Get a trainee driving instructor licence

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Rules for using your trainee licence

You must:

  • be a ‘fit and proper’ person
  • get the required amount of supervision or extra training while your licence is still valid

Displaying your licence

You must display your trainee licence on the nearside edge of the front windscreen of your car while you give driving lessons.

Where you train

Your trainee licence shows the name and address of your training establishment. You can only give instruction from there, so you cannot work independently, such as by setting up your own school.

You must not advertise yourself as an instructor. Any advertising your training establishment does must not make it seem like you’re a fully qualified instructor.

Changing your driving school

You must apply for a new trainee licence if you leave a driving school and join a new one. There’s no fee for doing this.

DVSA will send you a new licence showing the details of your new school. You should send your old licence to DVSA as soon as you get the new one.

You can still give driving lessons while you wait for your new licence.

When trainee licences can be taken away

The ADI registrar can take your trainee licence away before it runs out if:

  • you break any of the rules for having a trainee licence
  • the licence was issued by mistake or gained by fraud
  • you fail 3 attempts at the ADI part 3 test

Not using your trainee licence

You should return your trainee licence to DVSA if you are not using it, for example because of a long period of illness.

You will not get a refund, but DVSA will know that you have not had full use of the licence. This will be a factor in deciding whether to give you another licence in future.

Lost or stolen licence

You should tell the police straight away if your licence is lost or stolen. They will give you a crime reference number.

You’ll have to pay £3 if you lose your licence or cannot give DVSA a crime reference number.

You cannot currently contact DVSA by post because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

To get a replacement, email DVSA with the following:

  • the crime reference number
  • your permission that DVSA can use your photocard driving licence photo or a previous photo they have on record

Approved Driving Instructor Registrar

DVSA will contact you to tell you how to pay.

  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