Listed below are our latest FAQ's - please click on the questions listed to view the full answer and explanation.

Revised December 2018


1If a person holds a full GB licence do they need an International Licence to drive abroad?
You need your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence with you to drive abroad. You can use:
  • a photocard licence
  • a valid paper-only licence issued before 31 March 2000, if you still have one
You might also need an International Driving Permit in some non-EU countries. If you’re hiring a car, the hire company may ask for a check code so they can view your driving record.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad

2As an ADI do, I need to register for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance
MSA GB Advice to Members regarding GDPR Compliance: If you have any type of dashcam or in car camera you must register as a data controller with the ICO. However, if you do not use a dashcam you may still need to register.

If you have already registered under the terms of the Data Protection Act that will continue. However, there are now some new rules about compliance that you need to be aware of, full details are on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website. Whether or not individual ADIs need to register is genuinely difficult to decide. We have consulted the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and they confirm that the way you manage the records of your candidates determines whether you need to register.

If you process any information using computers or any system that can process the information automatically, including CCTV systems, digital cameras, smartphones, credit card machines, call logging and recording systems, clocking machines and audio-visual capture and storage systems you will probably need to register. DVSA tell us they are currently developing guidance on this which will be circulated in due course and the ICO will be updating their own information (FAQs) to include specific guidance for ADIs.

MSA GB will continue to monitor all the available advice and to update members when this becomes clearer. In the meantime, if you are unsure if you should register, the ICO website https://ico.org.uk/ has lots of useful information including an online self-assessment form and a twelve-point checklist. MSA GB suggest that if you are not sure what to do go to the ICO site and register online. The cost is thirty-five pounds per year and that is an allowable business expense.

Information Commissioner Office guide to the GDPR here.
3If a pupil has six penalty points on their licence before they take a test and they pass do they immediately revert to provisional licence status under the New Driver's Act?


The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act came into effect for all those who passed their driving test on or after 1st 1997.

If a driver reaches six or more penalty points within two years of passing their driving test (i.e. during the probationary period) DVLA will automatically revoke their driving licence when notified by a court or fixed penalty office.

To regain a full licence the person must then
  • Obtain a provisional licence
  • Drive as a learner, and
  • Pass the theory and practical test again.
Penalty points counting towards the total of six include any incurred before passing the test, as long as the offence took place not more than three years before the latest penalty point offence.

Points imposed after the probationary period will also count if the offence was committed during that period. Passing the retest does not remove penalty points from the licence, and if the total reaches 12, licence holders are liable to be disqualified by a court.

Available regarding Penalty points (endorsements) and new drivers here.
4If vehicles waiting to turn right are blocking the only available lane as the left lane is an operational bus lane, would it be in order to enter the (obviously empty) bus lane to pass these stationary obstructions?
No, not if the bus lane is in operation.

The Highway Code rule 141 states: These are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation. You may enter a bus lane to stop, to load or unload where this is not prohibited.
5What are the conditions attached to a category B provisional licence?
Any vehicle driven by a provisional licence holder must display clearly L-plates or alternatively D-plates in Wales, at the front and rear. The provisional licence holder must be accompanied by a DVSA ADI or a driver qualified for that category of vehicle, who is at least 21 years of age and who has held a full licence in that category for at least three years.

A provisional licence holder can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on thier provisional licence if they drive without the right supervision.

The provisional licence holder wil need thier own insurance as a learner driver if they are practising in a car they own. Some insurance companies require the person supervising you to be over 25 years old.
6Can someone with a disability or who has an automatic only driving licence qualify as a driving instructor?
Yes, if they have held a full licence for the qualifying period.

If their driving licence is for an automatic car (code 78) they will only be able to teach in an automatic car

If they want to teach in a manual car they must pass the car driving test in a manual car first.

If they have a disability, they may need to take an extra assessment if they have an automatic licence because they have a disability. This is to prove that they can keep control of the car in an emergency.
7Can an ADI be removed from the register just because one person complains about their conduct?

This is very unusual. In most removal cases the ADI being removed from the register will have received one or more convictions or have received multiple complaints against them.

However, in a case in April 2018 The Transport Tribunal – that’s the body that ADIs can appeal to, if the ADI Registrar decides to remove them from the register, and is more properly known as the First-tier Tribunal, (General Regulatory Chamber) Transport – published something of a landmark decision in an appeal.

It involves an act that most people would find repulsive, and is illegal, but for various reasons the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to press charges. However, it did merit the incident being recorded by the police.

N.B. reading on does include some graphic comments, which some readers may find offensive. However, without them, the story makes little sense. The appellant’s DBS enhanced certificate showed under the heading ‘Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officer’s discretion’, as follows:

“The applicant was arrested 16/11/2015 and interviewed, where he admitted to engaging in a flirtatious exchange and sexual chat with the 17-year-old female and admitted sending her an image of his erect penis. He stated he had sent the image by mistake.

