the charge of, the person(s) named above unless that person is accompanied at all times. The accompanying person must be 25 or over and must hold a current full UK driving licence which has been issued for at least three years. These restrictions do not apply if the accompanying person is a Department of Transport approved driving instructor or examiner.” and “Emergency and ‘Get Your Vehicle Home’ Cover While you are receiving driving tuition or undergoing an official DSA practical driving test, we will extend the cover if it is necessary because of an emergency or other exceptional circumstances to allow your accompanying full UK licence holder (who must be over 25 years of age and must have held such licence for a minimum of 3 years or who must be a qualified DSA Examiner) to drive the insured vehicle in order to complete the journey.” The full terms and conditions are available on their website here, and I have posted a copy here. To book the test itself, I went to the website recommended on gregwtravels called Book your driving test. I called the DVSA booking support number, and chose options 02, and then option 6 (other). (I was tempted by option 2, DVLA enquiry at phone 03007906801, but I do not think this is a correct option.) The test cost me 62 GBP. Finally, I did book one driving lesson, which cost 44 GBP., , ,