What You Must Take to Your Test:You must take:
- your UK driving licence.
- your theory test pass certificate, if you have it.
- a car – most people use their driving instructor’s, but you can use your own car if it meets the rules.
Your driving licenceYou need to apply for a replacement driving licence if you lose yours before your test. This could take up to 15 days to arrive. Rearrange your test if you do not get the new licence in enough time. If you do not have a photocard licence Bring a valid passport and your paper licence. If you have a licence from Northern Ireland, bring the Northern Ireland photocard and paper counterpart.
If you’ve lost your theory test certificateYou do not need to get a replacement theory test certificate. Your driving examiner will check that you’ve passed your theory test before your driving test starts.
What happens during the testThere are 5 parts to the driving test:
- an eyesight check
- ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
- general driving ability
- reversing your vehicle
- independent driving
How long the test lastsYou’ll drive for around 40 minutes. You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving test because you’ve been banned from driving.
Eyesight checkYou’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
- 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
- 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate
- New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.
‘Show me, tell me’ questionsYou’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. You’ll be asked the:
- ‘tell me’ question at the start of your test, before you start driving
- ‘show me’ question while you’re driving
Your general driving abilityYou’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways. The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes are not published, so you cannot check them before your test.
Pulling over at the side of the roadYou’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
- normal stops at the side of the road
- pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
- a hill start
Reversing your vehicleThe examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
- parallel park at the side of the road
- park in a parking bay – either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
- pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic
Independent drivingYou’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:
- directions from a sat nav
- traffic signs
If you cannot see traffic signsIf you cannot see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.
Going off the routeThe examiner will not give you a fault for taking a wrong turning. They’ll help you get back on the route if you do.
If you make mistakes during your testYou can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious. Your driving examiner will direct you back to the driving test centre if the mistake you made means you’ve failed. The test will end early.
Other people at your testYour driving examiner’s supervisor might sit in on your test to watch your examiner’s performance. If you refuse, your test can be canceled and you’ll have to book another test and pay again.
Driving test faults and your resultThere are 3 types of faults you can make:
- a dangerous fault – this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
- a serious fault – something potentially dangerous
- a driving fault – this is not potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault
Pass markYou’ll pass your driving test if you make:
- no more than 15 driving faults (sometimes called ‘minors’)
- no serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’)
If you pass your testThe examiner will:
- tell you what faults you made, if any
- give you a pass certificate
- ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically – give the examiner your provisional licence if you want to do this
When you can start drivingYou can start driving straight away when you’ve passed your test. You do not need to wait for your full licence to arrive. Contact DVLA if your full licence has not arrived 3 weeks after you applied for it.
If you do not passThe examiner will tell you what faults you made. You have to book another test and pay again. You have to choose a date at least 10 working days away.
Appeal your driving testYou can appeal your driving test if you can prove that your driving examiner did not follow the law. Read the guidance on appealing your driving test to check if your examiner followed the law. If you have proof they did not follow the law you can complain to the Driver and Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA) If DVSA agrees with your complaint, your test result cannot be changed but you might get a refund or a free retest. If DVSA does not agree with your complaint you may be able to appeal to a court instead.
Appeal your driving test to a courtYou can appeal if you can prove that your examiner did not follow the law when they carried out your test. Your test result cannot be changed, but you might get a refund or a free retest if your appeal is successful.
You might have to pay significant legal costs if your appeal is unsuccessful.You’ll need to appeal within:
- 6 months of your driving test in England and Wales
- 21 days of your driving test in Scotland
If your test is canceled or there’s bad weatherYour driving test can be cancelled or stopped because of bad weather, problems with your car, or for other reasons.
Bad weatherDriving tests are not carried out in dangerous weather conditions, such as when the roads are icy or if there’s flooding, thick fog, or high winds. Call your test centre if there are any of these conditions on the day of your test. The phone number for the test centre is on your booking confirmation email.
If your test cannot go-aheadThe Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will:
- automatically book the next available date for your test
- send you the details within 3 working days – it can take up to 7 days if there’s a long period of bad weather
Problems with you or your carYou’ll have to book another test and pay again if your test cannot be completed because of a problem with:
- you, for example, if you feel unwell while taking your test
- your car, for example, if it breaks down during the test or does not meet the rules to be used
If your test is cancelled for another reasonSometimes DVSA has to cancel tests for other reasons, for example, if the examiner is unwell. You’ll be sent a new date for your test if this happens. You can change the date if it’s not suitable. You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if DVSA cancels your test at short notice.
If you have a disability, health condition, or learning difficultyWhen you book your driving test you should say if you have a:
- health condition
- learning difficulty
You have a disabilityYou’ll have time with the examiner once you start the test to talk about:
- your disability
- any adaptations fitted to your car
You’re deaf or have a hearing impairmentThe examiner will use written notes at the start of the test to explain what will happen. If you lip-read, they’ll also look at you so you can lip-read what they’re saying. The examiner will usually give directions to you as hand signals. These will be explained to you before your test starts.
Using a sign language interpreterYou can take a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter with you. They must be at least 16 years old. Your driving instructor can be your interpreter. You need to arrange your own interpreter and pay any fees that they charge. You can claim the cost back after your test.
You’re pregnantYou can take a driving test at any stage of your pregnancy. However, you must be able and willing to do an emergency stop. You have reading difficulties When you do the eyesight check at the start of the driving test, you can write down the number plate instead of reading it out loud.
You have learning difficultiesThe examiner will make adjustments for the independent driving part of the test if you have learning difficulties. They might ask if you’d prefer to follow traffic signs instead of directions from a sat nav.
Using your own car for your testYou can take your driving test in your own car rather than your driving instructor’s if it meets certain rules. Your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if your car does not meet the rules.
Rules about the carYour car must:
- be taxed
- be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)
- be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)
- have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light
- have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre – you cannot have a space-saver spare tyre fitted
- be smoke-free – this means you cannot smoke in it just before or during the test
- be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer
- have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg
Things that must be fittedThe car must have:
- an extra interior mirror for the examiner
- L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
- a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)
Dashcams and other camerasYou can use a camera fitted for insurance purposes, as long as it:
- faces outside of the car and does not film the inside
- does not record audio from inside the car
Vehicle featuresYou can use a car with:
- an electronic parking brake
- hill-start assist
Manual and automatic carsYou can take the test in a:
- manual car – these have 3 pedals
- automatic or semi-automatic car – these have 2 pedals
Hire carsYou can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.
Check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for more information.DVSA driving test enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 0300 200 1122 Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm Find out about call charges