Guidance

Coronavirus: driving tests

Find out what changes to expect because of coronavirus (COVID-19) when you take your driving test.

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This page tells you about driving tests during the coronavirus outbreak.

It will be updated if anything changes.

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Car driving tests have restarted in England, Wales and Scotland.

There’s separate guidance for Northern Ireland.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will contact you if your test is affected by a local lockdown.

There’s separate guidance about theory tests.

If you cannot wear a face covering

When you arrange your test, you’ll need to say if there’s a good reason you cannot wear a face covering when you take your test.

You might not be able to take a test at your prefered test centre.

When you come for your driving test

You must make sure the inside of the vehicle is cleaned before the test. The examiner will also use an antiviral wipe to clean the passenger door and anything they’ll need to touch inside the vehicle.

Do not arrive for your driving test more than 5 minutes before your appointment time.

The driving test centre waiting room will be closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the toilets will be available on request.

Graphic of a clock with a caption that says 'Do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment time'

Keeping you safe when you take your test

DVSA has introduced social distancing measures and safety precautions.

These include:

  • driving examiners wearing face coverings - they might also choose to wear gloves and use disposable seat covers
  • limiting the number of people arriving for a driving test at the same time
  • not allowing your driving instructor or supervising driver to sit in the back during your test

Wearing a face covering

You must bring and wear a face covering when you come for your test, unless you have a good reason not to. This includes if:

  • you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • you need to remove it during your test to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others

If you wear glasses

Wearing glasses does not count as a good reason not to wear a face covering. You should practise driving wearing a face covering before your test to help you prepare.

When you arrange your test

You need to say if you have a good reason not to wear a face covering when you arrange your test.

Your test will be cancelled if you come for your test without a face covering and you did not declare you could not wear one when you arranged your test.

You will need to remove your face covering briefly so your driving examiner can check your ID.

Find out how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

Graphic of a face covering with a caption that says 'Bring and wear a face covering unless you have a good reason not to'

During your driving test

If you have a problem with your face covering during the test, your driving examiner will ask you to stop so you can adjust it. Your driving examiner will end the test early if it becomes a safety issue.

If you make a mistake

You can carry on if you make a mistake during your driving test.

If you make a serious or dangerous fault, which means you’ve failed, your driving examiner will direct you back to the driving test centre, where the test will end. This is to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the vehicle.

Find out more about how the car driving test works.

At the end of your test

Your driving examiner will:

  • ask you to get out of your vehicle before they give you your test result feedback
  • ask if you want your instructor to come over to listen to the feedback if it’s safe to do so

This is to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the vehicle.

When you must not come for your test

You must not come for your driving test if:

Change your driving test appointment if you need to self-isolate on the day of your driving test.

You can do this free of charge if you’re self-isolating, including if you do it at short notice (within 3 clear working days of the test).

If you recently entered the UK

If you’ve entered the UK in the last 14 days you must not go to your test, unless you:

Find out about the rules for returning to the UK.

Graphic of a house with a caption that says 'You must not come for your test if you’re self-isolating'

If your theory test certificate expires

You need to have passed a theory test in the last 2 years to be able to take most types of driving tests.

Your theory test certificate will not be extended.

This is because your road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills need to be up to date when you restart driving lessons and take your driving test.

Published 17 March 2020
Last updated 14 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Removed content about when tests restart as tests have restarted in England, Wales and Scotland.

  2. added "You can book a new driving test in Scotland from Monday 7 September 2020."

  3. Updated to explain that the driving test booking service will be available for new bookings from 8am on 21 August 2020. Added the dates that driving tests will restart in Scotland.

  4. Updated the section about rearranging your cancelled test, as emails have now been sent to everyone in England and Wales. Removed the section about people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus, as shielding has now been paused in England, Scotland and Wales.

  5. Updated the section about emergency driving tests for critical workers, as you can no longer apply for an emergency test.

  6. Added the date that driving tests candidates who live in Wales will start to be invited by email to arrange their tests if it was cancelled because of coronavirus.

  7. Updated the section on wearing a face covering to make it clear that wearing glasses does not count as a good reason not to wear a face covering.

  8. Added information about the government's decision to not extend theory test certificate validity beyond 2 years in the 'If your theory test certificate expires' section.

  9. Updated the section on when you come for your test to say that you must make sure the inside of the vehicle is cleaned before your test.

  10. Updated the section about when to take your test if you're clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus to add the date shielding will be paused in Wales.

  11. Added information about when emails will be sent to car driving test candidates asking them to choose a new date for their test. Added the date that approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 (instructional ability) tests and ADI standards checks restart in England and Wales.

  12. Added information about the restart of tests in Scotland and Wales.

  13. Updated the section about coming for your test to explain that the driving test centre waiting room will be closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the toilets will be available on request.

  14. Updated the guide to make it clear that driving tests are still suspended in areas under local lockdown in England. Updated the section about when you must not come for your driving test to explain that from 10 July, you will not have to self-isolate if you’re arriving in England from a country or territory on the travel corridors list.

  15. Updated the guide so that it only applies to England, and added information about car driving tests restarting in England from 22 July 2020. Information about driving tests in Scotland and Wales has been moved to a separate guide.

  16. Updated to confirm that driving tests are still suspended, and that rescheduled dates given for car driving tests will not go ahead - you will be asked to go online and choose a suitable date and time when driving tests can restart.

  17. Removed the email address to apply for an emergency test, and replaced it with a link to a new online service to apply.

  18. Changed content about identification documents needed to apply for an emergency test.

  19. Removed information about theory tests - this has been moved to a separate guide. Added that you cannot use the service to apply for emergency motorcycle compulsory basic training (CBT), as this is a training course provided by motorcycle training schools.

  20. Clarified that car driving tests that were cancelled will be automatically rebooked, and that other types of driving tests (for example, motorcycle and lorry) will be cancelled and refunded, and that you’ll need to book these again.

  21. Removed content on how to claim out of pocket expenses if your test was cancelled at short notice.

  22. Added information about what is happening if you're a driving instructor or trainer who booked tests for your pupils.

  23. Added content on what critical workers need to do to request an emergency theory test.

  24. Changed email addresses for critical workers to contact DVSA about emergency driving and theory tests. Added content about what needs to be sent with their request.

  25. Updated with information about the suspension of driving tests for up to 3 months, and added information about applying for an emergency test if you're a critical worker.

  26. Added information about theory tests being suspended from Friday 20 March to Monday 20 April 2020.

  27. Added information about the postponement of driving tests due to take place on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March 2020.

  28. Updated the contact details to cancel or change your test if you, someone you live with, your instructor or someone they live with have coronavirus symptoms.

  29. First published.