DVSA August 2020 update: Restarting driver and rider testing

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recent update on some of the main areas.

Theory test availability 

We’ve reopened most of our theory test centres in England, Scotland and Wales.

In England and Wales, we’ve worked with Pearson VUE to change the 2 metre social distancing rule to 1 metre with risk mitigations in place. This means we’re now able to offer more appointments and reduce waiting times.

We will also work with the devolved administration in Scotland to continue to offer more appointments as soon as we can.

Driving test availability 

We’ve opened 291 out of 307 driving centres in England – up from 290 since we updated you on 7 August 2020.

31 out of 35 test centres in Wales have reopened today (17 August).

When candidates arrange a test, they can see available appointments within the next 6 weeks. We’re not taking bookings any further in advance at the moment. This is so we can react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus.

Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests and critical workers. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 advice from the Scottish Government.

Emailing candidates to arrange their test 

Over 210,000 driving tests were put on hold due to coronavirus. We have now emailed all candidates in England and Wales to ask them to rearrange their test – over 170,000 candidates in total.

Some of the email addresses given on bookings did not work, so we’re sending text messages or letters to those affected so they can rearrange their test.

DVSA customer service centre

Our customer service centre is still receiving an extremely high number of calls and emails.

We’re sorry for the delays in getting through, but please help us by only calling if absolutely necessary.

Emergency tests for critical workers 

We announced that the services to apply for emergency theory tests and driving tests for critical workers closed on Friday 14 August.

We have now invited all critical workers in England, Scotland and Wales to either:

• book a new test, if they did not have one cancelled due to coronavirus
• rearrange their cancelled test

Returning to the UK

If you or your pupil have entered the UK in the last 14 days, you must not go to a driving test unless you:

• arrived from a country on the ‘travel corridor’ list
• belong to one of the groups who do not have to self-isolate

The government keeps the conditions in countries on the travel corridor list under review, and it is regularly updated.

France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba have now been removed from the list.

Check the list regularly for the latest information.

Valid theory test certificates checks 

As part of our normal ID and eligibility checks our driving examiners are checking for valid theory test certificates.

If your pupil does not have a valid certificate the test will not go ahead.

If your pupil has lost or damaged their certificate they can apply for a replacement letter by contacting customercare@pearson.com. They’ll need to provide their:

• name
• address
• date of birth
• driving licence number

More information

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

theory tests
driving tests
instructor guidance

New Driver CPC guidance published

On Wednesday 22nd July, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced changes to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) Directive following the consultation earlier this year.

What has changed? 

Following publication of the response, DVSA amended the law to allow these changes to come into force. The changes include:

  • Exemptions from Driver CPC
  • Periodic training
  • Recognition of Swiss CPC

You can read the full list of changes and see how they may affect you by visiting the updated guidance pages on GOV.UK.

You must have Driver CPC if you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job. You must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep it. You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving professionally without Driver CPC. 

If you have any questions about these changes, please get in touch with us on +44 (0)1952 520210 or contact us here.

DVSA releases ‘screens in vehicles used for driving tests’ policy

Driver/front passenger screens in vehicles used for driving tests.

Screens between the driver and front passenger in vehicles used for driving tests and driver training provide limited benefits in protecting people from coronavirus.  Key guidance from Public Health England (PHE), is that frequent handwashing with soap and water, (or the use of suitable alcohol gels where facilities are unavailable), coupled with an appropriate vehicle cleaning regime, are the best ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Face coverings must also be worn during driving tests, unless an individual is exempt and has notified DVSA of a medical reason for not wearing one.

These screens can restrict vision of the candidate or the road and may prevent quick exit from the vehicle in an emergency.  The screens can also prevent an instructor or examiner taking action in the event of an emergency, for example by using the steering wheel. Incorrectly installed or non-approved screens may also cause injury in the event of a crash where the air bags or other restraint systems are deployed.

For these reasons examiners must not conduct driving tests in vehicles fitted with screens between the driver and front passenger unless the vehicle has been tested with the screen in place. This does not apply to buses and other similar vehicles where screens are routinely fitted as part of normal operations. These vehicles are subject to routine testing to ensure they are safe.  For other vehicles including cars, where after-market screens are fitted, an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test certificate will be required to show that the vehicle is safe.

If a vehicle (other than a bus) is presented for a driving test with a screen fitted between the driver and front passenger examiners should allow a reasonable period time for the candidate or accompanying driver to remove the screen, especially if it is a temporary screen. If the screen cannot be readily removed the test must not go ahead and should be shown as test terminated, vehicle not suitable for test.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests to restart in England

Driving lessons and theory tests will restart on Saturday 4 July 2020 in England, and car driving tests will restart from Wednesday 22 July 2020.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that learners can resume driving lessons and motorcycle training in England from Saturday 4 July 2020.

