News

15 July 2021

New theory test service 

DVSA is changing the way the theory test is provided in England, Scotland and Wales. From 6 September, the number of theory test centres in Great Britain will increase from 180 to 202 and many theory test centres will move location.

A new booking system will launch at www.gov.uk/book-theory-test on 19 July, with tests available from 6 September onwards. ADI part 1 and DVSA enhanced rider scheme trainer theory tests will be available to book at www.gov.uk/book-your-instructor-theory-test.

Tests on or before 3 September can still be booked, where available, on the current booking system on GOV.UK.

Practical test centre locations are not affected by the changes we are making to our theory test centre network.

Theory test centre location changes

We’ve attached the list of changes to theory test centre locations that will be introduced from 6 September to this message. We'll send you a copy of all available addresses later this week. These will also be available on 'find my nearest' service from Monday 19 July.

Unfortunately, some changes to theory test centre locations will not be confirmed by the time we open the new booking system on 19 July. We will add these test centres to the booking system as soon as the addresses and opening dates are confirmed. We will write to you to let you know when they have been added. We apologise for any inconvenience these delays may cause you and your pupils.

Candidates who want to book a theory test before their closest theory test centre opens can use ‘find your nearest theory test centre’ on GOV.UK to find the nearest alternative centre. We are sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.

We will update the ‘find your nearest theory test centre’ service on GOV.UK when the new booking system goes live on 19 July.

Booking or changing a theory test date

When the new booking system opens on 19 July, from the green ‘start’ button, you will be asked to choose a date for your theory test. You will automatically be directed to the correct booking system depending on the date you select.

The new theory test booking system will look a little different because of new web pages and the software being used. We have worked with theory test candidates and the Government Digital Service to improve the new booking system, making it easier to use.

Dates for bookings at new theory test centres where the address is yet to be confirmed will be added to the booking system as soon as the address and opening date is confirmed.

If you want to change a theory test appointment from a date booked for before or on 3 September, to a date on or after 6 September, you will need to cancel your current theory test on GOV.UK and rebook online using the new booking system. This is because the 2 booking systems are separate. Refunds will be issued for cancelled tests as normal.

Theory test bookings with additional support can only be cancelled or rescheduled by contacting the customer contact centre.

Customer enquiries

For booking enquiries about theory tests due to take place on or before 3 September only, please continue to contact Pearson VUE:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Telephone: 0300 200 1122
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

From 19 July, for booking enquiries about theory tests due to take place on or after 6 September, please contact DVSA customer contact centre as it will be taking over the service from Pearson VUE:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Telephone: 0300 200 1122
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

The theory test is not changing

From 6 September the theory test will look slightly different on screen but the structure and content of the test itself will not change.

By managing the service ‘in-house’ DVSA can update and improve questions and clips more quickly when we need to make changes.

Booking system launch

We will provide you with an update on the launch of the theory test booking system before it goes live.

Letting your pupils know

If any of your pupils are planning to take their theory test on or before 3 September and have to change or retake their test on or after 6 September, they will need to be aware the location of their nearest theory test centre may have changed. 

We will write to all candidates with a theory test booked to explain this and would be grateful for your support in reminding any affected pupils.

 

15 July 2021

Additional theory tests dates in Scotland

From 14 July over 4,500 more theory tests will be available to book on GOV.UK for tests from 19 July up to and including 3 September.

The additional test capacity has been made available following the Scottish Government’s announcement on 13 July that physical distancing rules in Scotland are being relaxed from 2 metres to 1 metre  from 19 July in indoor public settings.

We will be writing to all candidates with a theory test booking in Scotland to let them know about the additional test dates, to give them the opportunity to look for an earlier theory test date if they feel ready to take their test sooner.

Theory tests appointments after 3 September

As part of the ongoing changes to the theory test service the new theory test booking service will go live on 19 July. You and your pupils will be able to book a test for after 3 September on the new booking service.

The new booking service is available at the same web address as the current one – https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test.

