Posted by: Carl Surgey | 3 November 2020

Update on lockdown measures in England

Please Note This is England Only at the Moment

Following the announcement on Saturday 31 October 2020 around further lockdown measures being introduced in England, we are working closely with the Government to agree the impact these will have on DVSA services.

All driver and rider training and tests will be suspended in England from 5 November until 2 December 2020. We will be contacting affected test candidates soon.

We’ll keep you updated on the situation and provide further guidance when we’re able too.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 15 September 2020

Driving test booking service: update

Driving test booking service: update
The driving test booking service reopened to the general public at 8am today (Monday 14 September) for new bookings in England, Scotland and Wales. More than 155,000 driving tests have been booked so far today. There are currently low numbers of people in the queue. The service will close at 11:30pm today, and will reopen at 8am tomorrow (Tuesday 15 September). A random place in the queue If you or your pupils try to access the service after 11:30pm today you will be given a random place in the queue at 8am tomorrow, along with any other learners who log on. Find out more about the driving test book service.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 10 September 2020

Inviting candidates to choose a new test date

Inviting candidates to choose a new test date
Before the driving test booking service reopened for the general public, we emailed candidates with a test on hold to give them priority to book a new test date. Some of these candidates have still not chosen a new test date. We’ll be emailing them again from tomorrow (Thursday 10 September 2020) to remind them they need to do this. This is the last time we will be able to give your pupils with a test on hold priority to choose a new test date. Choosing a new date The email will include a link to the online booking system to choose a new test date. Only candidates who already have a test on hold will be able to use this. Your pupils will need to choose a new test date before 11.30pm on Sunday 13 September 2020 to have priority over the general public. We will be reopening the booking service for new tests at 8am on Monday 14 September 2020. If your pupil had a test booked before the pandemic but does not receive an invitation to choose a new appointment, they can do this at https://www.gov.uk/change-driving-test.  All available test slots will be shown on the online service. Your pupils should not contact our customer service centre as they will not be able to book any alternative test slots. Making sure your pupils are ready It’s important that you speak to your pupils before they rebook their tests to make sure: they are ready to take their test you are available to take them As examiners will only be at test centres when they have a test booked, we have increased the minimum notice period for booking a test from 60 minutes to 10 hours. Wearing a face covering All candidates must wear a face covering when taking their driving test, unless they have a good reason not to. This includes if: they have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause them severe distress When they arrange their test, they’ll need to say if there’s a good reason they cannot wear a face covering. The email will tell them how to do this. What your pupils can expect when taking their test We’ve published guidance on GOV.UK about what your pupils can expect on the day of their test.
Some online services won’t be available: Wednesday 9 September 2020
Some of our online services won’t be available on Wednesday 9 September 2020. This is because some debit and credit card issuers have recently changed their security processes. This means we need to carry out essential work on the booking service so that we can continue to take online payments for test bookings. This will also increase the capacity of the booking system and help you and your pupils book a test more quickly. What services are affected The services that are affected include: book and manage driving tests order CBT certificates Services to manage your approved driving instructor (ADI) registration that may be affected include: apply for a trainee driving instructor licence apply for your first ADI certificate (badge) renew your ADI registration register to teach Pass Plus We’re working to implement these changes as quickly as possible. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 4 September 2020

Second chance for on-hold candidates to book slots


Thanks to some ‘persistent’ lobbying by NASP this week, DVSA have advised they will be providing an additional opportunity for on-hold candidates (including those in Scotland) to book a test via a dedicated link.
 
As you are aware, on 14th September DVSA will release over 375,000 test slots onto the public booking system between 14 September 2020 and 21 January 2021.  In advance of this they will email all remaining ‘on hold’ candidates with a direct link, giving them an additional opportunity to book one of these test slots prior to public release
 
This will honour the agency’s previous commitment to give such candidates priority access.  These candidates will not have to wait in the public queue, and are likely to be able find a test slot at a time and place of their convenience.
 
