Driving certificate

Driving tests could see major changes under new DVSA plans

Changes to the rules for re-booking driving tests could reduce the number of people attempting the test when they are not ready, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said.

Under new proposals put forward by the government agency, learner drivers who have failed their driving test may have to wait 28 working days to try again.

People should also give earlier notice if they wanted to move or cancel their appointment without losing their fees.

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Other suggestions include the availability of more performance data from driving monitors, flexibility around vision checks and the use of digital certificates of achievement.

DVSA says the changes will help learners and will also help reduce longer than usual wait times for tests that have resulted from the suspension of testing during the coronavirus pandemic.

A public consultation is now in progress until March 8, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

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The driving authority says a summary of the responses, including next steps, will be published within three months of the close of the consultation.

Here are the six suggested changes:

1. Learner drivers who failed their driving test should wait 28 working days to rebook

Currently, people have to wait ten working days before they can book another test.

The DVSA believes that the increased gap would discourage learners from attempting the test, as they would know they would have to wait longer to be able to retake it if they failed.

He also says it allows more time between tests for additional training – this would be particularly useful now that driving instructors are very busy and have limited availability.

Driving test pass rates have been low for many years – less than half of people pass on their first attempt.

The agency says instructors say they are unable to prevent students who want to pass as quickly and cheaply as possible from booking a test before they are ready.

This change would only apply to car driving tests.

DVSA hopes to discourage learner drivers who are not yet ready to take their test prematurely

2. People should move or cancel their car test at least 10 full working days in advance

In what’s called a “short-notice cancellation period”, learners can currently move or cancel their driving test within three full business days of the appointment without forfeiting their fees.

But that means it’s hard for that appointment to be reused by someone else, because people don’t have time to make the necessary arrangements.

DVSA estimates the change could make up to 117,000 appointments available each year.

This change would only apply to car driving tests.

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3. Driving instructors would be required to display their registration certificate when taking people for driving tests

Although not legally required to do so, most instructors currently voluntarily display their registration certificate on their car during driving tests.

This means that the driving tests can then be linked to the driving instructor and data is collected to assess the quality of their training based on the performance of their students. Their teaching could then be subject to normative controls.

But driving examiners say some may withdraw their certificate if they are less confident the learner driver will pass the test.

The proposal calls for driving instructors to be legally required to display their Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or Trainee Driving Instructor registration certificate on the windshield of their car when taking people for tests driving.

It aims to enable consistent and fair data collection, but also to ensure that instructors only bring people they are sure are ready to drive safely on their own.

Driver and passenger in car
This would encourage driving instructors to only bring people they are sure are willing to drive safely on their own.

4. Learners would have more information available about a driving instructor’s performance

Learner drivers can search for driving instructors on the GOV.UK service.

Driving instructors are voluntary to sign up for the service and they can choose how much information they disclose.

DVSA plans to display more information about a driving monitor’s performance, including assigning it to an “overall performance band” based on:

  • average number of misconducts committed by their students per test
  • average number of serious mistakes made by their students per test
  • percentage of student driving instructor tests where the examiner had to take physical measures in the interest of public safety
  • overall student success rate of driving instructors

5. There would be more options to check someone’s eyesight at the start of the driving test

The law currently states that the vision check at the start of a driving test can only take place in daylight. This means that test drives cannot be performed after sunset, and tests are even canceled in low light conditions due to weather or time of year.

The proposals call for the law to change so that vision checks can be carried out at different light levels.

It is also suggested that different methods become available to check someone’s eyesight – for example, reading from a tablet.

This would provide flexibility if there are not many vehicles parked nearby to read the license plate.

6. Paper certificates of achievement would be replaced by digital certificates of achievement

Issuing digital certificates of achievement to people who pass their theory test and driving test, instead of paper versions, would support DVLA’s work to introduce a digital driving license and would also save the use of over two million sheets of paper each year, according to this proposal. .

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