Extend driving theory test certificates expiring in 2020/21 by 12 months

The theory test certificate is currently valid for 2 years. The government should extend this period by 12 months for all certificates due to expire in 2020 and 2021

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Opened: 10 Nov 2020, 5:26 p.m.
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Recent Speeches related to Extend driving theory test certificates expiring in 2020/21 by 12 months

1. Covid-19: Extension of Driving Theory Test Certificates
28/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: that in mind when she responds on behalf of the Government.The covid-19 pandemic has had untold impacts - Speech Link

2. Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020
13/05/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.Relevant document: 11th Report from the Secondary - Speech Link
2: requirement for light vehicles to hold a valid MoT test certificate, but I have a number of points and questions - Speech Link

3. Railways (Safety, Access, Management and Interoperability) (Miscellaneous Amendments and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
30/10/2019 - Grand Committee

1: Brexit-related instruments raised by the JCSI.The Government committed in previous debates on rail Brexit - Speech Link

4. Rail Safety (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
13/05/2019 - Lords Chamber

1: requirement to obtain the appropriate safety certificates or authorisations before operating vehicles - Speech Link

5. Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill (Sixth sitting)
16/06/2020 - Public Bill Committees

1: Minister of the Crown must, not later than six months after the report has been laid before Parliament - Speech Link
2: Minister of the Crown must, not later than six months after the report has been laid before Parliament - Speech Link
3: deadline shall be extended by a period of six months unless a motion not to extend the deadline is debated and - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Extend driving theory test certificates expiring in 2020/21 by 12 months
Latest Questions


Due to the Covid 19 lockdowns, 4 months of driving tests have been cancelled through no fault of learner drivers. Many learners’ theory certificates will expire due to the difficulties in booking driving tests this year and inevitably the next year. As a result, the government should extend the theory test certificate’s validity so these learners are punished no further. If this is not possible, any subsequent theory tests required due to Covid 19 lockdowns should be costed to the government.


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Government Response

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and practical test is in place for road safety reasons and the Government has no current plans to lay legislation to extend it.


The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place to ensure that a candidate’s knowledge is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

We realise this will affect and disappoint some learners, especially young people, but it is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that new drivers drive unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring will have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their lessons and practice sessions will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns and it is likely that their knowledge base will have diminished. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the training of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is rescheduling affected practical driving tests by moving them to the next available test dates and is informing candidates as it does so. The Agency is also working hard to increase test availability when it is safe to resume services.

The fee for a practical test booking will be refunded to a candidate as soon as their theory test certificate expires. The Road Traffic Act 1988 does not allow for theory test fees to be refunded and learners will already have received the service for which they paid. The Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to exempt those affected from having to pay a fee for retaking the theory test.

Department for Transport