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:

Image supplied by Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay thank you

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

Possible New Start Date for Lessons

The possible start date is the 12th of April 2021, but please read below it looks like it has not been confirmed.

Here is the information i have received today 24.02.2021.

Driving tests in England cancelled up to 8 March

DVSA has cancelled all practical and theory tests in England up to and including 8 March.

This follows the government’s roadmap announcement which set out that driving tests and theory tests in England will restart no earlier than 12 April 2021.

DVSA says it is working closely with the government and the driver and rider training industry to confirm restart plans. It will provide more information as soon as possible on motorcycle, vocational and other tests, lessons and training.

The agency will email candidates affected by test cancellations with a new date and time for their test. If it’s not suitable, they can change it at www.gov.uk/change-driving-test.

If you booked a test for any of your pupils, you’ll receive the email to let you know it has been rescheduled. You’ll need to give your pupil the new details.

DVSA’s update comes after AA announced yesterday that it had been in touch with the agency and been told: “It is confirmed that driving lessons can commence from 12 April and driving tests seven days later, subject to there being no slippages in the government’s planned dates.” 

DVSA told us today that no such plans have been confirmed with anyone. However, first tier stakeholders (which the AA is not) such as DIA will be appraised early next week of the full plans for restarting testing and training. We understand that the AA will be publishing a retraction of the statements it made. 

Continuing national lockdown in England

Further to guidance from government we are cancelling practical and theory tests in England up to and including 24 February 2021.

Mobile emergency worker service tests booked will take place as arranged.

You should continue to follow Government guidance to stay at home except for essential reasons.

You can read more about the lockdown measures on GOV.UK

Driving lessons

Driving lessons, must not take place until the restrictions are lifted. This includes training for ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks.

Driving lessons for your pupils with a confirmed mobile emergency worker test booking can continue.

Driving tests

All driving tests are suspended in England while the restrictions are in place. This includes ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks.

This does not include mobile emergency worker service tests booked which will take place as arranged.

We’ll email candidates affected by this to let them know we will reschedule their test.

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 send you an email with the new time and date as soon as possible; please ask your pupils to be patient.

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.

Theory test

All theory tests will be suspended until the restrictions are lifted.

We will email anyone who has booked a test and is affected by this to let them know their theory test is on hold and that they will need to reschedule it by visiting https://www.gov.uk/change-theory-test.

If you booked your pupil’s theory test you will need to log into the booking system and rearrange their test for a new date and time.

This does not include mobile emergency worker service theory tests booked which will take place as arranged.

More information

You can find what financial support is available to you on GOV.UK.

Lessons no longer possible

Hi, everyone I will post any updates from the DVSA as and when I receive them. It is now impossible to know what to say after starting the New Year off with only one day of work and now no work at all! I fully understand something has to be done to stop the spread of covid but can not help wondering would not be in this situation if the fool in charge of the country acted with more haste and urgency at the very beginning he seems only too happy to leave difficult decisions until there is no choice left. 

I hope you can all get through this and avoid catching covid and look forward to seeing you all as soon as possible.

Gordon

Driving Lessons In Tier 3

Changes to tiers in England

The government has announced changes to the tiers from 12:01am on 31 December to control the spread of coronavirus. 

These will remain in place until at least the next formal government review. 

You can read more about what areas will move tiers and the measures on GOV.UK  

Driving lessons

Driving lessons can continue in Tiers 1 to 3.  

Driving lessons must not take place in Tier 4 areas until the restrictions are lifted. 

You must not travel out of a Tier 4 area to give driving lessons or to take a pupil for a test. 

Driving tests

Driving tests can continue in Tiers 1 to 3.  

Areas in Tier 3

Additional safety measures are in place for car driving tests in Tier 3 areas. These are:

  • reducing the number of car practical tests our examiners carry out per day from 6 to 5
  • anyone who has a car driving test booked in a Tier 3 area who is exempt from wearing a face covering may have to delay their test until the area moves out of Tier 3. We will reschedule their test if we cannot find a volunteer driving examiner to conduct their test without them wearing a face covering

When areas go into Tier 1 or 2, the number of car tests will go back to 6 per day per examiner. We’ll be emailing everyone in a Tier 3 area who has a test booked during the period of the restrictions to let them know about the additional measures.

Areas in Tier 4

All car driving tests are suspended in Tier 4 areas until the restrictions are lifted. This includes ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks.

We’ll email candidates who are affected by this to let them know we will reschedule their test.

Picture supplied by Pixabay thank you.

Reopening the driving test booking service

We are reopening the driving test booking service on Monday 7 September at 8am.

Driving Tests will be available to book in England, Scotland and Wales but will be limited, with tests available to book for the next 6 weeks.

Due to limited availability, unfortunately not everyone who wants one will be able to book a test on Monday.

This is until the next set of tests are released on 14 September, when we are extending the period in which tests can be booked to 18 weeks ahead. This will allow us to add over 375,000 new and rescheduled tests to be booked for dates between 14 September and 21 January 2021.

As well as increasing available tests to 18 weeks ahead we are moving from 5 to 6 car tests a day.

Driving examiners are now familiar with using PPE such as face coverings and gloves and the using the latest guidance for carrying out tests. This means there is more capacity to safely increase the test programmes from 5 to 6 a day.

Changes to the booking service

As a result of high demand, we will continue to use the queuing system we introduced last week, to ensure the stability of the system. So, when you or a pupil logs in, you will not have access to the system straight away.

You will be held in a queue and given a queue number. We will regularly update gov.uk and our social media with information on driving test availability.

It is possible that you will be held in the queue for some time; please do not try to access the system using multiple devices as this increases the overall queue.

We will continue to update gov.uk and our social media channels to let everyone know when all tests sell out.

All the available appointments are shown on the online service. The DVSA customer service centre does not have access to any other appointments, so please do not call or email them.

There is not a ‘waiting list’ or ‘cancellation list’ for driving tests. You can only book the appointments you can see online.

Test slot availability

If a pupil can’t book a test at their local centre, other nearby centres may be available. Your pupil should be properly prepared and able to take a test at any driving test centre.

After 7 September, new test slots will be made available on Monday 14 September and every Monday after that. You and your pupils will need to check again when we add new tests if you cannot find one immediately. 

DVLA service update

Extension for driving licences that expire between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020

If your photocard driving licence or your entitlement to drive expires between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 you have a 7-month extension from the date of expiry.

This means that you will not need to renew your photocard or entitlement to drive until seven months after your original expiry date.

You do not need to do anything as this extension is automatic.