Driving test changes: Six new rules new drivers should watch for

New DVLA rules and driving laws coming in 2022

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Getting your driving licence is no easy feat. But passing your test may be even more tricky this year as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has outlined six potential changes to the exam. These new rules could be enforced within the next few months. The changes won’t just affect students, as driving instructors will also be targeted under these new proposals. Here are the six changes you should watch out for.

The DVSA is struggling to cope with the demand for tests being the highest it has ever known.

In a bid to modernise the tests, improve safety and ensure precious test slots aren’t wasted on ill-prepared drivers, the DVSA could introduce the following six changes.

Extending the time period allowed for re-sits

Because of the lack of tests slots, many drivers have been forced to book tests far earlier than they are prepared to take them.

In an attempt to stop under-prepared drivers from taking their tests too early, the DVSA could extend the amount of time you’ll have to wait before rebooking a driving test after failing one.

Under new proposals, the wait period will be extended from 10 to 28 days.

For those who narrowly failed their tests, waiting an additional 18 days to re-take will be a crushing blow, not to mention a potentially costly one.

This extended period will require more lessons to be paid for to ensure learners keep up to speed ahead of their test.

But the DVSA states this change would: “Reduce the number of people attempting the test when they’re not ready, because they would know they would have to wait longer to be able to take it again if they failed.”

They added this would “mean that people who fail have more time to take further training before taking the test again.”

This proposal will only apply to car driving tests as other types of driving tests such as motorcycle tests, heavy goods vehicle (HGV), bus driving tests and theory tests will not be included in these changes.

Cancellation notices will be extended

A staggering number of driving tests are cancelled each year and the DVSA wants to tackle this.

Between April 22, 2021, and December 14 2021, 141,748 driving tests were cancelled.

Under new proposals, learner drivers will have to give 10 days notice if they want to cancel their test, or else they risk losing their entrance fee.

Under current rules, learners only have to give three days notice.

Collect better data about how well driving instructors prepare their students

The DVSA proposes driving instructors would be legally required to display their approved driving instructor (ADI) or trainee driving instructor registration certificate in the windscreen of their car when they bring their students to their driving tests.

They state this would: “Encourage driving instructors to only bring people for their driving test if they’re confident they will pass.

“Help us improve our ability to identify and prioritise which driving instructors most need help and support to provide high-quality training.

“[It would] mean that we can treat all driving instructors bringing pupils for tests consistently.”

Offer more information to learners about their driving instructors

Learner drivers can currently access the name, phone number, email address and distance of a driving instructor from them.

But the DVSA is proposing the following information is made available to learner drivers from a rolling 12-month period:

  • The average number of driving faults their students make per test
  • The average number of serious faults their students make per test
  • The percentage of the driving instructors’ students’ tests where the driving examiner had to take physical action in the interests of public safety
  • The overall pass rate of their students

Changes to eyesight test during the driving test

Currently eyesight checks are made before a driver takes their test.

These tests are undertaken in good daylight and requires learners to read a registration plate on a parked vehicle up to 20 metres away.

They propose a law change is needed to tighten these eyesight checks.

The DVSA wants to be able to do the eyesight checks in any level of light – not just good daylight and to be able to use more methods of checking people’s eyesight when they take the driving test.

They state: “This would mean we could provide driving tests at more times, and we would have more flexibility to test eyesight if there are not many parked vehicles nearby.”

Changing from paper to digital certificates

More than two million sheets of paper are printed a year to create paper pass certificates.

To be greener, the DVSA wants to switch to digital pass certificates.

This would also help people from easily losing their physical copies.

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