The email invitation will be sent late next week and we will let you know when this happens.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 4 September 2020

Increasing the number of car driving tests

Increasing the number of car driving tests
The suspension of testing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to exceptionally high demand for driving tests. Test availability The measures we put in place to protect our customers and staff from COVID-19 have limited the number of available tests. This includes reducing our booking window to 6 weeks and driving examiners carrying out 5 tests a day instead of the usual 7. To increase the number of tests, we have announced that from Monday 14 September, we will extend the period in which tests are available to book from 6 weeks to 18 weeks ahead. This will add up to 375,000 test appointments between 14 September 2020 and 21 January 2021. Moving to 6 tests a day As well as increasing available tests to 18 weeks ahead we plan to move from 5 to 6 car tests a day. Driving examiners are now familiar with using PPE such as face coverings and gloves and using the latest guidance for carrying out tests. This means there is more capacity to safely increase the test programmes to 5 to 6 tests per a day. This will increase the number of tests you and your pupils can book by more than 7,000 extra tests every week. Test start times It’s important you do not arrive for your driving test more than 5 minutes before your appointment time. The increased number of daily tests in addition to the vital COVID-19 safety checks put in place to protect you and your pupils, means there is a small risk some tests could overrun. This might affect the start time of the next test. If this is the case, please be patient until the examiner is available and ensure the vehicle is well ventilated in readiness for the test to start. Please take this into account when planning your diary. We will continue to end tests early when a learner commits a serious or dangerous fault, which means they have failed. So not all tests will run to the full time. This means that any disruption to test times is likely to be minimal, and test centre managers will be on hand to help customers where needed. High demand Driving tests will continue to be in high demand as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and the suspension of testing, so you and your pupils will need to be patient. We will be releasing more tests every week for you and your pupils to book. It is vital that your pupils are test-ready when booking their tests, as tests could be at short notice. On average fewer than 50% of learners pass their driving test and there could be long waiting times for a retest – your pupils should book only when they are confident they can pass. More information Check GOV.UK for the latest about: theory tests driving tests instructor guidance
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 1 September 2020

Driving test booking system closed

Driving test booking system closed
We have closed the driving test booking service as fewer than 5% of candidates are able to successfully book a driving test slot after queuing on the system. The limited number of tests slots that are left after 1:30pm today will be added to the available slots next Monday.  Test availability We will reopen the booking system on Monday 7 September for tests for the following six weeks but test availability will still be limited so not everyone will be able to book a test yet. The current queuing system will remain in place when we reopen the system on the 7 September to help manage the bookings. More test appointments We’re working hard to add more tests to the system for people to book. From 14 September we are extending the period in which tests can be booked to 18 weeks ahead. This will allow us to add over 375,000 more test appointments between 14 September and the end of January 2021. Then almost everyone should be able to book a test. If your 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. Making sure your pupils are prepared We know the demand for booking driving tests is really high. It is vital that your pupils are test ready if they want to book now, as tests could be at short notice. On average fewer than 50% pass their driving test and there could be long waiting times for a re-test – so you or your pupils should only book when they are confident they can pass. We encourage you and your pupils to make sure you have spent time practising on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions before booking a test. Scotland Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests. Driving lessons in Scotland resumed on 24 August and driving tests will resume on 14 September. Tests slots for candidates in Scotland will be available to book on Monday 7 September for tests from 14 September. This is the date from which the Scottish Government has confirmed driving tests can restart.   Customer service centre Our customer service centre is still receiving an extremely high number of calls and emails. We’re sorry for the delays in getting through. You will not be able to book or secure an earlier date for your driving test if you call us. All driving tests will be made available online as soon as possible. Please help by only calling if absolutely necessary; new slots and cancellations are only available online.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 31 August 2020

