Dear Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency,
My wife is a Malaysian citizen, obtained a First Class Honours degree from a UK university, and worked in the UK. She is in receipt of a UK old age pension, and has leave to remain in the UK indefinitely.
We currently live in Portugal but she does not speak Portuguese and so cannot take a driving test there. She has driven for some years in France where an Axiom or Ligier can be driven without any form of licence, but she has had no formal lessons.
We plan to return to the UK to stay with my son for two months. Can my wife apply for a provisional licence on arrival, then take the theory test and go on an intensive driving course for two weeks before applying for a test.
Does she have to be resident for 183 days before being able to obtain a full driving licence?
Dear Mr Edwards
Thank you for your email received on 2/9/15. Your email reference number
If you no longer live in GB, we can’t issue a provisional driving licence.
Please contact the licensing authority in Portugal for further advice on
If you return to live in GB as a resident in the future, you may apply at
When determining your status as a resident or a visitor, you may like to
bear in mind that legal precedents have determined that ‘temporarily
visiting’ indicates presence in this country for casual purposes as
opposed to the regular habits of life.
Please note neither visitor or resident is defined in driver licensing
legislation. It is for the individual to determine his/her status by
seeking legal advice if necessary.
The ultimate decision is down to the individual concerned and he/she must
be prepared to justify his/her status if challenged.
I hope this answers your query.
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