Driving Test Information
If you are paying someone to teach you to drive, they must be approved and registered with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). Only a registered approved driving instructor (ADI) can charge money for teaching you to drive.
Recent surveys indicate that nine out of ten learners who passed both theory and practical tests first time were taught by an instructor. A fully qualified approved driving instructor (ADI) must display a green certificate on the windscreen of the car while teaching you. Some trainee driving instructors are granted a licence so they can gain experience before their qualifying examination. In this case, the trainee driving instructor must display a pink certificate on the windscreen.
DSA is responsible for maintaining and checking the standards of all approved driving instructors (ADI) who to qualify must:
- have held a full driving licence for at least four years
- pass a much tougher theory test than the one learner drivers take
- pass a strict driving test
- reach and keep up a high standard of instruction. The standard of tuition given by the ADI is regularly checked by a supervising examiner from DSA
be registered with DSA
- display an ADI identification certificate on the windscreen of the tuition vehicle
Before you start to drive, you must:
- Hold a valid, provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland (Apply for a provisional licence here)
- Make sure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured
- It is important to learn safe driving practice from the beginning of your driving career because bad habits are hard to break.
It is unlikely that anyone except an approved driving instructor (ADI) would have the experience, knowledge and training to teach you properly. Learning safe driving habits from the start will improve the safety of yourself and other road users.
If you want to practise your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full licence for three years.
As a learner driver you must display 'L' plates in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving.
Minimum age you can take a test
You can take your theory test once your provisional licence becomes valid.
Normally, for car drivers, the earliest date your provisional licence can become valid is your 17th birthday, however you can apply for the licence up to three months before your 17th birthday.
So, if you apply for your provisional licence before you are 17 you will still have to wait until your birthday before you can take your theory test.