The Appellant participated in the hearing of his appeal and he maintained that the conversation which he had with his pupil was not sexual but was ‘banter’ between two people. He had sent the first text in the conversation and had fallen asleep with his telephone in his hand and when he woke up he realised that the explicit image had been sent.

In their judgment the tribunal stated that in respect of this case it is axiomatic [self-evident or unquestionable] that we accept that the Appellant has not been convicted of any criminal offence.

We recognise that the Registrar’s arguments concerning the standing and reputation of the Register, from the perspective of both the public and other registrants or potential registrants, is a powerful one. In these circumstances, we conclude that the Registrar was correct to set out the competing public and private interests and the balance which she struck was correct. The maintenance of public confidence through the refusal of the Appellant’s application for an extension of registration was rational and appropriate.’

View past Transport Tribunal decisions here.
8Who is the patron saint of driving instructors?
There does not appear to be one.

Calls to both the press office of the Church of England and the news and publications office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales both drew a blank.

A quick trawl of the internet revealed several websites listing patron saints. Particularly thorough is the Patron Saints Index of the Catholic Community Forum which lists some 4,973 saints, although no, particular one for driving instructors.

Saint Christopher; Elijah the Prophet; Frances of Rome and Sebastian of Aparicio all include automobile drivers; automobilists and motorists in their lists of patronages.

Probably most prolific in this area is Saint Christopher who includes, automobile drivers; automobillists; bus drivers; cab drivers; lorry drivers; motorists; porters; taxi drivers; transportation; transportation workers; travellers; truck drivers and truckers in his list of patronage.

Lest driving instructors should feel slighted by this lack of a patron saint we can report that there is no listing for a patron saint of driving examiners. Perhaps ADIs could adopt one of the patron saints listed for teachers and educators: Saints Catherine of Alexandria; Francis de Sales; Gregory the Great; John the Baptist de La Salle and Ursula. Incidentally there is a patron saint for test takers, Saint Joseph of Cupertino to whom, according to his website profile, did obtain from God the grace to be asked at his examination only the questions he knew the answers to. Apparently, he would often levitate and float which led to his patronage of air crews; air travellers; aircraft pilots; astronauts; aviators; flyers and paratroopers.

Web sites of The Catholic Forum

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

The Church of England
9Is it ok to conduct a driving lesson with a space-saver tyre on the tuition vehicle?
No. to do so would be a breach of Regulation 27 (1) the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended).

Space-saver tyres are specifically for use in emergency situations only. They are designed for short term use to "get you home" after a puncture or simply to allow to progress to the nearest tyre repair centre. They are not designed for any other purpose e.g. a driving lesson is a contravention of the Construction and Use Regulation.

WARNING an MSA GB member has received a fixed penalty notice for conducting a lesson with an unsuitable tyre. A £60 fine and three penalty points was the result - you have been warned!
10Is it legal for me to refuse to take a pupil on test if I have previously agreed to take them and booked an appointment in my diary?
Yes - all instructors have the right and some would say duty to withdraw the use of their car for a test if they think it appropriate.

Like all dealings with pupils it is easier if the pupil has been given details of the instructor's terms and conditions of business at the start of the learning process. Both the Industry Code of Practice for ADIs and the MSA GB Terms of Business for Those Undertaking Driver Training cover this point. The Code of Practice states that in the event of the instructor deciding to withhold the use of the school car for the driving test, sufficient notice should be given to the client to avoid loss of the DVSA test fee.

Of course, on occasions it may not be possible to give sufficient notice. The MSA GB Terms of Business for Those Undertaking Driver Training enlarges on this point under paragraph 9 - The Driving Test it states:

  1. a) Your instructor will advise the appropriate time to make an application for a driving test.
The advice will be based on the client's progress to date. It does NOT imply that the necessary standard has been reached, or that it will for certain be reached by the appointed test date, the school/instructor will not hesitate to advise, where necessary, the postponement of the test. This condition is intended to save the client expense, unnecessary failure, and the consequent delay in waiting for another test and obtaining a full licence.
  1. b) The school/instructor reserves the right to withhold the use of the training vehicle for test or a lesson, if in the opinion of the instructor the client is:
  • Not at driving test pass standard.
  • Medically unfit (including eyesight).
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Is not properly licensed to drive.
  • Consistently fails to keep, or is late for appointments.
  • Falls into arrears over payment.
  • If, for any reason, the instructor considers the client will be unsafe to handle a motor vehicle.
Paragraph 9 also covers other aspects of the driving test booking.

The ADI Industry Code of Practice agreed with the DVSA is available here.

