Update on Theory Test Certificates

The government has further considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates.

After careful consideration and in response to a recent petition the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates for road safety reasons.

We understand this will be disappointing for some, but it’s essential that they have the most up-to-date road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills at the critical point that they drive on their own for the first time.

The way we are managing test bookings is affected by COVID-19 restrictions

If your practical driving test has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will reschedule it for the next available test appointment at your chosen test centre.

If no test appointments are available at your chosen test centre before your theory test certificate expires, your practical test booking will be put on hold.

People with tests booked whose theory test certificate has expired

If your driving test is suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, and your theory test certificate has expired or expires, we will cancel and refund the cost of your practical test.

You will then need to rebook and pass your theory test before you can sit a practical test.

You must have a valid theory test certificate before you can book your practical test, and on the day you take it.

If your theory test expires before the next available practical test date

If your theory test certificate has been put on hold because it is due to expire, you can either:

  • cancel your booking and get a full refund
  • look on the booking system for a cancellation at your original test centre or book an available test appointment at a different test centre on a date before your theory test expires – in line with any current travel restrictions

If you book a test at an alternative site you will need to check the relevant travel restrictions leading up to the appointment date to make sure you are able to travel in to the area.

If you do not rebook or cancel your practical test before your theory test certificate expires, your practical test booking will be cancelled and refunded.

You can book a new theory test up to 6 months before your current theory test certificate expires, or at any time after it has expired.

If you want to request a refund

You can request a refund for the cost of your practical test through the online cancellation service at https://www.gov.uk/cancel-driving-test

You need to include your name and 2 of the following identifiers in your email:

  • your driving licence number
  • your theory test pass certificate number
  • your driving test booking reference



Recruiting more examiners

The DVSA is launching a national recruitment campaign for new driving examiners.

There are posts based in England, Scotland and Wales.

The closing date for applications is Monday 1 March 2021 at midnight.

Find out more about the role and how to apply on civil service jobs.

DVSA plan to reduce waiting times

The recruitment of new examiners is one of the actions DVSA will take to reduce the backlog caused by the pandemic.

We will also consult and work with the driver and rider training associations on our proposed plan to reduce waiting times. We will then share our plan with you as soon as we can, as we’d like your thoughts and feedback on our proposals. This will also be an opportunity for you to share any of your ideas with us.