News story

DSA reminds motorcycle test candidates to wear suitable clothing

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is reminding learner motorcyclists to wear suitable clothing when they take their motorcycle tests.


While most motorcycle trainers encourage their pupils to wear the best protective motorcycle gear that they can afford, some candidates aren’t following this advice.

DSA doesn’t want to restrict candidates to wearing the most expensive protective motorcycle clothing. However, DSA’s examiners won’t ignore or condone riding a motorcycle or scooter while wearing unsuitable clothing.

Tests won’t go ahead if you are inappropriately dressed

From 1 July, examiners might tell you that your test won’t go ahead if you arrive inappropriately dressed. However, where possible, examiners will give you the chance to find suitable clothing within the time available.

DSA won’t pay out-of-pocket expenses if your test is cancelled because of inappropriate clothing.

Guide to suitable clothing

As a general guide the following is an indication of the minimum level of clothing acceptable:

  • motorcycle boots
  • sturdy footwear or boots that provide support and ankle protection
  • textile or leather motorcycle trousers
  • heavy denim trousers
  • heavy denim jacket with several layers underneath
  • textile or leather motorcycle jacket
  • motorcycle gloves

The following are examples of clothing that are not acceptable:

  • lightweight training shoes
  • canvas basket ball trainers
  • any form of clothing with areas of exposed skin
  • shell suit or lightweight tracksuit
  • distressed ripped jeans
  • lightweight fleece or hoody
  • no gloves or skiing gloves

In all cases it’s a legal requirement that riders wear an approved and correctly fastened motorcycle helmet with suitable eye protection (an exception is made for members of the Sikh religion wearing a turban).

Cases of inappropriate clothing

Recently there have been cases where candidates have arrived unsuitably dressed for the practical test. This has included wearing lightweight nylon shell suits, lightweight canvas training shoes, or wearing no gloves.

One of these cases resulted in the test not going ahead.

More advice and guidance

Clothing is one of the subjects covered in element A of compulsory basic training (CBT).

Further advice and guidance for candidates on the right clothing to wear can be found at:

Published 16 June 2011