Since 1996, new learner drivers and riders have had to pass this test before booking a practical driving test. The test covers all aspects of driving theory such as attitude, safety, handling, rules of the road, traffic and road signs etc.
The test is delivered using a touch screen computer for the multiple choice part and clicking on a mouse for the hazard perception part of the test.
The theory test is delivered at 158 locations throughout the UK. Arrangements are available to support candidates with a variety of special needs. Tests can now be delivered in 20 languages as well as English.
There are separate tests for all types of vehicle – cars, motorcycles, large goods vehicles and passenger carrying vehicles. During practical tests, learner drivers must demonstrate to the examiner that they can drive safely, complete certain manoeuvres and demonstrate an understanding of the Highway Code.
All the practical driving or motorcycle tests are designed to be reflective of modern driving and riding conditions. This ensures that the candidate is given every opportunity to demonstrate their skill and knowledge.
DSA examiners carry out tests at over 400 centres. Senior Examiner staff regularly accompany driving examiners on tests to ensure uniformity and a quality customer service.
Compulsory basic training (CBT)
CBT was introduced by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA in 1990 to improve road safety. All learner moped and motorcyclists must complete a CBT course before riding on public roads.
Statistics show significant reductions in road accidents involving motorcyclists following the introduction of CBT.
DSA authorises Approved Training Bodies and their certified instructors to conduct courses for CBT and Direct Access (for riders of larger motorcycles). DSA sets the syllabus and monitors the courses to ensure they are provided to the required standard.