Face coverings are now mandatory for your pupils during a theory test in England, unless they are exempt, under new temporary regulations.

This follows the Government’s announcement to make face coverings a legal requirement in more indoor public settings in England to respond to the spread of UK cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The full list of exemptions is on GOV.UK.

Theory test changes

Wherever possible, theory test candidates in England should let us know in advance if they are exempt so that we can make arrangements for them. They can do this by calling our dedicated theory test face coverings exemption phone line 0115 6713129 or emailing TTcovidsupport@dvsa.gov.uk titled ‘Face Covering Exemption – Theory Test’ and include their test booking reference, licence number and contact details.

If candidates cannot let us know in advance, we will do our best to accommodate them on the day of their test. They may be asked to wait until a private room becomes available to protect the health of other candidates and test centre employees. If a room is not available or the candidate cannot wait, the test will be cancelled and refunded. They can then contact us using the details above to rearrange their test for as soon as possible.

Please help us get this message to your candidates by making them aware of this change.

Driving lessons and tests in England

It is still a legal requirement for you and your pupils to wear a face covering during a driving lesson unless you or your pupil is exempt.

Your pupils must also continue to tell us if they are exempt from wearing a face covering when they book their driving test.

Your pupil’s practical test will not take place without a face covering if they do not tell us they are exempt ahead of their test.

Before a driving test

You should continue to wear a face covering when travelling with a pupil to a driving test, unless you are exempt.

We will not allow the test to take place if we see an instructor or their pupil not wearing a face covering whilst sharing a vehicle before the test unless they are exempt. Please inform your pupils of this change.

If this happens, the examiner will speak to both the instructor and pupil to determine why they were not wearing a face covering.

Candidates will lose their fee if their test cannot take place under these circumstances.

Test centre waiting rooms

You should keep your distance, wear face coverings and practice good hand hygiene in our waiting areas in England to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Lateral flow testing

In line with Government guidance, before travelling to a theory or practical test, we would encourage you and your pupil to take a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test if you or they do not have symptoms.

They are free and you get a result 30 minutes after taking the test.  Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.