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.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 16 August 2020

Emergency driving test booking service closes

The online service to apply for an emergency driving or theory test if you’re a critical worker has closed today (14 August 2020).

DVSA will continue to provide emergency tests to critical workers who have already successfully applied for a driving test. The agency will email them to invite them to arrange a test appointment online as soon as possible.

When critical workers book their test they will be able to see all available appointments for the next six weeks.

DVSA says that limiting the booking window to six weeks allows it to respond to any change to COVID-19 government guidance on a national and local level.

At present the booking system remains closed to all new non-critical tests. DVSA will let you know when it is reopening the service for everyone. This includes people who:

  • Have now taken a test that was originally cancelled due to coronavirus, but failed and need to retake their test
  • Are taking a test for the first time

Until DVSA reopens the booking service to the general public, only critical workers who have been invited to book a test can use it.

Tests for non-critical workers should not booked.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 3 August 2020

Restarting driving lessons in Scotland

The Scottish Government announced on 30 July that the indicative restart date for driving lessons in Scotland is 24 August. This is to allow instructors time to plan and prepare for the restart of lessons. The actual restart date will be confirmed by the Scottish Government on or around 20 August. We will set out detailed information about the restart of our services in due course.This will similarly allow candidates the time they need to prepare for their driving test. We have published guidance on GOV.UK for you and your pupils to let you know what to expect on the day of their theory test and practical test. We have shared our guidance for driving examiners with the driver training associations and they have updated their good practice guidance for instructors. Links to these are included in the instructor guidance on GOV.UK.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 3 August 2020

One metre social distancing for theory tests in England

From today (3 August) we will be introducing at least one metre social distancing measures at theory test centres in England. This is inline with the current government guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19. Keeping your pupils safe We’re updating our social distancing measures at theory test centres. This is inline with the latest government advice and includes: using floor markings to keep people 1 metre apart  spacing workstations and chairs so you’re at least 1 metre away from other people  extra cleaning of the test centres using protective transparent screens at the reception desk providing hand sanitiser for you to use when you arrive at the test centre, during your test and when you leave cleaning workstations, including computers and headphones, before every test Staff will wear a face covering (unless there’s a medical reason that it’s not recommended for them) and gloves. We’ve published more guidance and photos that show what you can expect on GOV.UK.  Wearing a face covering Your pupils should wear a face covering when they go for their test if they can. They shouldn’t wear one if it will cause them difficulties – for example if they have a respiratory condition. They will need to remove it briefly so the test centre staff can check their ID. Your pupils can find out more about how to wear and make a cloth face covering on GOV.UK. Making more tests available More tests will be available from today (3 August). This will help to reduce the waiting time for theory tests. Theory tests in Scotland restarted on 22 July and tests in Wales will begin today (3 August). We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 advice given by the respective governments.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 25 July 2020

Wearing glasses with face coverings on test

Your pupil must wear a face covering when they come for 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
  • they need to remove it during their test to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to others

If your pupils wear glasses

Wearing glasses does not count as a good reason not to wear a face covering.

How to help them prepare

You should practise with them driving whilst wearing a face covering before their test to help them prepare. Talk to your pupil about the best way to do this. This could include:

  • trying different types of face covering
  • making sure your face covering fits well
  • making sure the vehicle is well-ventilated

Watch a short video on the BBC News website with tips about how to stop your glasses steaming up when you wear a face covering.

When they arrange their test

Your pupil must tell us if they have a good reason not to wear a face covering when they arrange their test.

Their test will be cancelled if they come for their test without a face covering and they did not declare they could not wear one when they arranged their test.

Your pupil will need to remove their face covering briefly so their driving examiner can check their ID.

Find out how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

Problem with their face covering during the test

If your pupil has a problem with their face covering during the test, their driving examiner will ask them to stop so they can adjust it. Their driving examiner will end the test early if it becomes a safety issue.

More information

Check GOV.UK for more information about:

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 23 July 2020

Update on theory test certificates

The government has considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates. After careful consideration, the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates due to the impact on road safety. We understand that this will be disappointing for some of your pupils. But it’s essential that your pupils have the most up to date road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills to help prepare them for their test and driving safely on their own once they’ve passed. If your pupils certificate has expired We cannot reschedule your pupils driving test that was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic because their theory test certificate has expired. We will cancel their driving test booking. They’ll get a full refund for their driving test within the next 7 working days. It will be refunded to the card that was used to pay for the test. They do not need to do anything to get the refund. They will need to book and pass a theory test. You can do this at https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test. Revise and practise for their theory test. Check what books and software you can use at https://www.gov.uk/theory-test/revision-and-practice. They need to book and pass a driving test. They must do this within 2 years of passing their next theory test. Your pupil can book a new theory test up to 6 months before your current theory test certificate expires, or at any time after it’s expired. If your pupils certificate is due to expire We will email your pupils in the coming weeks to invite them to arrange a driving test. However, we cannot guarantee that they’ll be able to take their driving test before their theory test certificate expires. If their theory test certificate expires before they can take a driving test, they will need to follow the above steps. If they want to cancel their driving test now They can cancel their driving test now and get a full refund. To do this, email customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk. Make sure they include their name and 2 of the following in their email: their driving licence number their theory test pass certificate number their driving test booking reference More information Check GOV.UK for more information about: theory tests driving tests guidance for instructors on the restart of training and testing

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