Get ready for your driving test

Passing your driving test gives you independence and freedom. But taking your test too early could lead to a failed test, disappointment, and potentially delays to you getting on the road. Please look at the link below which will take you to all the latest information from the DVSA

Fantastic information from the DVSA on everything you need to know from finding a driving instructor to passing your practical driving test 1st time.

just click the link below

https://readytopass.campaign.gov.uk/

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Things you need to know about changes to the driving test booking service

The driving test can be changed up to 6 times

We have reduced the number of times a driving test appointment can be changed from 10 to 6.

If you or your pupil changes the test more than 6 times, you will need to cancel it and rebook the test.

Short notice cancellations are changing

From Wednesday 22 June, we will no longer automatically rearrange or refund practical, or theory tests cancelled within the 3-day short notice cancellation window if your pupil tells us they have COVID-19.

This means that you or your pupils will lose your test fee if a test is cancelled within the short notice period unless your pupil:

  • is ill or injured
  • has been affected by a bereavement
  • needs to take an exam
  • has had their driving licence stolen

The full details about the change and how to apply for a refund were sent to you by email on June 7.

We’ll also be updating the guidance on GOV.UK.   

Who can use the book and manage your pupil’s driving test service

Only businesses who employ at least one ADI can register and access the service.

Vocational and motorcycle trainer bookers will also be able to continue to use the service. Image supplied by Pixabay

Driving test bookings: cracking down on companies exploiting learner drivers

You may have seen recent media reports about companies that do not employ driving instructors profiting from selling practical driving tests.

This has been done by companies often using bots and exploiting the service set up for you to book and manage driving tests for your pupils.

Many of these companies are charging more than the test booking fee of £62 for a car driving test. We want to prevent a social divide between those who can and cannot afford to use these services.

We are aware of the potential risks of unofficial companies and some driving instructors who are profiting from the booking system and exploiting learner drivers. We have developed a plan to help prevent this.

Cracking down on companies exploiting learner drivers

Loveday Ryder, DVSA Chief Executive, said:

“We’ve already put in place measures to monitor and prevent bots from accessing our systems while also strengthening our firewall to tackle the issue.

“We will work tirelessly to crack down on companies that are exploiting learner drivers.

“We’ve closed the system to new registrations and will rapidly close down accounts that do not belong to driving instructors and driving schools. We’ll also be taking further steps to make sure all future accounts are linked to driving instructors and those with training businesses.”

What we’ve done so far

So far we have:

  • stopped accepting new automatic online registrations to use the service – any new applications must be made by email, where they’ll be thoroughly checked by DVSA – we’ll update GOV.UK with the new process soon
  • stopped accepting any new registrations from companies who do not directly employ a driving instructor
  • started removing any registrations not linked to driving instructors
  • reduced the number of times a driving test appointment can be changed from 10 to the pre-pandemic limit of 6 – if you need to make more changes after that, you or your pupil will have to cancel the test and rebook it – this takes effect from tomorrow (Thursday 2 June)

What we’ll do next

We will change the terms and conditions for using the service to make it clear you’re not allowed to use it to make a profit from making and managing driving test bookings. We’ll share more information about this next week.

The number of tests available on our booking service will not be affected by these changes. These measures will not have a negative impact on the waiting times for a practical test. 

Nick Taylor, the ADI Registrar, is also reviewing the ‘fit and proper’ criteria to make it clear that profiting from driving test bookings is not considered fit and proper behaviour.

image supplied by Pixaba

Driver testing services – plan B restrictions ending in England

Following the government’s announcement on the ending of plan B restrictions in England, we want to explain what these changes mean to driver testing services in England and how these changes will affect you and your pupils.

The main changes are:

  • you and your pupils are not legally required to wear face coverings during lessons, but government guidance suggests that you continue to do so in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet
  • your pupils should take a rapid lateral flow test on the day of their driving test, before leaving home
  • your candidates no longer have to wear a face covering for their theory test, but the government guidance suggests that you continue to do so in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet

We are asking practical test candidates to continue to wear a face covering, unless they have a good reason not to wear one. Your pupils need to advise us in advance if this is the case. We will be keeping this under review.

The current driving test safety measures in Scotland and Wales remain in place and we will let you know of any changes.

