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Driving test booking service back up and running

Written by: Emma Lunn
The driving test website was taken down last Friday just hours after it reopened after lockdown.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said it experienced “unprecedented demand” for tests on Friday 21 August 2020 and so the site was taken offline.

By Friday evening the test booking page had been visited almost seven million times as people hoped to book a test over the next six weeks.

The site was closed for “essential maintenance” over the weekend and is now up and running again.

Learner drivers had been unable to book tests since the DVSA closed the site on 20 March due to the coronavirus lockdown.

DVSA has now introduced a queuing system for people using the service. Learner drivers will be given a number which shows where they are in the queue.

What to expect when you book your driving test

Only 35,675 appointments are available during the next six weeks. This is because:

  • people who had a test cancelled because of coronavirus and critical workers who applied for an emergency driving test were given priority to book a test within some of this time
  • social distancing measures are limiting the number of tests DVSA can carry out per day
  • some critical worker tests are still being carried out as a priority

If you login to the site you’ll only be able to see and book appointments available within the next six weeks. This means you must be ready to take your driving test within the next six weeks. If you’re not ready, you shouldn’t try to book now.

DVSA is only making appointments available within the next six weeks so it can react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus.

New appointments will be made available each week, so a rolling six-week period is available.

The service will show you available appointments at your other nearest driving test centres if your preferred choice is fully booked.

All the available appointments are shown on the online service. The DVSA customer service centre doesn’t have access to any other appointments.

There isn’t a waiting list or cancellation list for driving tests – you can only book the appointments you can see online.

Practise with your driving instructor

Driving lessons were also paused during lockdown, and resumed from Saturday 4 July.

It’s vital that you are test ready if you want to book now, as tests could be at short notice.

On average fewer than 50% of people pass the driving test and there could be long waiting times for a re-test – so you should only book when you are confident you can pass.

The DVSA encourages learners to spend time practising on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions before booking a test.

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