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. 
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 25 August 2020

England and Wales ONLY! WHY?

Reopening the driving test booking service
We are reopening the driving test booking service on Wednesday 26 August at 8am. Driving tests will be available to book in England and Wales but will be limited, with only 35,675 tests available to book for the next six weeks. This is until the next set of tests are released on 1 September, so a rolling 6-week period is available. Changes to the booking service As a result of high demand we have introduced a queuing system 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 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. We will update gov.uk and our social media channels to let everyone know when all tests sell out. Making sure your pupils are prepared We know the demand for booking driving tests is really high, with over 870,000 individual devices trying to access our booking system on Friday. Only 35,675 driving tests will be available when the booking service reopens until the next set of tests are released on 1 September. When you or your pupils arrange a test, they will be able to see available appointments within the next 6 weeks. We’re not taking bookings any further in advance so we can react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus. It is vital that your pupils are test ready if they want to book now, as tests could be at short notice. 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. 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 at test at any driving test centre. After 26 August, new test slots will be made available on Tuesday 1 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.  Test centres in 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 in Scotland are not currently available to book and we will let you know when we open the booking service for candidates. We will initially prioritise those who have previously had tests cancelled as a result of the pandemic. 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.
Some of our services will be unavailable until Wednesday 26 August
Following the message we sent you yesterday (21 August) about problems with the driving test booking service, some of our services will be unavailable until 7:59am on Wednesday 26 August. The services that will be unavailable are: book your driving test change your driving test appointment check your driving test appointment details cancel your driving test The service had been closed since 20 March 2020 because of coronavirus (COVID-19), and DVSA had only been dealing with applications for emergency driving tests for critical workers. Following unprecedented demand for the driving test booking system, with almost 7 million attempts to book a test, we need to carry out essential work to help make sure the service can deal with the increased demand for test bookings. This means we will not be releasing new test slots on Monday 24 August as we previously said. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 20 August 2020

Restarting driver training and testing in Scotland

Restarting driver training and testing in Scotland
The Scottish government has confirmed that driver training can restart on Monday 24 August in Scotland. Driving tests will start again in Scotland on Monday 14 September 2020 which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test. Driving instructor testing and standards checks will also restart on 14 September. Vocational, car and trailer tests driving tests will resume in Scotland on Monday 31 August. What to expect when taking a test We have published guidance on GOV.UK for instructors and candidates to let them know what to expect on the day of their theory test and practical test. Contacting candidates whose test was postponed Scottish candidates who had their test postponed due to the pandemic will be invited to rearrange their test online when the tests in Scotland are made available via the online booking service.  Please encourage your pupils who had a test booked to reschedule their test as soon as possible if they feel ready. Please do this before asking new pupils who didn’t have a test booked before lockdown to book a test. Guidance for instructors DVSA shared our guidance for driving examiners with the driver training associations and they have updated their good practice guidance for instructors. Links to good practice guidance are included in the instructor guidance on GOV.UK. This information will help you prepare for lessons with your pupils. More information Check GOV.UK for the latest about: theory tests driving tests instructor guidance
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 16 August 2020

Theory test certificates may be required at practical tests

We are getting reports that some driving tests are not going ahead if the candidate fails to produce their theory certificate when asked by the examiner at the driving test centres. The examiner needs to have evidence that the theory certificate is valid for the practical assessment to take place. If a candidate arrives without the theory certificate, then the test cannot take place.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 16 August 2020

Key worker register

  From tonight the DIA key worker register will close to new applicants in line with the DVSA closure of critical worker tests. However, trainers on the DIA register will still be listed in case of any future local lockdowns, or the re-introduction of a future national lockdown.

In the event that we have to re-introduce this register, it will be validated by an email to those registrants, which will contain details of validity and timescale. This will have to be done by request.

The DVSA has not yet restricted tests on any local locked-down areas and does not have plans to reinstate critical worker only tests in locked-down areas, unless it finds a need to.

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