DVSA changes to driving tests: learner drivers to wait a month to rebook test after fail - and other changes

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Changes have been made to the driving test in a bid to tackle the long waiting times.

Learner drivers will soon have to wait 28 days instead of 10 to rebook their test as part of the government’s attempt to clear the backlog in the test booking system brought about by the pandemic. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said the measure is needed to make sure learner drivers only take their test when they are fully prepared.

The agency is also altering the system to discourage drivers from booking tests before they are ready, which will free up slots for those who are. The measures, they said, aim to discourage learner drivers who are not ready to take a test from booking one, which will come into effect in the summer.

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Following a consultation earlier this year, the DVSA is also planning to extend the notice period to cancel a car test - and incur a lost fee - from three to 10 days. And  other techniques of assessing people’s eyesight when taking the driving test will also be considered by ministers, including some which don’t require bright daylight or reading a car number plate.

Ministers also agreed with the proposal for digital pass certificates to be issued to those who pass their theory test and driving test, instead of paper versions. The proposed changes apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

Loveday Ryder, chief executive of the DVSA, urged learner drivers to check the agency’s website for advice before booking a test. She told ITV News: “With more than half of people failing their driving test, it is clear more needs to be done to make sure learner drivers only take their test when they are fully prepared.

“These new measures will help make sure test-ready learners find appointments and give those who fail more time for more practice. I also urge learners to check out our Ready to Pass? website to make sure they’re ready – and delay their test if they’re not.

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“This will help make more tests available and prevent them having to pay to retest.”

According to the DVSA’s data from February 2023, around 53% of tests are failed, and examiners are having to physically intervene in more than 12% of tests for safety reasons.

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