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What Do I Need for My Driving Test?

January 25, 2024

9 min read

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Sam Plant

Content Writer

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A person writing a checklist of what to take to their driving test

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!

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, carefully make your way through our checklist below. It will take you through everything you need to bring to your practical, so all you’ve got to concentrate on on your big day is the test itself. Get the full lowdown below!

So, your driving lessons are out of the way and your test is booked in. 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

D1 provisional licence application form

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

Person taking a theory test on a PC

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.

A car

A row of cars

Yes, yes. Duh! 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! When you book a course and test with PassMeFast, you’ll be using your instructor’s car for the test (unless you’re opting to use your own car). However, other driving schools or instructors may have different policies, so it’s best to check in advance.

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. You can get more information on this in our guide to taking the practical test in your own car. 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

Pair of glasses looking at eyesight optician test

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. We’ve already helped thousands of learners to pass, so trust us—we know what works!

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. (Psst…  struggling to keep the nerves at bay? Read up on our guides to avoiding test day nerves and how to relax before your test.


Can I get my test fee back if my test is cancelled?

Unless your test is cancelled due to a problem on the DVSA’s end (such as bad weather or examiner shortages), it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make a claim. If, for example, you forgot to bring your provisional, then the cancellation is your fault—not the DVSA’s.

How do I get my theory test pass certificate?

You will receive this at the test centre upon passing your theory test. If, however, you’ve lost your theory test pass certificate, you will have to get in touch with the DVSA. Simply call or email them, providing them with your name, address, date of birth and driving licence number. Then, they’ll send you a letter with your theory test pass number on it.

How much will it cost to get a replacement provisional licence?

It will cost you £20 to get your hands on a new provisional licence. You can apply for this online, by phone or by post. If your test date isn’t far away, you’ll want to opt for the online process, as it will get your replacement licence to you the fastest.

I don’t think my provisional will arrive in time for my driving test. What should I do?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to reschedule your driving test. While it’s tempting to hope you can cut it fine, you’re risking losing your test fee. Remember, if you don’t give the DVSA at least three clear working days’ notice before you cancel your test, you can’t get a refund!

I’m using my own car for my driving test. Why do I need to sort out insurance for after the test?

As a learner driver, you’ll be using learner driver insurance to cover you when you’re practising driving with your instructor, friends and/or family. Once you pass your test, however, you’re now considered a qualified driver, meaning you’re no longer covered. Many insurance providers offer learners the option to automatically move up to a young driver insurance package, for example, once they’ve passed—so it’s certainly worth looking into.

Can I bring someone with me on my driving test?

Yep! Many learner drivers opt to take their driving instructor on their test for moral support—and also to help their instructors get a better idea of what routes entail for future learners. However, you can bring a relative or friend instead, as long as they’re over 16 and follow the rules for observing tests.

How many times can I change my driving test appointment?

You’re allowed to change your driving test date up to 6 times. If you need to change it again after this limit, you will have to cancel your test and rebook it. You’ll get a full refund as long as you give at least 3 working days’ notice. You’ll then have to pay for the test again once you book.

How do I get a fast-track practical test?

If you’ve had your test cancelled, or have been dealing with long waiting times, you might want to consider a fast-track practical test instead. PassMeFast can help you beat the long waiting times and get your hands on a test date that suits you.

What happens during a driving test?

As it so happens, we’ve prepared an article covering everything you need to know! Get the full details in our guide to what happens in the driving test.

What happens if I fail my driving test?

If you’re not successful in your driving test, there’s only one thing to do: try again. Failing the practical doesn’t have to mark the end of your driving journey. Instead, you should take a refresher course and work on the areas you accumulated the most faults in. As long as you address your weaker areas, you should fly through your next test!

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