Sit in and observe driving tests
You can sit in and observe a driving test if you're 16 or over, but you can’t take any part in the test and you must follow certain rules.
Who can observe driving tests
You can observe a driving test if you’re 16 or over, but you can’t take any part in the test.
There are different rules for filming or recording a driving test.
Before the test starts
Turn your phone off or make sure it’s switched to silent before the test starts.
Vehicle safety questions
You can help the candidate to lift the bonnet if they are struggling, but don’t interfere unnecessarily during the vehicle safety questions.
Where you sit
Sitting behind the candidate is usually the least intrusive position. However, the best position for you is wherever it’s the most comfortable, providing you can sit upright with the seatbelt correctly fitted.
During the test
When the test has started:
- you’re allowed to change position to improve the candidate’s visibility during the reverse exercises
- don’t prompt the candidate by coughing, or nudging the back of their seat
- you can take notes to help the candidate
- don’t answer your phone if it’s on silent
The test won’t be stopped if you naturally look left, right and behind you - but try not to put the candidate off.
Enthusiastic nodding and excessive eye contact with the candidate could be seen as a pre-arranged code.
At the end of the test
When the test has finished listen carefully to the feedback so that you can give the candidate more detailed feedback later.
Speak to the test centre manager or follow the complaints procedure if you’ve genuine concerns about how the test was conducted.
Published: 15 January 2013
Updated: 2 June 2014
- Removed information about being able to act as a foreign language interpreter following the end of interpreters being allowed on tests on 7 April 2014.
- Added a warning that candidates will only be able to take their test in English, Welsh or British sign language from 7 April 2014.
- Updated the rule about mobile phones to make it clear that they can be set to silent or turned off.
- First published.