Changes to the car theory test
DVSA has introduced the planned changes to the car theory test today (Monday 28 September 2020).
The updated part of the test will make it more realistic and improve accessibility for all candidates.
Video clip scenarios
Video clip scenarios will replace the written case study within the multiple choice part of the current theory test. Candidates will be asked 3 questions based on the short video clip.
Candidates will still:
Updated learning materials
The full set of updated official learning materials is available from the Safe Driving for Life website, where your pupils can also practice with the free video clips.
You and your pupils can save 20% off by using code 20LZ at the checkout.
Reopening the driving test booking service
From tomorrow (Friday 21 August), The DVSA will be reopening the online booking service from 8am for everyone.
This means anyone will be able to book a driving test in England and Wales.
Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests. Driving lessons in Scotland will resume on 24 August and will let you know when driving tests can resume soon.
Making sure your pupils are prepared
We expect the demand for booking driving tests to be really high.
We know many of your pupils will be keen to book their test, but it’s important they speak to you first, to check they are ready and are well prepared.
We encourage you and your pupils to spend time practising on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions before booking their test.
Some of our services will unavailable tonight
So that we can make the booking service available from tomorrow, some of our services will be unavailable tonight (Thursday 20 August) from 6pm to 7:59am tomorrow (Friday 21 August) so we can prepare the system.
On GOV.UK, you won't be able to:
You'll still be able to book and manage theory tests.
Test slot availability
When 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 at the moment. This is so we can react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus.
Your pupils should check all their nearest test centres for availability if they cannot book a slot at their local test centre.
New test slots will be made available every week, on a rolling 6 week basis, so you and your pupils should continue to check regularly for a test slot if you cannot find one immediately.
Closing the critical worker helpline
The critical worker application service closed on 14 August. This was so that we could open up the online booking service for everyone.
As the service has closed, we will also be closing the critical worker phone helpline from Monday 24 August.
Our customer service centre is still receiving an extremely high number of calls and emails.
We're sorry for the delays in getting through, but please help us by only calling if absolutely necessary.
Theory test certificates on driving tests
In our email update on Monday (17 August) we asked you to make sure your pupils brought their theory test certificates to their driving test.
We wanted to confirm that your pupils should still bring their theory test certificates if they have a paper version.
However if they can’t find it, they don’t need to order a replacement before coming to test.
Your pupils will still need to have a valid theory test certificate before booking and taking their test.
If they don't have a valid theory test pass, they should not attempt to take their test. The driving test pass will not be valid and they will not be given a full licence.
Find more information about what to bring when taking a driving test on GOV.UK.
Motorcycle module 1 and module 2 candidates will need to bring their theory test certificate before they take their test.
OOne 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:
Staff will wear a face covering (unless there’s a medical reason that it’s not recommended for them) and gloves.
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.
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.
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We recently told you that we'd contact critical workers and practical car test candidates in England whose tests were put on hold due to coronavirus to ask them to choose a new test date and time.
We will send emails out:
Both emails will include a link to book a new test date as the candidate booking system remains closed.
This link will only work for people who have been invited to rebook their test.
When we email candidates whose tests were put on hold due to lockdown, we'll initially invite around 10,000 each day, split in batches to spread out demand on the service.
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.
Making sure your pupils are ready
It's important that you speak to your pupils before they rebook their tests to make sure:
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:
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.
Topham Drive will resume driving lessons from Wednesday 8th July 2020.
There will be a slow return to work to allow everyone time to get used to the new lesson routines.
Please see the New Terms and Conditions page for more information on the new routines.
DVSA Reminder: scheduled tests will not go ahead as planned
Yesterday (25 June) we announced driver and rider instruction can restart from 4 July in England.
We also confirmed that all car tests can restart from 22 July. This will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice with you before taking their test.
Motorcycle and vocational tests booked by a trainer can restart from 13 July.
Motorcycle and vocational tests booked directly by pupils can restart from 22 July.
What this means for tests
As set out in the letter from Gareth Llewellyn on 15 June, to make sure your pupils can take their test at a convenient time, in a way that’s fair to everyone, we will be putting all tests ‘on hold’.
This means all driving tests that are booked in will not go ahead on the original or rescheduled date. This includes if the new date your pupils were given was from 22 July.
We will email candidates again soon to ask them to go online and choose a new date and time for their test. They will also be able to cancel their booking if they want to.
These candidates will be given priority for the available appointments.
Restarting driver and rider instruction and tests
The government has confirmed that driver and rider instruction can restart from 4 July in England.
They have confirmed that car, motorcycle and vocational tests can restart after this point.
We are introducing a phased approach to resuming testing so that learners have the opportunity to practice before taking a test.
What we've been doing
How we’ll support the NHS Test and Trace service in England
If a driving test candidate or driving examiner develops symptoms in the days after a test, the NHS Test and Trace service will use data DVSA collects from the candidate to contact them.
We've updated our privacy notice published on GOV.UK to explain how we manage personal data.
Information for candidates to let know what to expect on test
We will publish information on GOV.UK for candidates to let them know what to expect on the day of their theory test and practical test.
What happens next
Over the next few days we are continuing preparation so that our test centres, examiners, and services are ready.
