Get a trainee driving instructor licence

Options when you apply for a trainee licence

You have 2 options to choose from when you apply for a trainee licence. You must either:

  • be supervised for 20% of all lessons you give while you have your trainee licence
  • do at least 20 hours of extra training while you have your trainee licence

You can only choose one option and you can’t change to the other after you’ve made your decision.

Talk to your sponsoring approved driving instructor (ADI) or training organisation about which option is best for you.

Option 1 - supervision of lessons

In this option you have to be supervised by your sponsoring ADI for 20% of all the lessons you give.

You must keep a record of the number of hours:

  • you give lessons
  • you are supervised

The ADI 21S supervision record form must be signed by both you and your ADI. You must send it to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) when your trainee licence runs out.


Approved Driving Instructor Registrar
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

Option 2 - extra training

In this option you have to do at least 20 hours of extra training in the topics in the training programme.

You must both:

  • do the training before you book the ADI part 3 test
  • book the test within 3 months of getting your trainee licence

At least 25% of the training must be practical in-car training.

The training must be recorded on the instructor training declaration form.

You must send the form to DVSA before the end of the 3 months, or the day after you book your ADI part 3 test, whichever comes first.


Approved Driving Instructor Registrar
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

If you fail the ADI part 3 test or you don’t book it in time

If you fail the test, you must do 5 hours of extra training before your next attempt. You have 3 attempts to pass the test.

If you don’t book the test within 3 months of getting your licence, you must take 5 hours of extra training before you book the test.

Each time you do 5 hours of extra training, record it on a new instructor training declaration form.

If you don’t send the form, DVSA can take your trainee licence away.

  1. Step 1 Check if you can become an instructor

  2. Step 2 Apply to become a driving instructor

    You must get a new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to start your application, even if you already have one.

    1. Get a DBS check £6
    2. Start your application
  3. Step 3 Get a trainer

    Get a registered trainer to help you prepare for the 3 qualifying tests.

    1. Find driving instructor training courses
  4. Step 4 Take the theory test (ADI part 1)

    1. Revise and practise for your test
    2. What you need for your test
    3. Find a theory test centre
    4. Book your test £81

    Once you've passed the theory test, you must pass the other parts of the test within 2 years or you'll have to start the whole process again.

  5. Step 5 Take the driving ability test (ADI part 2)

  6. Step 6 Get practice teaching

    If you’ve passed ADI part 2 you have the option to apply for a 6 month trainee licence to get experience teaching students.

    1. Find out about trainee instructor licences
    2. Apply for a trainee instructor licence £140
  7. Step 7 Take the instructional ability test (ADI part 3)

  8. Step 8 Register and start working as an instructor

    Once you've passed the tests you must register within 12 months.

    1. Register for your first ADI certificate £300

    When you have your certificate you can start charging for lessons. You can either:

    You'll have at least one standards check every 4 years. You also need to renew your registration and get a new DBS check every 4 years.

    1. Find out about ADI standards checks
    2. Renew your registration £300
    3. Improve your skills as an instructor