If you want to change a theory test appointment from a date booked for before, or on 3 September, to a date on or after 6 September, you will need to cancel your current theory test on GOV.UK and rebook online using the new booking system.

This is because the 2 booking systems are separate. Refunds will be issued for cancelled tests as normal.

Theory test bookings with additional support can only be cancelled or rescheduled by contacting the customer contact centre.

More information

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

 

27 June 2021

The DVSA have issued detailed guidance on the top ten reasons why most people fail their driving test and an explanation of what the examiner is looking for in each of the categories. 

Fail to prepare for any test / assessment and you should prepare to fail.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/top-10-reasons-for-failing-the-driving-test/top-10-reasons-for-failing-the-driving-test-in-great-britain?utm_source=fb1&utm_medium=&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

 

Update - 26 April 2021

With driving lessons starting again on 26 April 2021, DVSA have issued the following advice -

We know many of you will have waited a long time to be able to take your driving test and we want to help you make sure you’re ready, to get you that first time pass 💯

We’ve analysed the stats and found the top 10 reasons why people fail their test - so you can make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

We will be sharing these reasons over the next week to help you think about what to work on with your instructor.

Can’t wait? Have a look at the top 10 reasons here 👉

http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/top-10-reasons-for-failing-the-driving-test/top-10-reasons-for-failing-the-driving-test-in-great-britain?utm_source=fb1&utm_medium=&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

 

Update - 25 February 2021

Good morning...

Well, it seems as though we have another few weeks of lockdown, before we can get back into the driving seat again 🚗🚗

Once I get confirmation that we can start lessons, (hopefully) at the end of April, I will contact my existing students to book in lessons, giving priority to those who have had test dates cancelled.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support.

Fingers crossed for the numbers to keep reducing 🤞🏼

Margaret 😷🚗

 

Update - 22 August 2020

The Scottish government has announced that driving lessons will restart on Monday 24 August 🚗.

➡ Driving tests and ADI tests will restart from 14 September in Scotland for candidates who had their original test date cancelled

➡ Vocational and car and trailer tests will restart on 31 August in Scotland

Theory tests and motorcycle tests have already restarted in Scotland.

So we can restart testing, we’ve introduced physical distancing measures and safety precautions at our driving test centres. These include:

✔ driving examiners wearing face coverings, gloves and using disposable seat covers

✔ limiting the number of people arriving for a driving test at the same time

Candidates should wear a face covering during their test, unless they have a good reason not to. 😷

⚠ When booking a test, candidates will need to say if there is a good reason that they cannot wear a face covering.

We will be contacting candidates who had their test rescheduled due to coronavirus soon, to rebook their test at time and date that suits them 👍

Although driving lessons in Scotland will resume on 24 August a further update will be given to let you know when the driving test booking system for Scotland will be available again, however make sure you talk to your driving instructor before booking, so you can choose a date and time when you’ll be prepared and ready and when they’re available.

 

Update - 2 August 2020

On 30 July, the Scottish Government announced an indicative date of Monday 24 August for driving lessons to resume, following guidance.

 

Update - 10 July 2020

Update on theory test certificates

The government has considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates.

After careful consideration, the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates due to the impact on road safety.

We understand that this will be disappointing for some of your pupils. But it’s essential that your pupils have the most up to date road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills to help prepare them for their test and driving safely on their own once they’ve passed.

If your pupils certificate has expired

We cannot reschedule your pupils driving test that was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic because their theory test certificate has expired.

  1. We will cancel their driving test booking.
  2. They’ll get a full refund for their driving test within the next 7 working days. It will be refunded to the card that was used to pay for the test. They do not need to do anything to get the refund.
  3. They will need to book and pass a theory test. You can do this at https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test.
  4. Revise and practise for their theory test. Check what books and software you can use at https://www.gov.uk/theory-test/revision-and-practice.
  5. They need to book and pass a driving test. They must do this within 2 years of passing their next theory test.

Your pupil can book a new theory test up to 6 months before your current theory test certificate expires, or at any time after it’s expired.