Driving lessons in England

You and your pupils no longer have to wear a face covering by law on professional driving lessons.

COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are breathed out from the nose and mouth of an infected person.

However, we are suggesting you and your pupils continue to wear a face covering during lessons in line with government guidance that suggests people continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they may come into contact with other people they do not normally meet.

Driving tests in England-Wearing a face covering

We are asking you and you pupil to continue to wear a face covering when you come for driving tests, unless you or your pupil have a good reason not to, such as:

  • having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress

If your pupil has a good reason not to wear a face covering, we ask them, when they book their test, to tell us – if you have made the booking on behalf of your pupil you will need to do this if required.

Your pupil’s test may not take place without a face covering if they have not made us aware when booking their test. We will be keeping this under review.

Taking rapid lateral flow tests

We are asking your pupils to take a rapid lateral flow test before their driving test if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. We are asking that they do this on the day of their driving test, before they leave home.

Find out more about taking a rapid lateral flow test before taking a driving test.

In England, you should now take a rapid lateral flow test if you’ll be in a high-risk situation that day. This includes being in enclosed spaces where there is limited fresh air. 

Car cleanliness and fresh air

You must clean the inside of your car before bringing your pupil for test.

This means:

  • removing any rubbish or unnecessary items from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats
  • cleaning and wiping down the dashboard and car controls
  • making sure the passenger seat and footwell is not dirty

The examiner will do an additional clean of some surfaces, but your test will be cancelled if the inside of your car is dirty.

The car used for the test must have at least one window open on each side throughout the test. Any combination of windows can be opened. Your pupils should wear clothing suitable for the weather.

Driving test centre waiting rooms

In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher:

  • in crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious
  • in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air

We continue to suggest you keep your distance, wear face coverings and practise good hand hygiene in our waiting areas in England to help reduce the spread of the virus. Thank you for your support and cooperation.

Theory tests in England

It is no longer a legal requirement for your pupils to wear a face covering whilst attending and taking their theory test.

However, we are asking candidates to wear face coverings during their theory test in line with government guidance on wearing a face covering in indoor spaces where people might come into contact with others they do not usually meet.

If your pupils wear a face covering to their theory test, they will be asked to remove it temporarily for staff to do an ID check.

Other safety measures such as the screen at reception areas and workstation dividers will remain in place.  (Picture supplied by Pixabay)

Increasing the number of driving tests appointments

To help tackle the waiting list for driving tests we have been working on a number of ways to increase the amount of driving test appointments available.

We wanted to update you on the things we have been working on:

Returning to 7 tests a day

From Monday 14 June 2021 we will be increasing the number of tests our examiners in England, Scotland and Wales carry out each day to 7 – this is the number carried out before the pandemic.

This change will allow us to increase capacity across the national network by an average of 15,000 to 20,000 tests per month.

We are doing this because our driving examiners are now used to carrying out additional COVID-19 safety measures, so we can now carry out 7 driving tests each day with little risk of over-running.

This means we can keep these safety measures in place to protect learner drivers and examiners whilst safely increasing the number of tests per day.

We will be increasing the number of tests by adding an additional test at the end of the working day so tests currently booked will not be affected.

We’ll also be able to start offering early morning and evening tests.

When will the new appointments be available to book?

We will start gradually adding new appointments on to the booking system on a daily basis from 9 June.

You or your pupils can check for new appointments at your local test centres on the book a driving test or the change your driving test services.

Alternatively if you are registered to use the book and manage driving tests for your pupils service you can use this to check for new appointments in your area.

We recently contacted candidates with a booking on hold to let them know that they needed to choose a test appointment date by 31 August or their booking will be cancelled.

We will be writing to them again to let them know that as we are returning to 7 tests a day, additional test appointments will be added to the booking service so more tests will be available to choose from.

Circumstances when pupils cannot take a driving test

Your pupils will not be able to take their driving test if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • they have any coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, fever, new continuous cough, a change or loss of smell or taste from normal).
  • they have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in the last 14 days.
  • they are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test or have had a positive test in the last 7 days.
  • they have visited a school, college or other building that has been closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the last 7 days.
  • they live with someone who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms of COVID–19 in the last 14 days.

