In order to become a fully qualified driver, there are a few major steps you need to cross off your list. For starters, you’ve got to ace your theory test before you can even book your practical. Then, you’ve got to make it through your driving course—building up the fundamentals, all the way to the more advanced skills. At the end of your journey, finally, is the driving test. While you may not realise it, it’s vital to make sure you show up with the right things. If you don’t, you run the risk of your test being cancelled!
Before your big day arrives, you’ll first want to triple-check that you’ve got the right date, time and location. Trust us, plenty of unlucky learners have unknowingly mixed up details and ended up showing up on the wrong day, at the wrong time or even at the wrong test centre!
Once you’ve got that out of the way, all that’s left for you to do is go through our checklist below to make sure you’ve got everything you need to take to your test.,
Your provisional driving licence
Though it might seem obvious, it’s worth remembering that you must bring your provisional licence with you to actually take your driving test. The driving examiner will ask to see it when they first meet you in the waiting area of the test centre. As such, you’ll want to check that you’ve got it in your pocket, purse or wallet before you leave your house.
We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to bring your provisional licence with you. So, if you’re the scatterbrained type, do whatever it takes to make sure you don’t forget it. Set a reminder on your phone, get your instructor to text you before leaving the house, leave yourself a series of post-its—just make sure you remember!
What will happen if I forget it?
Put simply, you won’t be able to take your driving test. Yep, pretty unfortunate, right? Driving tests aren’t cheap, and with long waiting times it can be a struggle to find the perfect test date. With that in mind, you don’t really want to let yours go to waste just because you’ve got the memory of a goldfish. You might fancy yourself a bit of a smooth talker, but regardless of how charming you are, the examiner will not let you take your test if you don’t show up with your provisional.
Lost your provisional licence? If you’re absolutely certain that you’ve not just misplaced it, you’ll need to apply for a brand new one. It could take up to 15 days to arrive, so if this clashes with your test date, you’re best off just rescheduling your test. Make sure you give the DVSA 3 clear working days’ notice, otherwise you won’t get a refund.
Your theory test pass certificate
When you finally pass the theory test, you’ll receive a pass certificate. You’ll have used the number on this certificate to book your driving test. In fact, it’s actually impossible to book a driving test without a valid theory test pass.
However, things get a little less clear when it comes to bringing the certificate itself to your test. The official advice from the DVSA is that it is an absolute necessity. Anecdotal evidence, though, suggests that learners are very rarely asked to present their theory test pass certificate in the practical test.
That being said, whilst you might not ever be asked for it, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If the DVSA has an issue with its database, or if an examiner needs to check your status with a theory test pass number, it could be useful to have it to hand.
What will happen if I decide not to bring it?
The odds are that the examiner won’t ask to see it. In the vast majority of cases, then, you’ll be able to get on with your test without any hassle. However, in the unlikely event that you do need to show it, and don’t have it on you, your test could be cancelled. After all, the DVSA do list this as a requirement! Worse still, you probably wouldn’t be able to make a test cancellation claim.
If you don’t fancy carrying around your theory test pass certificate, you could always make a note of your pass number. That way, if the examiner needs it, you can just give them the number.
Of course you need a car for your driving test! That being said, mix-ups do occur. Some learners book lessons with ADIs, only to find out at the last second that it doesn’t include using the instructor’s car for the test. When this happens, they have no choice but to cancel their driving test—knowing that they won’t get a refund!
If that wasn’t enough to confuse learners, some have even taken to believing the driving test myth that says test centres supply their own cars for learners to use in the driving test. Needless to say, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re taking a driving test, you will need to sort out the car yourself.
If you’re using your own car, you’ll want to check that it meets the DVSA’s strict requirements. It’s also your responsibility to make sure your car is insured for the test and after (if you do end up passing). Once you’re a qualified driver, learner driver insurance will no longer cover you. As such, you might want to consider picking an insurance provider that will allow you to switch to a young driver insurance package once you’ve passed.
What will happen if I show up without a car?
Whether you had a mix-up with your instructor or your car’s no longer up to snuff for your big day, the answer’s the same. If you don’t have a car, you won’t have a cat in hell’s chance of taking your test. Even if you don’t think the situation is your fault, you won’t be able to make a successful claim for a test cancellation.
Your glasses or contact lenses
Obviously, this part only applies if you actually need to wear glasses or contact lenses when you’re driving. However, it’s something that you must take seriously. In case you weren’t aware, all learners taking the driving test have to pass an eyesight test before getting in the car and leaving the test centre. For safety reasons, driving examiners can’t let you out on the road if you can’t see properly. After all, if you struggle to spot hazards, road signs or other road users, an accident is bound to happen.
In order to conduct the eyesight test, the examiner will take you outside of the test centre’s car park. There, you’ll be asked to read a number plate from 20 or 20.5 metres away. If you don’t get it right the first time, you’ll be given another attempt. If you fail it again, your test will be cancelled.
What happens if I forget my glasses or contact lenses?
Let’s face it: if you need glasses or contact lenses to drive, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to pass the eyesight test without them. However, the consequences of this could be more severe than you think. Not only will the test be cancelled if you fail the eyesight test, but your licence will be revoked.
It’s also worth noting that, if you wear glasses for the eyesight test, you won’t be able to take them off until the driving test is over. In fact, the examiner can stop your test if you do.
A positive attitude!
As cliché as it might sound, a positive mindset can make all the difference between a pass and a fail.
Remember: your instructor wouldn’t let you take your test if they didn’t think that you had the right skills needed to pass. So, go in there with a can-do attitude, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. Even learners who are convinced they’ve failed halfway through their test have passed through perseverance and keeping a cool head. As the saying goes, keep calm and carry on.