Foreign language tests to end.

testing with interpreters is set to end. A good thing?


News story

End to foreign language driving tests

Driving test candidates will no longer be able to use foreign language voiceovers and interpreters on their test from 7 April 2014.

The move, announced today (10 October 2013) by Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill, follows a public consultation.

Currently people can:

This will stop from 7 April 2014.

“Right skills to use our roads”

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said:

We want to make sure that all drivers have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. One area where we can help ensure this is by requiring all test candidates to take the test in English or Welsh, the national languages.

This will help to ensure that all new drivers will be able to understand traffic updates or emergency information when they pass their test. It will also help us to reduce the risk of fraud by stopping interpreters from indicating the correct answers to theory test questions.

Review of foreign language support

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) consulted earlier this year on a series of proposals reviewing the level of foreign language support available to candidates.

This was in response to concerns about:

  • potential road safety implications
  • the risk of fraud
  • the cost of providing translations

Almost 2,000 people had their say on the proposals.

Support for the withdrawal of foreign languages

More than 70% of the people who responded supported the withdrawal of foreign language voiceovers and interpreters on tests.

Many people agreed that a lack of understanding of the national language meant that some drivers may not be able to:

  • understand traffic signs
  • speak with traffic enforcement officers
  • read details of the rules of the road

There was also support for encouraging candidates to learn the national language to improve social cohesion.

Candidates with special needs

Candidates with dyslexia or other reading difficulties will still be able to take their theory test with an English or Welsh language voiceover.

Candidates who are deaf or have hearing difficulties will still be able to:

  • take their theory test in British sign language (BSL)
  • take a BSL interpreter with them on their practical test

More information about the tests

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Short notice tests

And about time too! For too long the rules have been unfair regarding illness and loss. Thank goodness common sense eventually prevails

DSA logo

Short notice test cancellation: changes to arrangements

From 1 April, DVSA will introduce a more flexible approach to the way it handles tests cancelled by candidates at short notice.
At the moment, candidates automatically lose their fee if they cancel or change their test without giving DVSA 3 clear working days’ notice.

From 1 April, candidates will be able to ask for a rebooking at short notice with no charge if they can’t take their test because of:

  • a medically certified illness
  • a bereavement
  • school exams

DVSA will also continue to offer a refund or new test date to serving members of the armed forces who are called for duty.

This email was sent by the Driving Standards Agency, PO Box 280, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE99 Powered by GovDelivery

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Pass plus scheme


Wouldn’t it be great if there was a driving course that could help new drivers perfect their newly learned skills? A course in which drivers could learn to drive more safely and as a result possibly lower their insurance premiums and, more importantly, reduce the number of accidents on the roads.

That, in a nutshell, is exactly what Pass Plus is all about. It’s a practical training course that takes a minimum of 6 hours to complete.

Who can take the course?

The course is aimed at newly qualified drivers, but can actually be taken at any time. Those that would benefit from the course include

  • New drivers that have just passed their test and would like a little more training with regards to safety on the roads
  • Experienced drivers that have been off the road for a while and would like to improve or refresh their skills before getting back behind the wheel
  • Drivers that feel nervous when driving unaccompanied or driving in unfamiliar situations
  • Inexperienced drivers that don’t have a qualified driver to accompany them on their first trip on the motorway, rural roads, etc.

What will I learn from it?

The course runs for 6 modules, all of which must be completed in order for you to get your certification of completion. The 6 parts of the course cover various driving situations that are usually some of the most nerve-racking for a new or nervous driver.

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Module 1 – Driving in town – Bicycles, pedestrians, and delivery trucks are just some of the distractions that can turn a simple run to the shops into a nightmare. Your instructor will teach you how to be aware of your surroundings and how to cope with the strain of in town driving.


17388696_130704_0345_13 (Custom)Module 2 – All weather driving – The weather has a huge bearing on driving safety. Rain, sleet, snow, fog, ice, and even bright sunlight can seriously affect your driving. You will learn how to deal with such conditions and also how to correct skids – a vital skill for road safety.


548_0 (Custom)Module 3 – Rural road driving – Yes, the countryside is beautiful and tranquil but it’s also home to a few little surprises for an inexperienced driver. Narrow roads, blind bends, and animals are all hazards that we must be aware of, and on your course you will learn to deal with each.


nighttimeroad_464x0 (Custom)Module 4 – Nighttime driving – Everything changes when the sun goes down, your depth perception and your peripheral vision are worse in low-light, so it makes sense to get some training from an expert in such conditions.


580px-UK_traffic_sign_608.svg (Custom)Module 5 – Dual Carriageways – Driving on a dual carriageway is quite a challenge for a new driver. It is a big step up from town driving and you will need to learn how to judge speeds and safe driving distances.


561px-UK_motorway_symbol.svg (Custom)Module 6 – Motorways – Driving on a motorway may seem quite similar but you would be surprised at the number of new drivers that “freeze up” once they see the letter M. Speeds are similar but with less slow moving traffic such as farm machinery, motorway traffic tends to move at a faster pace. You will the correct use of lanes, how to overtake safely, and how to navigate exits safely.


Should I take the course?

A course that improves driving skills and promotes safe driving is something that everyone, no matter how young or old should definitely consider. Knowing how to correct a skid, slow down safely in extreme conditions, or how to negotiate blind bends are all skills that could avoid accidents and most importantly of all save lives.

For further details on the Pass Plus course visit the DSA website

If you’re interested in taking the course you’ll need a Pass Plus registered approved driving instructor (ADI) to teach you. Bal driving tuition is Pass Plus registered and provide an excellent course at competitive rates.

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