Written statement to Parliament

Providing DSA tests only in national languages: response to consultation

Changes are being made to improve road safety and social cohesion, whilst reducing fraud and costs.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Robert Goodwill MP

I have today (10 October 2013) announced that, from April 2014, foreign language support for candidates taking driving tests will no longer be available.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) undertook a consultation on this issue between February and April 2013.

Candidates have previously been able to take the theory test in 19 languages, in addition to English and Welsh, and can attend for theory and practical tests with an interpreter. We are making this change to:

  • improve road safety – in response to concern about the ability of non-English or Welsh speakers to understand road signs and other advice to drivers
  • enhance social cohesion – to help individuals’ integration in society by learning the national language
  • reduce fraud – to address the issue of an interpreter attending for test with a learner driver and giving information in addition to a translation of the theory test questions or the instructions given by the examiner
  • reduce costs – there will be modest savings to DSA from not paying a fee to the theory test service provider for the annual update of voiceovers

DSA has issued a response to consultation report.

Published 10 October 2013