Reopening the driving test booking service

Reopening the driving test booking service
We are reopening the driving test booking service on Tuesday 1 September at 8am. Driving Tests will be available to book in England and Wales but will be limited, with tests available to book for the next 6 weeks. This is until the next set of tests are released on 7 September, so a rolling 6 week period is available. Tests slots for candidates in Scotland will not be available to book until Monday 7 September for tests from 14 September. This is the date from which the Scottish Government has confirmed driving tests can restart.   Due to limited availability, unfortunately not everyone who wants one will be able to book a test on Tuesday. We’re working hard to add more tests to the system for people to book. From 14 September we are extending the period in which tests can be booked to 18 weeks ahead. This will allow us to add over 375,000 more tests to be booked for dates between 14 September and the end of January 2021. Then almost everyone should be able to book a test. 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 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. Making sure your pupils are prepared Fewer than 50% pass the test and there could be long waiting times for a re-test – so you or your pupils should only book when they are confident they can pass. It is vital that your pupils are test ready if they want to book now, as tests could be at short notice. We encourage you and your pupils to make sure they have spent time practising on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions before booking a test. Test slot availability If your 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 1 September, new test slots will be made available on Monday 7 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.  Scotland Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests as a result of Scottish Government rules. Driving lessons in Scotland resumed on 24 August and driving tests will resume on 14 September. Tests slots for candidates in Scotland will be available to book from Monday 7 September for tests from 14 September. Candidates who had their test suspended due to COVID-19 will be invited to choose a new date for their test before the general public in Scotland can book a test.  Test slots will be limited, with tests available to book 6 weeks ahead only. Customer service centre Our customer service centre is still receiving an extremely high number of calls and emails. We’re sorry for the delays in getting through. You will not be able to book or secure an earlier date for your driving test if you call us. Please help by only calling if absolutely necessary; new slots and cancellations are only available online.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 29 August 2020

Inviting Scottish candidates to choose a new test date

Inviting Scottish candidates to choose a new test date
The Scottish government has confirmed that driving tests in Scotland can restart from Monday 14 September 2020. New tests in Scotland can be booked from Monday 7 September 2020. Scottish candidates with a test on hold Tomorrow (Saturday 29 August 2020) we will email candidates in Scotland whose tests were put on hold due to COVID-19 to invite them to choose a new test. This will give them priority to choose a test ahead of candidates making new bookings on 7 September for tests from 14 September 2020. The email will include a link to choose a new test date. Only candidates who have a test on hold will be able to use this, not candidates who want to book a new test. They will need to go online and choose a new test date. Queuing times are likely to increase from 8am on Tuesday 1 September 2020 when new test slots are made available to book for candidates in England and Wales – as they use the same system. All available appointments will be shown on the online service. Do not contact our customer service centre as they will not be able to book any alternative test slots. Remote sites Remote test centres in Scotland will remain closed due to health and safety reasons, so test slots will not be available to book at these centres. We will let you know when these sites can reopen. Making sure your pupils are ready It’s important that you speak to your pupils before they rebook their tests to make sure: they are ready to take their test you are available to take them As examiners will only be at test centres when they have a test booked, we have increased the minimum notice period for booking a test from 60 minutes to 10 hours. Wearing a face covering All candidates must wear a face covering when taking their driving test, unless they have a good reason not to. This includes if: they have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause them severe distress When they arrange their test, they’ll need to say if there’s a good reason they cannot wear a face covering. The email will tell them how to do this. What your pupils can expect when taking their test We’ve published guidance on GOV.UK about what your pupils can expect on the day of their test.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 27 August 2020

Driving test booking system closed

Driving test booking system closed
We have closed the booking service as no more tests are available to book today (26 August 2020).  Test availability We will reopen the booking system on Tuesday 1 September for tests for the following six weeks.  To allow us to react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus we are only making tests available six weeks in advance.  The current queuing system will remain in place when we reopen the system on the 1 September to help manage the bookings.  If your 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 at test at any driving test centre.  Making sure your pupils are prepared We know the demand for booking driving tests is really high.   It is vital that your pupils are test ready if they want to book now, as tests could be at short notice.  On average fewer than 50% pass their driving test and there could be long waiting times for a re-test – so you or your pupils should only book when they are confident they can pass.  We encourage you and your pupils to make sure you have spent time practising on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions before booking a test.  Scotland Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests. Driving lessons in Scotland resumed on 24 August and driving tests will resume on 14 September.   Tests are not currently available to book and we will let you know when we open the booking service for Scottish candidates. Tests will initially be prioritised for those who have previously had tests cancelled.  Customer service centre Our customer service centre is still receiving an extremely high number of calls and emails. We’re sorry for the delays in getting through.  You will not be able to book or secure an earlier date for your driving test if you call us. All driving tests will be made available online as soon as possible.  Please help by only calling if absolutely necessary; new slots and cancellations are only available online. 

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