Driving tests and lessons have been suspended to minimise the spread of coronavirus from January 5th 2021 throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency confirmed. Restrictions also apply to moped and bike riders. Driving and riding lessons ‘must not take place’ and ‘all tests have been suspended’ until further notice, a spokesperson stressed.
This poses two questions: what might you do now if you are:
- a pupil who booked a test for yourself
- an instructor who booked a test for a pupil?
The DVSA summarised its apparent answers to such questions via a press release – but clearly this is a fast evolving situation.
If you are a pupil who personally booked a practical test for yourself, expect an e-mail confirming its cancellation. The test will be rescheduled for you at some point. ‘We will email candidates who are affected by this and let them know we will reschedule the test’, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said.
But what if you personally booked your theory test? In this circumstance, you too can expect an e-mail confirming it is ‘on hold’ – but it is your responsibility to reschedule. This can be done online. The website is: https://www.gov.uk/change-theory-test.
In contrast, if your instructor booked a practical or theory test on your behalf note his/her responsibilities below.
If you are an instructor who booked a practical test for your pupil, expect an e-mail confirming its cancellation. You must then inform your pupil. At some point, there will be a further e-mail with a new date. This might take some time, though. ‘Ask your pupil to be patient’, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said. Also:
- if the revised practical test date is unsuitable it can be changed online (you need your pupil’s driving licence number)
- if you booked your pupil’s theory test on his/her behalf you must now ‘log into the booking system’ to change the date.
When can driving tests and lessons resume?
It is difficult to predict when driving tests and lessons can resume. Clearly though, coronavirus must be far less of a threat before most restrictions can be lifted. The R rate has to fall a good deal, for example. This is likely to take a considerable time.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, summarised the situation: ‘The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet. But, I believe that we are entering the last phase of the struggle. With every jab that goes in our arms we are tilting the odds against COVID and in favour of the British people’, he confirmed. Hopefully happier days are in sight.