Successful learners will receive their full driving licences quicker as driving examiners start marking the car driving test digitally, DVSA has announced today (14 October).
Driving examiners are using tablets to mark driving tests digitally as part of a phased roll out. A specially developed app is replacing the clipboard and pen that millions will remember from their own driving test.
Shifting to a paperless test will mean learners will also receive an electronic summary report of their test as well as being told if they have passed or failed on the day. The report can then be reviewed with their instructor to look at where they could improve.
The driving test itself and what learners are assessed on is not changing.
Chief Driving Examiner Mark Winn said:
“DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.
“We’re committed to providing the best possible service for customers – by investing in technology and replacing the clipboard and pen we are helping speed up the time it takes a new-qualified driver to receive their driving licence.
“This app will modernise the way our examiners work, making it easier for them to carry out their jobs and provide a more streamlined process for new drivers.”
National Associations Strategic Partnership Chairman Peter Harvey said:
“NASP have been pleased to be involved from the beginning in the planning for the introduction of digital marking, we are pleased to see DVSA introducing new technology to enhance the customer experience when taking the practical test, this will reduce the paper trail and get customer results to DVLA more efficiently. Once it has been trialled with car tests, we look forward to this procedure being rolled out to all test categories.”
Driving examiners carry out 1.9 million driving tests each year – using a paper form (DL25) to record the results. The form is tick box based and is used to mark against pre-set driving assessment standards, such as control of the vehicle and observations made while driving.
Currently, DVSA manually collates test results and then sends them electronically to the DVLA who issue the licences. This new app will remove the need for a paper trail and help to speed up the process.
The app is set be rolled out to all DVSA examiners by the end of the year.
The DVSA will continue to improve how the app works for car tests, and will look to roll out the use of the app to other test categories later.
The driving test itself is not changing.
In the majority of cases successful candidates currently have their information processed and sent to DVLA within four days of completing their driving test. Switching to the digital system will enable the information to be sent across typically on the same day that the candidate passes their test, enabling a new licence to be issued sooner.
It is illegal for approved driving instructors and other accompanying drivers, such as friends and family, to use a tablet whilst supervising a learner driver.
Examiners will use a privacy screen to make sure that learner drivers are not distracted by the device during the test. This will also eliminate glare.
The tablet’s functionality, including communication, will be completely disabled during the test. The examiner will only have access to the app until the test is completed.
Regulation 110 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations prohibits the use of technology if you are supervising a provisional licence holder. During a driving lesson, the instructor is supervising the learner and must therefore be in control of the vehicle at all times.
Regulation 16(9) of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations also means that the driving test is the only time a learner driver does not require the supervision of an accompanying driver, as they are under test conditions.