Areas where the new variant is spreading

In locations where there is an enhanced Covid response in place, we will write to candidates before their test to make them aware of this.

Our driving examiners will also ask all candidates these questions before taking them out on test. If they answer yes to any of the above criteria their test will be cancelled and they will be asked to reschedule.

To do this they can email us at customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk and we can help them look for the earliest possible appointment once they have finished self-isolating.

The importance of your pupils being ready for their test

It’s important that your pupils take their test only when both you and your pupil are confident they can pass. This will help them to avoid a lengthy wait for a retest and help us by not adding to the backlog of tests.

Reintroducing short term cancellations

We are also reintroducing the 3 working day short notice cancellation period for practical car tests. This was temporarily suspended when we restarted testing in July 2020 following the first lockdown.

All tests taking place from Thursday 17 June 2021 will be subject to the 3 working day short notice cancellation period.

We will be writing to all candidates with tests taking place from 17 June to let them know of this change.

If you or your pupil need to cancel a test within the 3 working day period as a result of a positive COVID-19 test result or having to self-isolate you will need to email us at customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk

Please put – COVID SHORT NOTICE CANCELLATION – in the subject of the email and we will look to reschedule the test for the earliest possible appointment.

To do this email us at customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk and we can help look for the earliest possible appointment once they have finished self-isolating.

You or your pupil may be asked to provide evidence when cancelling at short notice.

If your pupil cancels their test within the 3 working day period or fails to turn up to their test they will lose their test fee.

Potential contract for driving examiner recruitment

Another aspect of our ongoing work to reduce waiting times is recruiting additional driving examiners. We had a positive response to our recruitment campaign, but there are some areas of the country where we still need to recruit more examiners, including the South East.

To support this we are exploring options to temporarily contract in experienced driving assessors to qualify as driving examiners and will run a further recruitment campaign in the weeks ahead. 

More information

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

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Restarting driving lessons and tests in England and Wales

The UK Government has confirmed in recent announcements that lockdown restrictions can be eased as planned in England and Wales.

This means driver, rider and vocational lessons and tests will restart in line with the indicative dates we previously shared with you.

Driving lessons will restart on 12 April and driving tests 10 days later on 22 April. Fleet training and testing will also restart on 12 April.

Test ready

We’ll email candidates with car practical tests booked from the 22 April to let them know their tests will go ahead.

If you have booked a test for any of your pupils during this period, please can you reassure them that their tests will go ahead as planned.

Restarting lessons ten days ahead of tests will give you the chance to provide your pupils with professional refresher training before they take their test. We know many of you wanted the opportunity to carry out lessons and training before we restart driving tests and we agree with this, so do the National Association of Strategic Partners (NASP).

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

Booking Your Practical Driving Tets

The practical driving test is being re-arranged all the time plus there are people booking in the test as quickly as they can which is understandable it is important to ensure you have enough time to practice prior to your driving test this is advice from the DVSA to ensure pupils are at a standard of which they should pass 1st time this is important because taking your test too soon or without the correct amount of practice with result in not passing and booking another one which will be a long way away to to the backlog.

It is also very important if you would like to take your test with my car please check at all times with me before booking your practical driving test that I am free to take you, lessons I can rearrange but I may already be booked out on another person driving test and it is not normally possible for me to do two test in one day due to the time it takes to do the test and due to distance of where the pupils live.

Please ensure you keep all booking correspondence with you and bring it to the test center if there are any booking errors this will ensure you get rebooked quickly if it is the fault of the DVSA if it is your fault you would re-book as normal i,e massive delay.

Please also ensure that after checking and confirming practical test dates with me that you must have confirmation from me, please  not all messages arrive 

Restarting driving lessons and tests in England

Following the publication of the roadmap out of national lockdown on 22 February, we have been working with government and stakeholders to agree the indicative restart dates of all our driver, rider and vocational testing services.

We have set these dates out below. Depending on the outcome of the government review of roadmap measures on 5 April, we’ll write to you again shortly afterwards to confirm if lessons and tests can restart on these dates.

We aren’t able to confirm dates until after the review on 5 April, but we want to share these proposals with you now to help you plan for reopening your businesses and to start teaching again.

