Eyesight Test Before you can start the driving test you must demonstrate that your eyesight is good enough to be able to drive safely. You do this by reading a clean number plate of the old style from a minimum distance of 20.5 metres (approximately 67 feet or 5 car lengths). If reading a new style number plate (these letters are narrower) you must be able to read it from a minimum distance of 20 metres (approximately 66 feet).
If you have difficulty with spoken English you are permitted to write down what you see. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to achieve this, you will be required to wear them throughout the test and whenever you drive normally. If you cannot read the number plate the examiner will ask you to read a second number plate and if necessary take you a little closer to just over the required distance.
If you still have a problem the examiner will then measure the exact distance and check your ability to read a third number plate. If you cannot read this third plate correctly you will fail your driving test and the test will go no further.
The Driving Test
The Practical Driving Test lasts approximately 35 minutes and is conducted from your local driving test centre by a DSA examiner. When you go to take your Practical or Theory Test, you will need to bring your driving licence or some other acceptable proof of identity that bears your name, photograph and signature.
You will be required to sign your test form, after which you will walk outside with the driving examiner and be given an eye sight test (by reading a number plate). You will then walk to the car where you will be asked two of the 'TELL ME SHOW ME' questions. If you are not using your driving instructor's car for the test, you will then need to bring a valid insurance certificate for the car you will be using.
The driving examiner will assess your ability to drive competently and safely, and will test you on most of the topics you should have covered in your driving lessons.
You will be required to drive along one of the test routes which are designed to be as uniform as possible and to include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. In the independent driving section of your test, you will drive for about 10 minutes without step-by-step direction from your examiner.
During the independent driving section of the test, the examiner will ask you to drive by either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both.
To help you understand where you’re going, the examiner may show you a diagram. It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers. Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.
Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.
You will fail the test if you commit a serious or a dangerous fault during the test drive. You can also fail if you commit more than 15 driving faults altogether.