The rule applies to all types of driver and motorcycle training in England, including private practice with someone you live with or in your support bubble.

Theory tests will restart in England on Saturday 4 July. The tests will take place with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Car driving tests will restart in England on Wednesday 22 July, which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests are still suspended in Scotland and Wales, in line with guidance from the devolved administrations. There are different dates for Northern Ireland.

DVSA will make further announcements on the resumption of testing, training and lessons, including publishing information on how services will be restarted safely, shortly.

When lessons and tests will restart

When services restart depends on what vehicle you’re learning to drive or ride.


Driving lessonsSaturday 4 July 2020
Theory testsSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsWednesday 22 July 2020

Motorcycle and moped

Motorcycle and moped compulsory basic training (CBT)Saturday 4 July 2020
Motorcycle direct access scheme (DAS) trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Theory testsSaturday 4 July 2020
Motorcycle and moped module 1 and module 2 testsMonday 13 July 2020

Lorry, bus and coach

Driver trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Theory testsSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsMonday 13 July 2020

Car and trailer

Driver trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsMonday 13 July 2020

Tractor and specialist vehicle

Driver trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsMonday 6 July 2020

Approved driving instructor (ADI)

Driving instructor trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
ADI part 1 test (theory)Saturday 4 July 2020
ADI part 2 test (driving ability)Wednesday 22 July 2020
ADI part 3 test (instructional ability)To be confirmed
ADI standards checkTo be confirmed

Motorcycle trainer

DVSA enhanced rider scheme trainer theory testSaturday 4 July 2020

Helping the country to get moving again

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said:

“Driving lessons and tests are vital in helping people get to work and visit loved ones, and provide the skills for a lifetime of safe driving.

“As the country recovers from COVID-19 we can now open-up our services to help get the country moving again and I am very pleased to announce the restart of driving tests and lessons in a COVID-secure way.”

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said:

“It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice.

“We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors but I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and tests in England.

“Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.”

NRI is ready to help any NRI Instructor or Exam Centre as they restart their training. If you have any questions in relation to restarting training in a Covid-safe manner or to arrange NRI examinations for your Instructors and Assessors, please contact NRI any time.

DVSA vocational driving tests restart priorities

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suspended driving tests in England, Scotland and Wales ‘for up to 3 months’ from 21 March 2020.  Since then, DVSA has maintained dialogue with NRI and other industry organisations through weekly online meetings.

To inform this dialogue, NRI emailed a short anonymous survey to all 550 LGV instructors and assessors on the NRI register.  This survey sought their professional views on the priorities that should be set as DVSA restart vocational driving tests during June and ideas for measures that could increase examining capacity and maximise safety for examiners and candidates.

Within a few days, we had received over 100 completed surveys, indicating the urgency of restarting the LGV driver training industry. This can only happen once DVSA driving tests are available; driver training and driver testing are part of an integrated process.

The advice to DVSA from NRI register members is:

  • The industry needs at least a few days’ notice of tests restarting so that training centres can be re-opened, staff brought back from furlough and COVID-safe measures be put in place.
  • 73% want vocational tests (Cat C/C+E) to have priority over car and van tests
  • 60% want with Cat C (rigids) tests to be prioritised over Cat C+E (artics) tests
  • Key workers should remain the priority for available tests
  • 65% of the instructors responding to the survey had customers whose booked test was cancelled on 21st
  • Demand is high throughout the UK, NRI members in all areas report the need to restart testing as soon as possible
  • The COVID-safe measures for LGV driving tests that are being implemented by DVSA have the overwhelming support of the training industry – 94% of respondents say that they are appropriate – with many planning to adopt the same measures for driver training

Other measures to ensure a prompt and safe restart to testing

We asked for ideas as to other measures that could be taken by DVSA to make testing as safe as possible – for examiners and candidates – while making as many tests as possible available.  More than half of respondents suggested at least one idea – another indication of the shared determination to get LGV training and testing back on the road.  Those ideas are:

Safety Measures

  • Training centres will commit to ensuring a safe environment to DVSA standards
  • Trainers to provide proof vehicle has been sanitized
  • All training vehicles should carry a supply of gloves, face masks and sanitiser for the learner, instructor and examiner to use. If not the examiner should have the right to terminating the test if they don’t feel safe
  • Use a clear plastic screen to split the cab on HGV but still maintain access to the parking brake for emergencies

Checking candidates

  • Beneficial for all parties before entering test to have proof that (COVID 19) testing has taken place and the subsequent results from that test as part of the checks pre-driving test
  • Temperature checks prior to ALL training and testing as questioners and self-declaration are not reliable

