The Driving Test For Those With Disabilities

The theory part of the driving test has been in place for numerous years and has become an integral and accepted part of the driving course and every prospective candidate wishing to have a driving license must undertake this section prior to taking the practical exam.

In both sections of the driving exam the candidate must display the correct aptitude conducive to being able to drive on public roads in a manner and to a standard acceptable to the instructor. At the same time, the candidate must show proficiency on the Highway Code as failure to do so either on the test or at a later stage in their driving career may have serious consequences and ramifications.

The theory test is based upon a number of set questions as well as reactions to certain driving scenarios which even though presented in a school room environment; these situations are based on real life true scenarios which may present themselves at some stage or another in a drivers’ career. In order to pass this first part and be allowed to progress to the next stage which is the practical exam, the candidate must show that they are fully equipped with the theoretical knowledge. Within the theory part of the test there are also provisions for those who may have a disability. Driving test centres are usually well equipped with wheelchair access and can cater for those with disabilities; however, should this not be the case, candidates can request to take their test in a different centre or even at home. The video section of the test is also available in British sign language for candidates with a hearing impairment and test centres can also be adapted for those who suffer from light-sensitive epilepsy. The multiple question section of the test which has a set time in which candidates must answer the questions, may be extended if needed, however, candidates must provide proof and evidence of their needs in order for this to be authorised.

The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) must be informed of any special requirements at the time of booking your theory test and could include any of the following:

  • Wheelchair access
  • Deaf or hearing difficulties
  • Dyslexia or suffer from reading difficulties
  • Do not read or understand English

Likewise, when taking the practical test, the DSA must be informed in advanced of the following:

  • Deafness or hearing difficulties
  • Restricted movement
  • Have any physical disability

Disabled drivers may be allowed additional time for their test, this time may include explaining to the examiner the nature and function of any adaptations required as well as taking into account any extra time in getting in and out of the vehicle.

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