Theory tests have restarted in England, Scotland and Wales - find out what to expect when you take your test.
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This page tells you about theory tests during the coronavirus outbreak.
It will be updated if anything changes.
Theory tests have restarted in England, Scotland and Wales, with new social distancing and safety precautions in place.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will contact you if your test is affected by a local lockdown.
There’s separate guidance about driving tests.
Keeping you safe at the test centre
DVSA has introduced social distancing measures and safety precautions at test centres.
Test centres in England have reduced social distancing to 1 metre.
You are asked to consider ways to reduce risk such as not sitting opposite another person and wearing a face covering.
Scotland and Wales
Test centres in Scotland and Wales have floor markings to keep people 2 metres apart. Workstations and chairs are also 2 metres apart so you’re an acceptable distance away from other people
Test centres have introduced extra measures to keep you safe.
- extra cleaning of the test centres
- using protective transparent screens at the reception desk
- providing hand sanitiser for you to use when you arrive at the test centre, during your test and when you leave
- cleaning workstations, including computers and headphones, before every test
Staff will wear a face covering (unless there’s a medical reason that it’s not recommended for them) and gloves.
You have to come into the test centre alone. This is to help with social distancing.
Wearing a face covering
In England, you’re strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you come for your test. Do not wear one if you may find it difficult to manage, for example, you have a respiratory condition.
In Scotland, 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
In Wales, you can wear a face covering if you want to. Do not wear one if you may find it difficult to manage, for example, you have a respiratory condition.
Checking your ID
You will need to remove it briefly so the test centre staff can check your ID.
When you must not come for your test
You must not come for your theory test if:
- you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
- you’ve been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
Change your theory test appointment if you need to self-isolate on the day of your theory 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:
- arrived from a country on the ‘travel corridor’ list
- belong to one of the groups who do not have to self-isolate
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you should have received a letter telling you that you’re in this group or have been told by your GP.
DVSA recommends that you take your test after shielding has been paused.
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.
DVSA 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 did before April.
Apply for an emergency theory test if you’re a critical worker
You can apply for an emergency test if you urgently need a test because 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
- utilities, communication and financial services