If your pupils certificate is due to expire

We will email your pupils in the coming weeks to invite them to arrange a driving test. However, we cannot guarantee that they’ll be able to take their driving test before their theory test certificate expires.

If their theory test certificate expires before they can take a driving test, they will need to follow the above steps.

If they want to cancel their driving test now

They can cancel their driving test now and get a full refund. To do this, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Make sure they include their name and 2 of the following in their email:

  • their driving licence number
  • their theory test pass certificate number
  • their driving test booking reference

More information

Check GOV.UK for more information about:

 

Update - 10 July 2020

The Scottish Government announced yesterday (9 July) that theory tests and motorcycle training will restart on Wednesday 22 July 2020 in Scotland.
DVSA will be contacting candidates who have theory tests booked in Scotland before 22 July to reschedule these.
Motorcycle testing and tractor tests will resume on 3 August 2020.
All other driving lessons, are still suspended in Scotland.

 

Update on 15 June 2020 from Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency Chief Executive

 On 22 April 2020 I set out the steps that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has taken to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and what support the government has put in place for you.

I now want to update you on the planning we’re doing to help return to life that is as close to normal as possible, as quickly and fairly as possible, in a way that avoids a second peak of infections.

The plan to rebuild: the UK government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

On 11 May 2020, the government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy which:

sets out the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the coronavirus outbreak explains the plans for moving to the next phase of the response to the virus Our priority remains to protect the public and save lives. That’s why any easing of measures must meet the government’s 5 tests. These are:

Protect the NHS’s ability to cope.
A sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19.
Reliable data showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
Be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
Be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS.
Driving instruction and driving tests

Other than emergency training and tests for critical workers, driving instruction and driving tests have not yet been able to restart because the risk of transmission of the virus in vehicles is higher.

In his statement on 10 June, the Prime Minister reiterated that the government will remain cautious and measure the effect of the changes it makes. The Prime Minister explained this means moving slower than we’d have liked in some areas.

Driving instruction and tests will only restart when the government is confident that the assessment of risk warrants it, subject to the 5 tests and further detailed scientific advice.

In the meantime, I want to re-emphasise that you should continue to limit driving lessons to critical workers who are preparing for an emergency driving test.

Once again, I would like to thank those of you who have been able to offer driving lessons to critical workers during these unprecedented times.

We will, of course, share more information with you as soon as it’s available – including the dates that driving instruction and driving tests can restart.

Planning to restart our services

Teams across DVSA have been working extremely hard over the past few months to make sure we’re in the best possible position to restart our services as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Our priority is to make sure that you, your pupils and our staff stay safe.

The work is split into these main areas:

preparing guidance for driving examiners on carrying out driving tests making sure our driving test centres are ready to reopen making sure we have PPE in place understanding which driving examiners might not be able to return to testing straight away planning driving test schedules so that anyone who had a test cancelled because of coronavirus is considered a priority understanding how the situation might be different in England, Scotland and Wales I want to explain what each of these involves in a little more detail.

Preparing guidance for driving examiners

We are reviewing and updating the guidance for driving examiners about carrying out driving tests. This includes things like the PPE they need to wear, greeting candidates and cleaning equipment such as sat navs and tablets.

We’re also working hard to make sure we’ll be able to quickly help the NHS Test and Trace service (Test and Protect in Scotland, and Test, Trace, Protect in Wales) should a driving test candidate or driving examiner develop symptoms in the days after a test.

Making sure driving test centres are ready to reopen

Some of our driving test centres have now been closed for 12 weeks. We need to make sure they’re thoroughly checked before we can reopen them.

As just one example, we need to make sure the hot and cold water systems are free from legionella bacteria (which causes Legionnaires’ disease).

Many of the contractors that we rely on to do this work also put their services on hold during the lockdown. We’re busy working with them to get our test centre network safe and ready.

Making sure we have PPE in place

To help keep you, your pupils and driving examiners stay safe, we’ve ordered PPE for all driving examiners. This includes face coverings and gloves.

