DVSA Update: Driver testing services – lifting of COVID-19 driving test restrictions

DVSA Update: Driver testing services – lifting of COVID-19 driving test restrictions

We are lifting COVID-19 restrictions affecting driving and theory tests in England from 1 March in line with the government announcement that English restrictions ended from 24 February. The changes in England are:

• face coverings will be a personal choice for practical and theory test candidates and examiners
• driving tests will no longer end early unless the candidate’s driving is so poor it is a risk to their safety and that of other road users – in line with the pre-COVID-19 policy
• instructors and accompanying drivers are able to sit in on driving tests
• you no longer have to self isolate if you have COVID-19, but we encourage you to rearrange your test if you feel unwell for any reason

You need to make your pupils aware of these forthcoming changes, especially if you have made their practical test booking for them.

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

DVSA guidance on GOV.UK will be updated shortly.

Face coverings

Your pupil will have personal choice on whether they want to wear a face covering on their driving or theory test from 1 March in England.

Candidates will no longer have to let us know if they cannot wear a face covering in advance of their driving test from 1 March. This also applies to bookings you make on behalf of your pupils.

Our driving examiners can also make a personal choice to wear a face covering if they wish.

Face coverings continue to be a personal choice for you and your pupils during driving lessons in England.

Ending driving tests early

From 1 March, our driving examiners will no longer end tests early and they can continue after a candidate has committed a serious or dangerous fault to give them the full-test experience.

Tests will only be terminated early if the driving examiner assesses that the candidate’s driving is so poor it risks their safety and that of other road users. This is in line with our pre-COVID-19 policy.

ADIs sitting in on tests

We are lifting the restriction on ADIs and accompanying drivers to sit in on a driving test from 1 March.

This means that driving examiners will ask your pupil if they want someone to:

  • sit in the back of the car during the test
  • be with them for the result and feedback

ADI standards checks and ADI part 2 tests

The lifting of restrictions for wearing face coverings on tests from 1 March also includes ADI part 2 tests and ADI standards checks.

Standards checks will continue to last for 40 minutes.

Clean vehicles

We will no longer be cancelling driving tests if the inside of a vehicle is not clean.

However, we continue to encourage you to clean and tidy the inside of your vehicle when presenting it for a driving test in line with good hygiene.

It will be optional for examiners to wipe down surfaces in test vehicles or ventilate these vehicles during tests.

Pupils testing positive for COVID-19

We encourage candidates testing positive for COVID-19 up to 5 days before their driving test not to attend their test to reduce the spread of the virus.

You or your pupil should email us at customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk with the subject title ‘COVID-19 short notice cancellation’ to rearrange their test.

You or your pupil will need to include the following information in the email:

  • their driving licence number
  • their driving test booking reference number

We will then contact you or your pupil to help rearrange the test. Your pupil will not have to pay again.

Taking rapid lateral flow tests

Until 1 April, we continue to ask 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.

Thank you for your support

We know this has been a very challenging period for the driver and rider training industry.

The changes we have made to our services have had an impact across the industry but you have shown resilience, supported our colleagues and responded positively to our engagement.

We want to thank you for taking the necessary action to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and protect our colleagues.

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