Delegating Examining

  • If the DVSA cannot provide the examiners, then they will need to let us have our own Delegated Driving Examiners to meet the requirement
  • Allow approved trainers to conduct Mod 3 test in a similar way to the Mod 4
  • Allow NRI instructors to act as examiners to meet demand for tests

Modified Testing process

  • Cancelling the DVSA test if the reverse or coupling or uncoupling is failed
  • Utilising outside space for receiving candidates, usual care taken regards hygiene as all other aspects of delivery

Use of Customer Sites

  • Conduct more tests at customers own sites. These sites allow us to 100% control activities, examiner, staff and customer interaction, Cleaning and keeping the test environment safe. Compared to a shared office or public test sites where it’ almost impossible to avoid interaction in waiting rooms and WC etc.
  • Look at training companies with the facility to deliver test from their own site, this would stop mixing in one place with cars and other tests

Greater Availability of Tests

  • Allocate tests to trainer bookers that would ordinarily have been in place. Provide Saturday tests to help clear backlog and late day tests whilst summer daylight is available
  • Increase the numbers of tests per day to help reduce any backlog
  • More tests in general, including Saturdays
  • 5 tests a day instead of 4 per examiner
  • Test slots to open in stages so that we can start to train in an ordered manner

Priorities for restarting driving tests

  • Prioritise cancelled tests over new bookings
  • Prioritise LGV tests to help get the economy going.
  • Motorcycle tests shouldn’t be affected as no social distancing issues

Giving notice of the restart

  • Testing needs to restart ASAP with 7days notice needed for training before taking tests
  • Give us advanced notice (earlier than the ‘official’ notification on the website) of when examiners will be working. Once there is an official announcement and we will be swamped with customer calls and our office staff are on furlough at the moment, so we notice so that we can un-furlough them

Over the coming months, many LGV training providers and in-house training teams will start to resume their operations and NRI and DVSA will be on hand to provide support for this. However, due to the current Covid circumstances, you are advised to continue to check the GOV.UK website before advising your trainee drivers as to whether and when they may be able to be tested.

NRI are also delighted to announce that we are now also back up and running with examinations resuming ready to help your journey towards LGV Instructor, LGV Assessor or Driver CPC qualifications. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Nominate your Drivers Now – Entries for Talent in Logistics LGV Driver of the Year to Close

For the past two years we have proudly supported the Talent in Logistics Conference and Awards, which is now in its third year.

One of the biggest changes to this year’s awards, along with a revamp of its 15 strong category awards, is the inclusion of a new live competition and award for LGV Driver of the Year. LGV drivers are the face of our industry, their actions shape the image and reputation of their employer and the industry as a whole. As your time as NRI registered LGV Instructors, we’re sure that you’ve come across more than just a few drivers who go above and beyond compliance and safety on the roads.

So why not nominate them now for the LGV Driver of the Year 2019 award?

Once their nomination has been received, they will be invited to take part in a series of live heats in Telford, Shropshire, from the 5th-7th April 2019. The top performing drivers will then be invited to the live grand final of the LGV Driver of Year award, at the Talent in Logistics Conference on 27th June at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes (previously MK Arena). Let’s help your drivers get recognised for their hard work!

If you know a driver who demonstrates high levels of professionalism and customers, has a proven track record of driving performance through telematics/driver scorecards, etc; or they possess any other qualities that go above and beyond their role – nominate them now!

In addition to the live competition, the Talent in Logistics Conference will also offer networking opportunities, keynote seminars and an information zone exhibition where members of the NRI team will be speaking with delegates throughout the day. Why not come and see us for the day? Tickets for the exhibition and live competitions are completely free and can be reserved online now.

For any further information on the Talent in Logistics Conference and Awards, visit the official events page here.

Training for Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles

In July 2018 new legislation came into force. This allows holders of Category B driving licences to drive commercial vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes where that vehicle is powered by an alternative fuel. 

However, to use this new 4.25 tonnes allowance, a driver must undertake five hours of prior training. This training must be undertaken with an instructor on the National Register of LGV Instructors or the National Vocational Driving Instructors Register and result in the issue of a certificate of training which they must carry. The regulations don’t allow for the derogation to be used during training (on the public highway), so the 5 hours of training will be either classroom based or practical training away from public roads – or a mixture of these.

As the managers of the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI), RTITB have been asked to work with DfT to develop the process of training and certification. We are therefore seeking early input from you, our customers to gain your views as to the impact and operation of this new AFV allowance.

