Special Needs and the Theory Test - Driving Mobility

Special Needs and the Theory Test

When you book your Theory Test you should say if you’ve got special needs. In many cases, special arrangements can be made to help you during the test.

If you have learning difficulties, problems with reading or writing, or have required additional help with schoolwork or taking examinations at school or college, then you may be able to get help with the Multiple Choice Theory Test; this may be:

  • Extra time to take the test.
  • Spoken test – via the computer, (English speaking voice over using a head set is available for any test candidate – no proof of special needs is required).
  • One to one reader/recorder – where a person, provided by Pearson Vue (the company that administers the theory test), will read the questions on the computer screen word for word and then record the answer given by the candidate (they are not permitted to explain the meaning of the English language).

No special allowance is made when taking the Hazard Perception Test.

To apply for Special Needs Theory Test – if extra time is needed or if a one to one reader/recorder is needed – the easiest way is to email your details to “DVSA/Pearson Vue Customer Care Team” (name, address, contact phone no, and driver number – from licence) and request a Special Needs Test. Attach proof of the Special Needs – a letter from School / College (stating what Special Needs provision was made when taking tests/exams) or from GP (detailing the medical condition and Special Needs requirements) on headed paper should be sufficient; agreement has also been reached with the British Dyslexia Association to accept the report from the on-line screening test “Spot Your Potential” as proof of Special Needs – this would be more suitable for those out of education for a longer time or those who have not had the condition formally diagnosed. DVSA/Pearson Vue will consider the application and will then confirm back in writing that they have agreed to the request, this letter will give a reference number that must be quoted when booking the test. The best way to book the test is to contact the Customer Care Team by phone, quoting the reference and requesting extra time and/or a reader/recorder, whichever is needed.

It is advised that the Special Needs request is made as soon as tuition commences. Once they reply with the reference the test can be booked, quoting the reference, whenever you are ready, there is no time limit.

If a reader/recorder is needed the test will take place in a side room so that there is no interference or distraction from other people taking the test and so they are not distracted. If no side room is available then the test centre could be closed off for the duration of the test, in this case the waiting time may be longer. Side rooms are available at most test centres; please contact the Customer Care Team to confirm.

If any specific requirements are needed due to physical disability (e.g. wheelchair access to the building or height adjustable desk, if a bespoke design of computer mouse is needed or if the computer needs to be configured for mouse operation rather than touch screen) these should be arranged when booking the test.

DVSA/Pearson Vue Customer Care Team:

Tel: 0300 200 1188    Fax: 0300 200 1177    email: customercare@pearson.com

British Dyslexia Association:

Tel: 0845 251 9003    Fax: 0845 251 9005    web: www.bdadyslexia.org.uk