Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"


View sample alert
Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Wednesday 27th October 2021

Asked by: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Labour - Slough)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the validity period for DVSA car theory tests for those who have been unable to take their practical test due to the longer waiting times owing to the covid-19 restrictions.

Answered by Trudy Harrison - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place to ensure a candidate’s road safety knowledge and ability to identify developing hazards is current at the critical point a person drives unsupervised for the first time. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Monday 6th September 2021

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many candidates have received a (a) full and (b) partial refund where a complaint was raised concerning the curtailment of a driving test due to covid-19 safety measures.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The legal requirement for the on-road part of the practical car driving test is 30 minutes. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has no plans to change legislation with regards the minimum length of on-road practical driving tests. As a result of the pandemic, the DVSA has implemented a temporary policy whereby candidates are directed back to the test centre upon failure. This is to minimise the exposure and risk given the very close proximity of the vehicle occupants. The DVSA will keep this measure under review.

All candidates are encouraged to ensure that they properly prepared before applying for the driving test. The DVSA trains each examiner to treat all candidates equally and fairly, and to carry out practical driving tests consistently. Each candidate must demonstrate they can drive to the required standard in order to pass their test and drive independently.

Since the start of the pandemic, the DVSA has received 8 complaints from candidates who have had their practical car driving test curtailed. No candidates have received a full or partial refund as their test was found be assessed correctly.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Monday 6th September 2021

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the equalities impact of the curtailment of driving tests due to covid-19-safety measures.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The legal requirement for the on-road part of the practical car driving test is 30 minutes. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has no plans to change legislation with regards the minimum length of on-road practical driving tests. As a result of the pandemic, the DVSA has implemented a temporary policy whereby candidates are directed back to the test centre upon failure. This is to minimise the exposure and risk given the very close proximity of the vehicle occupants. The DVSA will keep this measure under review.

All candidates are encouraged to ensure that they properly prepared before applying for the driving test. The DVSA trains each examiner to treat all candidates equally and fairly, and to carry out practical driving tests consistently. Each candidate must demonstrate they can drive to the required standard in order to pass their test and drive independently.

Since the start of the pandemic, the DVSA has received 8 complaints from candidates who have had their practical car driving test curtailed. No candidates have received a full or partial refund as their test was found be assessed correctly.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Monday 6th September 2021

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many complaints his Department has received from (a) candidates and (b) others on the lack of availability of driving tests as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

Since March 2020, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has received 1,124 of complaints about the lack of driving test availability as a result of covid-19 restrictions. The data held by the DVSA does not separate complaints received from ‘candidates’ and complaints received from ‘others’.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Monday 6th September 2021

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many driving tests the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency curtailed as a covid-19 safety measure since March 2020; and of those, how many tests were curtailed in the first 10 minutes under that measure.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

To help stop the spread of coronavirus, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has minimised the amount of time examiners and candidates spend in the vehicle during the driving test. Since May 2020, candidates who make a serious or dangerous fault on test, which means they have failed their test, are directed by the examiner back to the driving test centre where the test will end. The DVSA will keep this measure under review.

Between 1 May 2020 and 18 July 2021, 398,131 driving tests have been curtailed upon the candidate making a serious or dangerous fault. The DVSA does not record the number of minutes a driving test has been running when it is terminated.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Wednesday 9th June 2021

Asked by: Tim Loughton (Conservative - East Worthing and Shoreham)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is taking to clear the backlog for learner drivers wanting to take their driving test following the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Monday 24th May 2021

Asked by: Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to protect people whose driving theory test has expired and who have been unable to book a practical driving test as a result of the covid-19 outbreak from incurring additional financial costs.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

There are no current plans to waive the charge of a theory test for those whose theory test certificates have expired, given that they will have already received the service for which they paid.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) pays its contractor, Pearson, per theory test delivered. If candidates were exempted from having to pay for a retake then the DVSA and in turn other fee payers would incur these costs. This would be unfair to fee payers who would not benefit from the arrangement. In addition, applications for a re-test would need to be validated and systems amended to remove the requirement for payment in these cases. The DVSA’s focus should rightly be on developing solutions to address the backlog of practical driving tests that has arisen as a result of the pandemic.


Written Question

Question Link

Monday 17th May 2021

Asked by: Sajid Javid (Conservative - Bromsgrove)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that driving test appointments can take place (a) quickly and (b) safely to reduce any backlogs resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA is also running a recruitment campaign to increase the overall number of examiners.

The DVSA’s aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners. Standard Operating Procedures are in place at all test centres to ensure measures are in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Monday 19th April 2021

Asked by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to reimburse learner drivers who have had to retake their driving theory test as a result of the cancellation of practical driving tests due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has a number of measures in place to increase the availability of practical driving tests when it is safe for them to resume. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

There are no current plans to reimburse learners drivers, given that they will have already received the service for which they paid.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) pays its contractor, Pearson, per theory test delivered. If candidates were exempted from having to pay for a retake then the DVSA and in turn other fee payers would incur these costs. This would be unfair to fee payers who would not benefit from the arrangement. In addition, applications for a re-test would need to be validated and systems amended to remove the requirement for payment in these cases. The DVSA’s focus should rightly be on developing solutions to address the backlog of practical driving tests that has arisen as a result of the pandemic.


Written Question
Driving Tests: Coronavirus
Tuesday 13th April 2021

Asked by: Patricia Gibson (Scottish National Party - North Ayrshire and Arran)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans DVSA has in place to deal with the backlog of driving tests due to covid-19 restrictions.

Answered by Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

During the current lockdown, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

Mobile emergency worker tests cannot be currently offered in Scotland due to Covid restrictions set by the Scottish Government.

The DVSA will continue to offer mobile emergency worker tests once the current lockdown restrictions have been lifted, and will keep that service under review.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has measures in place to increase practical driving tests when it is safe for testing to resume. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays).

In addition, the DVSA has started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.