Fleet Operators, we welcome your feedback on:

As an operator are you planning to introduce AFVs to your fleet?YES/NO
Will you use this allowance as part of preparations for bring the vehicles into the fleet?YES/NO
What % of your driver workforce will be given AFV training?
Do you have in-house NRI instructors able to offer AFV training?YES/NO
Will you need to source training from NRI instructors able to offer AFV training?YES/NO
Should the 5 hours of AFV training be classroom-only?YES/NO
Should the 5 hours of AFV training be in-cab training away from the public roads?YES/NO
Should the 5 hours of AFV training be a mix of in-cab and classroom?YES/NO

Training Providers, we welcome your feedback on:

Do you plan to offer AFV training as a result of this allowance?YES/NO
Have you been asked to provide AFV training since this allowance was announced?YES/NO
Do you have NRI instructors able to offer AFV training?YES/NO
Do you have in-house NRI instructors able to offer AFV training?YES/NO
Should the 5 hours of AFV training be classroom-only?YES/NO
Should the 5 hours of AFV training be in-cab training away from the public roads?YES/NO
Should the 5 hours of AFV training be a mix of in-cab and classroom?YES/NO

Why has this allowance been made?

The current weight limit is 3.5 tonnes, but as alternative fuel technology can weigh more than the drivetrain of a conventional vehicle, operators are left with a payload disadvantage for choosing cleaner fuels. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) intend this to help fleets introduce vehicles powered by electricity, natural gas, biogas or hydrogen or hydrogen and electricity (multi fuelled).

Let us know your thoughts on the above. Contact the team now.

DVLA Releases Free Guidance for LGV Drivers

The DVLA has produced new guidance leaflets for professional LGV drivers, in order to help both operators and drivers remain compliant with driver rules and regulations.

The guidance has been developed in a bid to help vocational LGV drivers to understand the rules and regulations surrounding their professional role and provide guidance on how they can ensure they comply with these requirements. Developed in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Traffic Commissioner for wales, Department for Transport, Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Confederation of Passenger Transport; the guidance also takes a look at the role traffic commissioners play and the influence they have with regards to vocational driving licences. The leaflets also provide further reading, with links to additional sources of information relating to rules and regulations for professional drivers.

The new guidance is a fantastic free tool for Instructors, employers and drivers to digest in a pro-active attempt to keep themselves – and others on the road – safe. Designed to be printed and folded to pocket size, they can act as a handy reminder to drivers on the road – whether kept in the glove compartment, wallet or pocket.

The guidance leaflets are available to view and download from the DVLA website now.

One Week to Go: NRI at Talent in Logistics

The countdown has begun! The Talent in Logistics Conference & Awards 2018 event is only one week away and with our own Rich Brewer judging at the awards we cannot wait to arrive at the Telford International Centre on the 21st June for what is set to be the logistics event of the year.

The Talent in Logistics Awards ceremony aims to celebrate the silent heroes of the industry for their hard work and dedication and with 16 awards up for grabs. We are proud that Rich’s expertise in the industry has been recognised and gives him the opportunity to ensure LGV professionals are acknowledged for all they do, and as sponsor of the LGV instructor of the year award, Rich will be announcing the lucky winner on the night. You can check out the list of lucky finalists here.

Want to be there on the night? Book tickets for the award evening here.

Don’t miss out on the chance to network with industry professionals, peers and the NRI team as we exhibit in the Information Zone. Come along and chat to Rich Brewer and Josh Hazell, our Customer Care Co-ordinator, who will both be on hand to discuss the latest developments in legislation, the industry and our continued goal to helping improving the safety of drivers on the road through our Instructor standards.

Did you know you can also gain 3 CPD hours just by attending the conference? With a no-sales-pitch conference agenda, we can assure you will get the most out of the day and actually learn a thing or two along the way. From the effect of Brexit on the industry to the future of young people carrying on the logistics legacy, there’s something there for you. View the full day’s agenda here.

Tickets are now very limited, so make sure you book your tickets today by clicking here, and secure your place now.



NRI Instructors Shortlisted for Talent in Logistics Awards 2018

We are proud to announce that 4 of the 5 finalists to compete for the title of Talent in Logistics LGV Instructor of the Year are NRI registered Instructors! The deserving shortlisted finalists are:

  • Golman Gurung – Mainstream
  • Nicky Hanson – 2 Start Ltd
  • Charlie Ballam – SCF Driver Training
  • Jamie King – Wiltshire Transport Training Ltd

We hope you join us in congratulating the finalists and wishing them all the best for the awards evening on Thursday 21st June, where one of them will be crowned the winner at the Talent in Logistics Awards evening, hosted by Sky Sports Jeff Stelling.

During the day you can find us exhibiting in the Information Zone, as a variety of engaging seminars, key industry debates andindustry panels take place around the venue. So come along and meet us there for more information on the latest developments in legislation, the industry and our continued goal to helping improving the safety of drivers on the road through our Instructor standards. Make sure you book your place today here.

With only 2 weeks to go, book your tickets today for what’s set to be the logistics event of the year!