Get Adobe Flash player

News

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency

To help stop the spread of coronavirus, routine practical driving tests have been suspended in England, Scotland and Wales.

A limited theory test and practical testing service will be introduced in England and Wales. This will be available to:

  • NHS health and social care workers • the emergency services • local councils

Who need to both: • drive as part of their job • respond to ‘threats to life’ as part of their job

Because of the current COVID restrictions, we are not able to offer a mobile emergency worker test service in Scotland.

These tests will be carried out by examiners who have volunteered to continue to test during lockdown.

We will be contacting these organisations directly to explain how they can access this service.

Teaching someone with a confirmed test booking

You can teach mobile emergency workers who have a confirmed test booking even if current local or national restrictions do not allow driving and riding tests.

You must not teach anyone who only has a routine driving test booked – even if they are an NHS health and social care worker, emergency service worker or local council worker. You must make sure that your pupil has the correct documentation as detailed below.

What you need during lessons

You must not take any pupils out unless you have both:

  • a copy of your pupil’s emergency test booking confirmation email • a copy of the application request from their employer

You can use these to prove you’re allowed to teach during current restrictions if you’re stopped by the police.

During lessons you must be sure to follow government guidance about working safely during coronavirus.

DVSA banner

Driving and riding lessons and tests – National lockdown

On 4 January, the government announced a new national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus.

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

Driving and riding lessons

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

Driving and riding tests

All driving and riding tests have been suspended from 5 January until the restrictions are lifted.

We’ll email candidates who are 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 then 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 tests

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.

More information

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

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

theory tests

driving tests

instructor guidance

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:

  1. Protect the NHS’s ability to cope.
  2. A sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19.
  3. Reliable data showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
  4. Be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
  5. 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.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

Coronavirus advice

The risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently rated as low, according to the government. However, it is important to be aware of the official guidance for businesses, which we have outlined below.

If you are worried about symptoms, call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever
What to do if you or one of your member of staff or pupils becomes unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19

If the person has not been to specified areas in the last 14 days, then normal practice should continue.

If someone becomes unwell and has travelled to China or other affected countries, the unwell person should be removed to an area which is at least two metres away from other people. If possible find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a closed door. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation.

The individual who is unwell should call NHS 111 from their mobile, or 999 if an emergency, and explain which country they have returned from in the last 14 days and outline their current symptoms.

Specified areas

People who have returned from Hubei Province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days should call NHS 111 for advice and self-isolate whether they have symptoms or not.

Advice is in place for what to do if you have returned in the last 14 days from specified countries or areas. This is updated on an ongoing basis.

Preventing spread of infection

Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Face masks for the general public are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.

Further information is available on the PHE blog and NHS.UK.

Learner drivers will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor in a car with dual controls from 2018.

Allowing learner drivers to have lessons on motorways will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

At the moment, you can only have driving lessons on motorways after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.

How the change will work

The change will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

Learner drivers will need to be:

  • accompanied by an approved driving instructor
  • driving a car fitted with dual controls

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary. It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough to have a motorway lesson.

Trainee driving instructors won’t be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.

Motorway driving will not be included in the driving test changes coming into force on 4 December 2017.

The change will only apply to learner drivers of cars – learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed to have motorway lessons.

When the change will happen

The exact date in 2018 will be confirmed nearer the time.

The change will be well-publicised so driving instructors and learner drivers are prepared for the change, and other road users know what to expect. The Highway Code rules on motorways will also be updated.

Until the law is changed, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.

Driving instructor vehicles and training

Driving instructors will be allowed to decide whether or not to keep their driving school roof-top box on during motorway lessons, based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

However, the car will still need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed.

It will be up to the instructor whether or not they keep their driving school roof-top box on – but the car will still have to display L plates on the front and rear

Guidance for driving instructors

DVSA won’t give driving instructors extra training on providing motorway lessons, but learning materials and the car driving syllabus will be updated to incorporate motorway lessons.

DVSA will also work with driving instructor associations and Highways England to provide extra guidance and advice for driving instructors.

Preparing drivers for a lifetime of safe driving

The changes are being made to allow learner drivers to:

  • get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
  • get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
  • practise driving at higher speeds
  • put their theoretical knowledge into practice
Areas Covered:
I offer Weekly driving lessons and Intensive Crash Courses in Cannock, Hednesford, Rugeley, Stafford, Burntwood, Lichfield, Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, plus the surrounding areas