Have you checked the expiration date on your theory test certificate? According to parliamentary under-secretary for the Department for Transport, Rachel Maclean, 118,000 theory test certificates expired in the six months to September. If you’re theory test certificate is expiring soon, you need to act now!
According to Maclean, learner drivers face forking out a combined £2.7 million to re-sit a theory test because they failed to take and pass their practical exam prior to their theory test certificate expiring.
Amid the coronavirus, theory tests and practical exams were suspended for a time and the UK government refused to extend theory test certificate validation. This left many facing a race against time to secure and pass a practical driving test ahead of their theory test certificate expiring.
Thousands of Theory Test Certificates Expiring Every Month
In England, Scotland and Wales, theory test certificates are valid for two years. However, according to Maclean, an average of 14,000 learner drivers each month allow their theory test certificate to expire.
With every theory test costing £23 a time, if the 118,000 whose theory test certificates were set to expire by September let them run past their validity date, this means that those learner drivers face a combined £2.7 million bill to retake their theory exam. According to the data, £782,000 of this total figure is due to coronavirus lockdown measures.
The problem of a theory test certificate expiring has been exacerbated by the coronavirus and the government’s refusal to extend the validity of theory test certificates. Additionally, since theory and practical driving tests have resumed, there has been a huge backlog, with many unable to secure a driving test in time.
When the DVSA reopened its online theory test and practical exam booking system, it crashed due to a surge in demand. As a result, the site was taken down for maintenance, adding to delays.
Delays a Huge Problem
Driving instructor Stephen Crawford said: “Due to the cancellation of/delays to hundreds of thousands of tests earlier this year, there are now waiting times several months long for learner drivers across the country.”
“The decision not to extend expiry dates on theory tests will only add to these huge queues. Learners will now need to re-take theory tests that they passed before lockdown, alongside other learners currently waiting to take this test,” Crawford added.
The managing director of AA’s driving school, Sarah Rees, said: “Learners across the UK have adapted to staggered driving test and lesson restart dates, as well as local lockdowns.
“It has been a challenging time for learners and we hope that the government will relax the two-year theory test rule to give a helping hand to learners who will be at the back of the queue due to coronavirus.”
Theory Test Certificate Validity Will Not be Extended
However, a spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Transport said that theory test certificates will not be extended. “Theory test certificates will not be extended to ensure that the knowledge and hazard perception skills of new drivers is fully up-to-date at the critical point they begin to drive on their own,” the spokesperson said.
Check Your Theory Test Certificate, Book Your Practical Exam
To take your practical driving test, you must have a valid theory test certificate. Prior to your theory test certificate expiring, you will need to book and pass your practical exam. If your certificate is on the verge of expiring, book your practical test with us immediately!