Closed petition Exempt driving tests and lessons from COVID-19 restrictions

I want the Government to exempt driving tests and lessons from COVID-19 restrictions as so many learners have already been affected due to previous restrictions.

More details

As if they are stopped then it will cause a serious backlog for the DVSA affecting even more learners in the future. Also it will cause serious financial problems for driving instructors.

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Government responded

This response was given on 12 January 2021

The Government is doing whatever is necessary to deal with COVID-19. To stop the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe, routine practical driving lessons and tests are currently suspended.

Read the response in full

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for us all. Our absolute priority right now is on tackling the spread of COVID-19. Following the announcement of national lockdown restrictions, all routine practical driving lessons and tests have been suspended. It is not possible to socially distance when in a confined space, such as a car, and in such close proximity to the instructor or examiner. The safety of examiners, instructors and candidates must always remain our priority.

We fully appreciate the challenges this will cause learners and instructors but the Prime Minister, on the advice of scientific advisors, was clear that we need to take action to protect the NHS and save lives.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has rescheduled affected tests by moving them to the next available test dates, and will inform candidates. It will increase test availability when it is safe to do so.

We recognise these restrictions have a significant impact on jobs and the economy. We have provided financial support for those whose livelihoods are impacted, such as approved driving instructors. 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

Other parliamentary business

MPs question Government Ministers, officials, and the PCS union on the work of the DVLA

On Wednesday 21 July, MPs on the Transport Committee held an evidence session to consider the difficulties facing the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), including the current backlog of cases awaiting processing.

Watch the session: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/e13d8e44-6479-459a-89ab-be2a147eef4f
Read the transcript: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/2613/pdf/

During the session, the Committee questioned:

  • Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS
  • Sarah Evans, DVLA Branch Chair, PCS Union
  • Julie Lennard, Chief Executive Officer, DVLA
  • Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, Department for Transport

This session is the Committee’s second evidence session with the DVLA this year. MPs spoke to the Chief Executive following an outbreak of covid-19 at DVLA headquarters in Swansea.

What is the Transport Committee?

The Transport Committee is a cross-party group of MPs appointed by the House of Commons to scrutinise the work of the Department for Transport, the Government department responsible for the English transport network.

The Department is also responsible for a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that have not been devolved to the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, or Northern Ireland Executive.

Find out more about the Transport Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/153/transport-committee/
Follow the Committee on Twitter for real-time updates on its work: https://twitter.com/CommonsTrans