This includes a phased returned of the trainer booker service and the online business service from 6 July.
In the coming days we’ll update more on these and let you know more about our phased return to testing.
Driving instruction and driving tests
Other than emergency training and tests for critical workers, driving instruction and driving tests have not yet been able to restart because the risk of transmission of the virus in vehicles is higher.
In his statement on 10 June, the Prime Minister reiterated that the government will remain cautious and measure the effect of the changes it makes. The Prime Minister explained this means moving slower than we’d have liked in some areas.
Driving instruction and tests will only restart when the government is confident that the assessment of risk warrants it, subject to the 5 tests and further detailed scientific advice.
In the meantime, I want to re-emphasise that you should continue to limit driving lessons to critical workers who are preparing for an emergency driving test.
Once again, I would like to thank those of you who have been able to offer driving lessons to critical workers during these unprecedented times.
We will, of course, share more information with you as soon as it’s available – including the dates that driving instruction and driving tests can restart
Planning to restart our services
Teams across DVSA have been working extremely hard over the past few months to make sure we’re in the best possible position to restart our services as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Our priority is to make sure that you, your pupils and our staff stay safe.
The work is split into these main areas:
I want to explain what each of these involves in a little more detail.
Preparing guidance for driving examiners
We are reviewing and updating the guidance for driving examiners about carrying out driving tests. This includes things like the PPE they need to wear, greeting candidates and cleaning equipment such as sat navs and tablets.
We’re also working hard to make sure we’ll be able to quickly help the NHS Test and Trace service (Test and Protect in Scotland, and Test, Trace, Protect in Wales) should a driving test candidate or driving examiner develop symptoms in the days after a test
Making sure driving test centres are ready to reopen
Some of our driving test centres have now been closed for 12 weeks. We need to make sure they’re thoroughly checked before we can reopen them.
As just one example, we need to make sure the hot and cold-water systems are free from legionella bacteria (which causes Legionnaires’ disease).
Many of the contractors that we rely on to do this work also put their services on hold during the lockdown. We’re busy working with them to get our test centre network safe and ready.
Making sure we have PPE in place
To help keep you, your pupils and driving examiners stay safe, we’ve ordered PPE for all driving examiners. This includes face coverings and gloves.
Since the start of pandemic, there has been a high demand for this type of equipment. Like many organisations, we’ve had to wait for supplies to become available.
Understanding which driving examiners will be available
As you’ll appreciate, some of our driving examiners are either clinically vulnerable from coronavirus, or extremely vulnerable. Others might live with or care for people in those groups.
We’ve been working with all our driving examiners to find out more about their situation so we know how many will be able to return to carrying out driving tests as soon as we’re able.
Planning driving test schedules
When we suspended driving tests, we rescheduled all your pupils’ driving tests to a named date and time.
But we now have 3 issues to think about:
This means we need to think about the best way to make sure your pupils can take their test at a convenient time, in a way that’s fair to everyone.The fairest way we can do this is to put all the rescheduled tests ‘on hold’.
This means the test will no longer go ahead on the originally rescheduled date.
We will then ask people in the backlog to go online and choose their preferred date and time. We’ll invite them to do this in batches, based on when their test should have originally taken place.
We will contact you before we start this process, so you can make your pupils aware of what’s happening. We will also contact them directly with more information.
We are also planning how we can continue to help critical workers to get a test as a priority throughout this process.
All theory tests in England from 15 to 21 June have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
They will update you with a start date for theory testing in England as soon as we are able.
They are emailing anyone with a test booked from 15 to 21 June to let them know it has been rescheduled.
DVSA Theory Update 05/06/2020
All theory tests in England from 8 - 14 June have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
We are preparing test centres for a safe return to testing for all candidates and social distancing measures are being put in place.
We will update you with a start date for theory testing in England as soon as we are able.
We are emailing anyone with a test book ed from 8 - 14 June inclusive to let them know it has been rescheduled.
For new pupils looking at starting please do contact us now so we can put you on our list and hopefully offer you a start date.
(dates may be subject to change).
While we have been in lockdown I have been working hard to improve Topham Drive I have attended training Webinars, Zoom training meetings and looked at several ways to improve the smooth and effective way to run the business so the improvemnets Topham Drive are making will endeavor to help improve your learning experience.
It is hoped that very soon the following will be part of Topham Drive and pupils training;
1. Go Pro - video recording of lessons. (pupil/parent permission)
2. Go Pro - online training videos availble exclusivley to pupils via the website.
3. Weekly Webinar Lessons.
4. Weekly Pod Casts.
5. New in-car training techniques.
6. Quick Books invoice payments via PayPal.
Return to work Temporary Lesson Times (COVID-19)
Lessons are available between the following days & times;
As from the (DATE TO BE CONFIRMED, possible Late June).
I will only offer a certain amount of lessons per day.
(Ensuring that essential cleaning can be done between lessons for pupil /instructor safety)
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesdays - 10:00 -18:00Hrs
Thursdays - 10:00 - 16:00
Fridays 09:00 -15:00Hrs
Sundays - TBC
Pass Plus, Night Drive & Motorway lessons by appointment only.