DVSA services: Update on industrial action

DVSA services: Update on industrial action

A message from DVSA:

Dear stakeholder,  

The PCS trade union has asked all DVSA colleagues who are members of the PCS union to take part in a national civil service-wide day of strike action on Wednesday 1 February.

This is likely to include driving examiners, traffic examiners and administrative colleagues including our contact centre colleagues. Other technical staff including vehicle examiners may also strike, but we expect this to be in limited numbers.

Not all of our colleagues are PCS members, and even if they are, they might choose not to go on strike.

Communicating with our customers 

We will not know the full impact of the action on DVSA services until the strike day. We have learnt from the recent industrial action and will cancel some appointments in advance to minimise disruption to customers on the day. So, we are advising candidates they should turn up for their appointments as usual, unless they receive direct contact that their test has been rescheduled as a result of the industrial action. Tests will be automatically rescheduled as soon as possible on behalf of the candidate. Trainer bookers will need to rebook their tests through the normal process.

What action customers should take 

We are advising customers to visit our dedicated GOV.UK page to find out how DVSA services may be affected and what to do if their test is on a strike date.

The table below summarises the guidance we are providing to those who have appointments booked for DVSA services.

DVSA serviceCustomer action If an appointment is cancelled because of the strike
Driving Tests 
Including car, motorcycle, lorry, bus, coach, minibus, tractor and specialist vehicles
Candidates should go to their test appointment as planned if it’s on a day of strike action, unless they are contacted by DVSA to tell them not to go.  
Candidates who want to change their driving test to another date can do so. They must give at least 3 clear working days’ notice to change their test date or they will have to pay again. 
Where tests are booked for pupils, we are asking for this message to be passed on to them.
DVSA will automatically rebook the candidate’s test for the first available date at the same test centre. They will be sent the new details within 5 to 10 working days. They do not need to contact DVSA.  
If a trainer booked the candidate’s car, motorcycle or vocational driving test via the Online Booking Service (OBS), DVSA will cancel the booking and refund the trainer instead. The trainer will need to book a new appointment.
Instructor Tests 
Including Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) part 2, ADI part 3 and ADI standards checks and the equivalent Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) instructor tests and standards checks 
Candidates should go to their test appointment as planned if it’s on a day of strike action. 
DVSA will contact candidates directly by phone to rearrange their test 
DVSA will contact candidates directly to rearrange their test. 
Private Tests 
Including vocational module 3a and module 4 and CBT tests 
Tests with private providers will not be affected by the strike action if the candidate is taking it with a private test provider. Not applicable
Theory Tests Theory tests will not be affected by the strike action.Not applicable

Where car, motorcycle, vocational or instructor test candidates turn up for their test and it does not go ahead as a result of the strike, they will be able to claim out-of-pocket expenses. If candidates are given 3 or more days’ notice of a test cancellation, they will not be able to claim out-of-pocket expenses.

If we have not rescheduled a candidate’s test and the candidate does not go for their driving test they will lose their fee, have to rebook their driving test themselves and will not be able to claim out-of-pocket expenses.

Please be assured, we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of any industrial action on our customers.  

Please use our dedicated GOV.UK page on how DVSA services are affected to stay up to date.

If you haven’t received or would like to see the emails sent out about this from the DVSA, you can do so here and here.


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