Yes you can! The very moment you have passed the driving test, you can drive solo, totally independent without anyone sitting next to you watching your every move.
Here’s how it works. Shortly after you hear those wondrous words emitted from the examiner ”Congratulations, I’m happy to inform you that you’ve passed.” (or something similar), the examiner will hand you a test pass certificate.
This certificate entitles you to drive unaccompanied as a full driving licence holder until your well-earned photocard licence arrives in the post. That should take no more than two weeks to arrive and the examiner will keep hold of your provisional and send it back to the DVLA. So, although you can drive right after passing your test….
Should You Drive Right After Passing Your Test?
The first and most important point to consider is your car insurance. Unless you have already taken care of this, most learner insurance policies do not cover the policy holder as a fully licensed driver. Without giving it a second thought, you might gleefully, yet inadvertently drive away from the test centre uninsured.
If caught, that would be 6 penalty points and a fine. For up to two years, new drivers automatically have their licence taken away if they receive 6 or more penalty points. Further punishment would also require the driver having to once again apply for a provisional driving licence and to pass the theory and practical test.
Some insurance policies automatically roll onto a new policy upon passing the test. But if you’re not sure, check with your provider before the day of your test.
Another point to consider is that most driving instructors drive the test candidate home after a test regardless of whether they have passed or failed. This is simply because the stress of the test often leaves the mind of the candidate a little less than focused when it’s all over.
What if My Driving Licence Doesn’t Arrive?
Give it about three weeks or so and if your driving licence still hasn’t arrived, contact the DVLA to let them know. Don’t worry though, you’ll be perfectly legal to drive even without your official driving licence.
There’s actually no legal obligation to carry your test pass certificate in your car either (or your driving licence when you get it). If you do get stopped by the police, they’ll use other methods to determine that you’re legally entitled to drive.