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Detailed guide: Coronavirus: driving theory tests

Driver Vehicle Standards Agency

July 31
23:15 2020

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This page tells you about theory tests during the coronavirus outbreak.

It will be updated if anything changes.

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Theory tests have restarted in England and Scotland, with new social distancing and safety precautions in place. They will restart in Wales on 3 August 2020.

Theory tests are still suspended in areas under local lockdown in England.

Theres separate guidance about driving tests.

Keeping you safe at the test centre

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has introduced social distancing measures and safety precautions at test centres.

These include:

  • using floor markings to keep people 2 metres apart
  • spacing workstations and chairs so youre 2 metres away from other people
  • extra cleaning of the test centres
  • using protective transparent screens at the reception desk
  • providing hand sanitiser for you to use when you arrive at the test centre, during your test and when you leave
  • cleaning workstations, including computers and headphones, before every test

Staff will wear a face covering (unless theres a medical reason that its not recommended for them) and gloves.

You have to come into the test centre alone. This is to help with social distancing.

Photo of a woman handing her driving licence to a member of staff behind a desk. They are both wearing face coverings.

Hand sanitiser will be available when you arrive at the test centre.

Photo of a woman taking an antiviral wipe from a packet.

Antiviral wipes will be available for you to wipe your locker before you put your belongings in it.

Photo of a woman cleaning the inside of a locker with an antiviral wipe.

Antiviral wipes will be available for you to wipe your locker before you put your belongings in it.

Photo of a woman sat at a desk taking a theory test.

Workstations and chairs will be spaced so youre 2 metres away from other people.

Wearing a face covering

England

In England, youre strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when you come for your test. Do not wear one if you may find it difficult to manage, for example, you have a respiratory condition.

Scotland

In Scotland, you must bring and wear a face covering when you come for your test, unless you have a good reason not to. This includes if:

  • you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress

Wales

In Wales, you can wear a face covering if you want to. Do not wear one if you may find it difficult to manage, for example, you have a respiratory condition.

Checking your ID

You will need to remove it briefly so the test centre staff can check your ID.

Find out how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

When you must not come for your test

You must not come for your theory test if:

You have to stay at home (self-isolate).

Change your theory test appointment if you need to self-isolate on the day of your theory test.

You can do this free of charge if youre self-isolating, including if you do it at short notice (within 3 clear working days of the test).

If youre being shielded

You should not take your theory test if youre being advised to shield as you are extremely vulnerable from coronavirus.

Shielding has been paused in England and Scotland, and will be paused in Wales from the 16 August 2020.

DVSA recommends that you take your test after shielding has been paused.

Changes to the theory test planned for 14 April 2020

The changes to the theory test that were planned to be introduced on 14 April 2020 have not gone ahead. This is because of the coronavirus outbreak.

DVSA will make these changes to the theory test as soon as possible.In the meantime, the theory test will continue to work in the same way as it did before April.

Apply for an emergency theory test if youre a critical worker

You can apply for an emergency test if you urgently need a test because youre classed as a critical worker. This includes if you work in:

  • health and social care
  • education and childcare
  • key public services
  • local and national government
  • food and other necessary goods
  • public safety and national security
  • transport
  • utilities, communication and financial services
Published 20 April 2020
Last updated 1 August 2020 +show all updates
  1. Updated content to say that shielding was paused in England on 1 August 2020.

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