Closed petition Allow driving instructors to pass learners unable to book a test

Allow learner drivers to be passed if their driving instructors feels they are safe to drive due to the failure of the Government to enable learners to book a test.

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It is unfair on learners who have been unable to book a test due to the pandemic to have to wait a significantly long time to be have access to booking one.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 19 January 2021

There is no provision within legislation that allows an approved driving instructor (ADI) to conduct a driving test for a learner driver. The Government has no plans to lay legislation to amend this.

Read the response in full

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for us all. Our absolute priority is to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Following the announcement of national lockdown restrictions, all routine practical driving lessons and tests have been suspended until the restrictions are lifted.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 only allows a full driving licence to be issued if the person has passed the test of competence to drive. The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) 1999 regulations require driving test examiners to meet certain criteria and pass an initial qualification and examination before being authorised by the Secretary of State to conduct practical driving tests. The regulations also specifically prohibit an examiner from simultaneously being an active ADI. 

Although ADIs are well qualified and proficient in driving and instruction, they are not experienced assessors and this is evidenced by the current practical test pass rate of 47%.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) appreciates that there is a high demand for driving tests. Once it is safe for driving tests to resume, the DVSA will ensure measures are in place to increase testing availability wherever possible; this will include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to carry out tests (warrant card holders) to do so, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays).

We recognise these restrictions have a significant impact on jobs and the economy. We have provided financial support for those whose livelihoods are impacted. The Self Employment Income Support Scheme’s third grant covered November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. A fourth grant covering February to April will be available in due course.

Department for Transport