Guidance

Coronavirus: theory tests

Theory tests are currently suspended due to coronavirus, but you can apply for an emergency theory test if you’re a critical worker.

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This page tells you about the suspension of theory tests because of coronavirus.

It will be updated if anything changes.

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Theory tests are currently suspended to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

There’s separate guidance about driving tests and coronavirus.

If your theory test has been cancelled

You’ll get an email to tell you that your test has been cancelled.

You’ll automatically get a refund. You’ll get an email to confirm this has been done – this may take a few weeks to arrive.

You’ll then have to book a new theory test that suits you.

You can still book, change or cancel tests.

If your test was cancelled at short notice

You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if your theory test was cancelled at short notice.

‘Short notice’ means less than 3 clear working days’ notice. Working days do not include Sundays and public holidays.

Changes to the theory test planned for 14 April 2020

The changes to the theory test that were planned to be introduced on 14 April 2020 have not gone ahead. This is because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will make these changes to the theory test as soon as possible.

In the meantime, the theory test will continue to work in the same way as it currently does.

Apply for an emergency theory test if you’re a critical worker

You can apply for an emergency test while tests are suspended if you’re classed as a critical worker. This includes if you work in:

  • health and social care
  • education and childcare
  • key public services
  • local and national government
  • food and other necessary goods
  • public safety and national security
  • transport
  • utilities, communication and financial services
Published 20 April 2020
Last updated 29 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Removed the date of 31 May 2020, as theory tests are still suspended beyond that date.

  2. Changed the theory test suspension date from 8 May 2020 to 31 May 2020. Added content on how to claim out-of-pocket expenses for tests cancelled at short notice.

  3. Removed the email address to apply for an emergency test, and replaced it with a link to a new online service to apply. Added information about changes to the theory test not being introduced as planned on 14 April 2020.

  4. Changed content about identification documents needed to apply for an emergency theory test,

  5. First published.