Since the start of pandemic, there has been a high demand for this type of equipment. Like many organisations, we’ve had to wait for supplies to become available.

Understanding which driving examiners will be available

As you’ll appreciate, some of our driving examiners are either clinically vulnerable from coronavirus, or extremely vulnerable. Others might live with or care for people in those groups.

We’ve been working with all our driving examiners to find out more about their situation so we know how many will be able to return to carrying out driving tests as soon as we’re able.

Planning driving test schedules

When we suspended driving tests, we rescheduled all your pupils’ driving tests to a named date and time.

But we now have 3 issues to think about:

rescheduled dates might not be suitable for you and your pupils, as situations may have changed not all driving examiners will be available social distancing measures might limit the number of tests we can carry out This means we need to think about the best way to make sure your pupils can take their test at a convenient time, in a way that’s fair to everyone.

The fairest way we can do this is to put all the rescheduled tests ‘on hold’.

This means the test will no longer go ahead on the originally rescheduled date.

We will then ask people in the backlog to go online and choose their preferred date and time. We’ll invite them to do this in batches, based on when their test should have originally taken place.

We will contact you before we start this process, so you can make your pupils aware of what’s happening. We will also contact them directly with more information.

We are also planning how we can continue to help critical workers to get a test as a priority throughout this process.

Understanding how differences in England, Scotland and Wales might affect us

As you will be aware, public health is the responsibility of the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales. This means that there are currently different lockdown rules in place for England, Scotland and Wales.

We are talking to the devolved administrations about how this might affect us restarting our services in Scotland and Wales.

Keeping you updated

I know the last few months have been challenging. I know the uncertainty is worrying. And I know you are concerned about how you can support your customers, your business and your family.

We will update you with news about driving instruction and driving tests as soon as we are able to.

Coronavirus is the biggest and most complex challenge the country has faced in a generation. Our aim has been to help slow the spread of coronavirus and to save lives. This continues to be our overriding priority.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I hope that you, your family and your friends remain safe and well.

Yours sincerely,
Gareth Llewellyn

Chief Executive
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

 

Latest update from DVSA on theory tests - 1/6/2020

All theory tests rescheduled on Monday 1 June All theory tests on Monday 1 June have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Tests in Scotland and Wales will be rescheduled up to and including 21 June 2020, this is in line with government guidelines in the respective countries.

We are preparing test centres for a safe return to testing for all candidates. Social distancing measures are being put in place.

We will update you with a start date for England as soon as we are able.

What DVSA are doing

We are emailing anyone with a test booked up to and including 21 June in Scotland and Wales to let them know it has been rescheduled.

We are emailing candidates in England with a test booked on the 1 June to let them know it has been rescheduled.

If you've booked a test for your pupils

If you have booked a test for any of your pupils during these dates, you will need to contact them to let them know that their test has been rescheduled.

You can do this on GOV.UK. You will need your driving licence number to do this. You’ll get another email from Pearson Vue. You do not need to pay again to do this.

Emergency theory tests

An emergency theory testing service will still be available to those who have a critical need to take a test, such as NHS and social care workers.

Please do not call our customer service centre as they will not be able to help. Stay up to date on the latest information on GOV.UK.

We will be monitoring the situation and we will let you know if we need to cancel any more tests.

Driving lessons

Driver, rider and vocational trainers should continue to limit instruction to key workers preparing for an essential test.

We provided the industry with advice on this in April and will provide further information about broader training as soon as we can.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the existing social distancing requirements, driving lessons cannot be carried out (unless for essential key workers).

The current information from DVSA states that

- Theory tests are suspended up to 31 May 2020

- Driving tests are suspended until 20 June 2020

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-driving-tests-and-theory-tests

Following on from the Scottish Government route map announcement on 21 May 2020

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis/

I, personally, do not see driving tuition beginning again until we are at least in Phase 3 of the current recommendations, however this is subject to change. 

I will be closely monitoring the situation and any advice given by either DVSA or the Scottish Government.

 

Good tips to prepare you for an upcoming driving test