You can read more about stopping the spread of coronavirus on GOV.UK

Restarting driving lessons and tests

Following the publication of the roadmap out of national lockdown on 22 February, we have been working with government and stakeholders to agree the indicative restart dates of all our driver, rider and vocational testing services.

We have set these dates out below. Depending on the outcome of the government review of roadmap measures on 5 April, we’ll write to you again shortly afterwards to confirm if lessons and tests can restart on these dates.

We aren’t able to confirm dates until after the review on 5 April, but we want to share these proposals with you now to help you plan for reopening your businesses and to start teaching again.

You can read more about stopping the spread of coronavirus on GOV.UK

Restarting driving lessons and tests

The proposed date for you to restart driving lessons and training is Monday 12 April 2021.

We know many of you want the opportunity to carry out lessons and training before we restart driving tests and we agree with this.

Therefore tests are due to restart 10 days later on THURSDAY 22 April, if government guidance allows.

The safety of our customers and examiners is our top priority. Closer to the restart date we will work with Public Health England to review and check our standard operating procedures. We’ll let you know the outcome of these discussions closer to the time.

In the meantime, your pupils can continue to practise driving with an accompanying driver from within their household, as long as it’s part of an essential journey. We will update learner drivers and approved driving instructors when this changes.

We have shared our guidance for driving examiners with driver training associations and they have updated their good practice guidance for instructors. Links to good practice guidance are included in the instructor guidance on GOV.UK.

Driving test bookings

We’ll email candidates with tests booked before 22 April to let them know their test will be rescheduled. If you have booked a test for any of your pupils, you will receive an email to let you know it will be rescheduled to a new time and date. You will need to contact your pupil to let them know.

We’ll email you with the new time and date as soon as possible; please ask your pupils to bear with us.

If the new time and date is not suitable for you or your pupil, you can choose a different time and date on GOV.UK. You will need your pupil’s driving licence number to do this. Your pupil does not need to pay again to do this.

We know pupils with tests booked between 12 and 22 April will be disappointed. But it’s important that candidates have adequate time to practise with a professional instructor before they come to test.

Restarting lessons ten days ahead of tests will give you chance to provide your pupils with professional refresher training before they take their test. This approach is supported by the National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP).

Update on theory test certificates

I have copied everything from thee DVSA which i received so that it is as clear as possible for anyone in this situation.

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

After careful consideration and in response to a recent petition the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates for road safety reasons.  

We understand this will be disappointing for some of your pupils, but it’s essential that they have the most up-to-date road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills at the critical point that they drive on their own for the first time. 

The way we are managing test bookings is affected by COVID-19 restrictions

If your pupil’s practical driving test has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will reschedule it for the next available test appointment at their chosen test centre.

If no test appointments are available at their chosen test centre before their theory test certificate expires, their practical test booking will be put on hold.

Pupils with tests booked whose theory test certificate has expired

If your pupil’s driving test is suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, and their theory test certificate has expired or expires, we will cancel and refund the cost of their practical test.

Your pupil will then need to rebook and pass their theory test before they can sit a practical test.

Your pupil must have a valid theory test certificate before they can book their practical test, and on the day they take it.

If you have booked any tests on behalf of your pupils who have been affected by this you need to let them know what will happen next.

If your pupil’s theory test expires before the next available practical test date

If your pupil’s theory test certificate has been put on hold because it is due to expire, they can either:

  • cancel their booking and get a full refund
  • look on the booking system for a cancellation at their original test centre or book an available test appointment at a different test centre on a date before their theory test expires – in line with any current travel restrictions

If you or your pupil book a test at an alternative site you will need to check the relevant travel restrictions leading up to the appointment date to make sure they are able to travel in to the area.

If your pupil does not rebook or cancel their practical test before their theory test certificate expires, their practical test booking with be cancelled and refunded.

Your pupils can book a new theory test up to 6 months before their current theory test certificate expires, or at any time after it has expired.

If you have booked any tests on behalf of your pupils who have been affected by this you need to let them know and discuss their options with them.

If your pupil wants to request a refund

You pupils can request a refund for the cost of their practical test through the online cancellation service at https://www.gov.uk/cancel-driving-test