Terms of Business approved by MSA GB available here.
11I keep progress records on all my pupils they are made up of ticks in record boxes demonstrating progress to date together with a few notes about routes taken and difficulties encountered, or successes enjoyed. One of my pupils has decided to transfer to another instructor and wants a copy of the progress report and notes I have kept about her. Do I have to give this information to her?
Yes, you do. This is personal information about a pupil why would you want to withhold it?

  • Individuals have the right to access their personal data.
  • This is commonly referred to as subject access.
  • Individuals can make a subject access request verbally or in writing.
  • You have one month to respond to a request.
  • You cannot charge a fee to deal with a request in most circumstances.
More details can be obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office here.
12Could the MSA GB or perhaps a local association set a price for driving lessons so that all instructors charge the same price?
No. to do so would be an offence under the Competition Act 1998 which governs cartels.

In its simplest terms, a cartel is an agreement between businesses not to compete. The agreement is usually verbal and often informal.

Typically, cartel members may agree on:
  • prices
  • discounts
  • credit terms.
There are severe penalties for businesses that operate as part of a cartel.

For more information, visit Competition Act 98 and cartels guidance
13My pupil has a letter from her doctor stating that she does not need to wear a seatbelt. Is that OK for lessons, and will it be all right on test if she tells the examiner about the letter?
No, it is not OK on a lesson, on a driving test, or at any other time. If you allow this pupil to drive with this lack of proper documentation, they may be fined for failing to wear a seatbelt, and you may be fined for causing or permitting them to commit the offence.

There is overwhelming evidence to show that seatbelts prevent death and serious injury in road traffic collisions. For this reason, the law makes it compulsory for car occupants to wear seatbelts, where fitted.

The only exception allowed by legislation is if the car occupant has a valid exemption certificate, which confirms it is inadvisable on medical grounds to wear a seatbelt.

You don’t need to wear a seat belt if you’re:

  • a driver who is reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
  • in a vehicle being used for police, fire and rescue services
  • a passenger in a trade vehicle and you’re investigating a fault
  • driving a goods vehicle on deliveries that is travelling no more than 50 metres between stops
  • a licensed taxi driver who is ‘plying for hire’ or carrying passengers
Doctor may in exceptional circumstances give a patent a ‘Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing’. This must:

  • be kept with the holder when driving
  • be shown to the police if stopped
14I have noticed that a number of local instructors are using stick on or magnetic L-plates on their cars both back and front in addition to the L-plate on their roof signs is this actually necessary.

Any vehicle driven by a learner must display red L plates. In Wales you can use either red D plates, red L plates, or both.

The L plates must be clearly visible to others from:

  • in front of the vehicle
  • behind the vehicle
You should remove or cover L plates when the vehicle isn’t being driven by a learner, unless it’s a driving school car.

Details of the correct size for L plates can be found here.
15Should I give pupils mock tests? If the answer is yes, where can I obtain copies of the Driving Test Marking Sheet to use on mock tests?
Yes, you should, of course give all pupils a mock driving test. The MSA GB would suggest that no pupil should attend a driving test until they have scored no serious or dangerous faults, and less than, say, six minor faults on a mock test.

A combination of nervousness and apprehension means that most pupils will perform below their best on a test they therefore need to demonstrate that they are above test standard before they sit the actual driving test.

DVSA driving test marking sheets, can be downloaded here.
16Does it matter whereabouts on my windscreen I display my Trainee ADI licence, or hopefully in the future my ADI certificate?
Yes, it does it must be displayed on the left hand edge (looking from inside the car) of the windscreen with the photograph showing inside the car.

Regulations clearly state that the certificate of registration or licence to give instruction MUST be fixed to and immediately behind the front windscreen of the motor car on its nearside edge, and exhibited so that the particulars on the back [octagon on the certificate or triangle on the licence] are clearly visible in daylight from outside the motor car and the particulars on the front of the certificate or licence [photograph] are clearly visible from the front nearside seat of the vehicle, where fitted.
17I have received a parking ticket for a vehicle I no longer own. What should I do?
Return the correspondence to the issuing authority informing them that you no longer own the vehicle. Give them as much information as possible about how and when you disposed of the vehicle or to whom you sold it to.

The authority issuing the parking ticket will have obtained your details from the vehicle records held by the DVLA and if you no longer own the vehicle these records need to be updated.

As well as returning the correspondence to the issuing authority you should also write to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BL as soon as possible. You should quote the Vehicle Registration Mark, make and model, exact date of sale and the name and address of the person you sold or transferred the vehicle to. If you do not have these details, you should explain this in your letter and as soon as DVLA has this information they will update their records accordingly and send out confirmation to you.

SPECIAL NOTE: It is your responsibility to notify DVLA if you have disposed of your vehicle in return for a total loss payment from your insurers. REMEMBER if you is written off you need to write off and inform Swansea. You can do this by completing the relevant section of the vehicle registration document and returning it to DVLA.