THE online system for booking a driving test has reopened once more after it initially returned in late August.
After the site had reopened it was swamped with people desperate to book the exam but the DVSA now believes it can meet demand.
Can I book a driving test now?
Learners in England, Scotland and Wales can now book a driving test after the system reopened again on September 7 at 8am.
In Scotland you can only currently book motorcycle or tractor tests.
Currently though it is only taking bookings for the next six weeks.
From Monday, September 14, 2020, DVSA will extend the period in which tests are available from 6 weeks to 18 weeks ahead.
This will add over 375,000 more test appointments between September 14, 2020 and the end of January 2021.
As well as making tests available to book 18 weeks ahead, DVSA plans to increase the number of car driving tests per day from five to six.
Brits had to wait to book a test after millions of people forced the website to crash when it opened for the first time since March on August 26.
The DVSA said "essential maintenance" would be done to help the website to cope with the number of bookings.
You can book a test for:
- lorries, buses and coaches
- approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 and 3 test
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “Coronavirus has severely impacted our business as usual operations, including by stopping driving tests in March.
"Since then DVSA have only been dealing with applications for emergency driving tests for critical workers.
“Following unprecedented demand for the driving test booking system with almost 7 million attempts to book a test when it opened, we need to carry out urgent maintenance so people can book tests.
“We have to close the booking service until Wednesday 26 August and are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
How can I book online?
You can book your driving test online via the Government's website.
If you want to book a test in Northern Ireland, you'll have to use a different service.
You'll need your UK driving licence number, credit or debit card and driving instructor’s personal reference number (if you want to check they’re available) before you start.
You can also check how much your test will cost before you go ahead and book it.
Can I take a driving test in Scotland?
Unfortunately, car driving tests in Scotland are still on hold but you can currently book tractor and motorcycle tests.
Car driving tests set to be back on September 14.
What are the changes to practical driving tests?
New measures brought in, in the wake of coronavirus, will change how some aspects of the practical tests are conducted.
For instance, if a learner driver makes a serious or dangerous fault the test will end automatically and they will be asked to leave the vehicle.
Previously the learner had been allowed to drive back to the test centre in order to practice, but now they'll have to exit the vehicle to minimise the amount of time spent in the car.
Ian Mcintosh, CEO of Red Driving School told Express.co.uk: "There are some differences learner drivers will need to be aware of.
“In this new era of driving tests, the examination will be stopped immediately if the candidate commits a serious or dangerous fault.
“Previously, the test would continue, which gave the candidate the benefit of a full test experience where they’d be informed at the end of the session that they hadn’t passed.
“This new measure has been introduced to limit contact time between the examiner and learner driver.
“While this makes sense from a safety perspective, it does feel like the experience of being tested is a little diminished.”
How to book a driving theory test
Booking a driving theory test can be done online.
However, people are warned not to attend if they show any signs of the coronavirus or have been in contact with anyone who has the virus.
It is free of charge if you need to change the date of your theory test and can also be done online.
You need your:
- UK driving licence number
- email address – you have to book by phone if you do not have one
- credit or debit card
You must have lived in England, Wales or Scotland for at least 185 days in the last 12 months before the day you take your theory or driving test.
Car and motorcycle tests cost £23.
If you need help with your booking:
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
What are the new coronavirus rules for practical tests?
From now on test-takers must wear a mask while driving.
If you cannot wear a mask you need to inform the DVSA when you book your test.
If you turn up for a test without a mask it will automatically be cancelled.
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