DVSA reveal strategy for 'helping you stay safe on the roads'

Theory test certificates have not been extended at any point during the pandemic despite thousands of practical tests being rescheduled. This has forced many learner drivers to repay up to £23 to resit the test even if they have previously passed.

RED Driving School said the refusal to extend theory test passes was a “huge injustice” to learner drivers who have had their test cancelled outside of their control.

Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School said ending people’s theory certificates will mean thousands will “have to wait longer” to obtain their licences.

He said: “The Government’s refusal to extend learners’ theory test pass certificates is as a huge injustice to learners unable to take practical tests due to the pandemic.

“The theory test certificate is currently valid for two years.

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“We believe all students who passed their theory tests in April 2018 onwards should be allowed to take a practical test when the test centres re-open and the normal two-year expiry date should be extended.

“The theory test is expensive and difficult to pass, and learners cannot book a practical test without a valid theory test pass certificate, meaning thousands of learners will have to wait even longer to obtain their driving licences.”

GOV.UK confirms theory test certificates will not be extended at any stage of the lockdown.

They say this is because drivers road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills need to be up to date when taking a driving test.

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A petition has been launched to extend theory test certificates for those which expired in 2020 or will expire in 2021.

The extension would last for another 12 months which would give learner drivers more time to rearrange their tests.

The petition has reached over 13,000 signatures meaning the government must now issue a response.

Learner drivers have attacked the lack of an extension on social media after many have had their driving test cancelled up to five times.

One road user was left devastated after explaining her theory test would soon run out having originally passed the test after five attempts.

Mr Mcintosh has warned failing to extend theory test centres would add extreme pressure on test centres.

No extension would see hundreds of learner drivers resitting their exam alongside new drivers who wish to take a test for the first time.

In a scathing attack, Mr McIntosh described the failure to extend the certificates as a “needless bureaucratic bottleneck”.

He said: “The resits will put huge pressure on the DVSA when they reopen theory test centres as there will be a huge backlog of existing learners, as well as new learners who turned 17 and are looking to avoid public transport.

“The government’s failure to extend the theory test pass certificates is a needless bureaucratic bottleneck that could hinder the nation’s COVID bounce back, particularly if learners cannot obtain licenses for work purposes.

“Extending the theory test pass certificates would not pose a threat to road safety as the retained theory knowledge of “COVIDtest passers” will still surpass that of the average UK driver.”

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