Extended Driving Tests and Disqualification
The extended driving test has been designed by the DVSA for for those who have been disqualified from driving and wish to rejoin the motoring world. The test is at least twice as long as a regular test (40 minutes), but could be up to 90 minutes in length! Being banned (disqualified) from driving could have been for any of number of driving related infractions, however, it would be definitely for picking up 12 or more points in any 3 year period or being convicted of a driving related offence. You'll receive a summons in the post regarding a court date and the judicial system should spell out the length of the ban and when you're eligible to retest again.
The length of a ban will ultimately depend on how serious the court believes the offence is. This can differ from one court/judge to another, so there's no one answer to fit the question.
If you've managed to rack up 12 or more points in a a three year window, the softest punishment would be a 6 month ban.
if you get a second disqualification within 3 years it would be a year ban.
And if you managed to get a third ban within 3 years it would be a two year ban.
If at any stage you get disqualified for 56 days or more, you;ll be asked to apply for a new licence and possibly have to resit the driving test, but it would be an extended one.
How to get a new Licence?
The DVSA should contact you 56 days before your ban comes to an end, informing you of the steps you'll need to take to reapply for your licence. If they fail to do so, you're able to apply for it online on the governments website here. It's the D1 form for cars and motorbikes and the D2 for lorries and bus licences.
Once you have your new provisional licence you'll be able to go ahead and book your theory test. Do not underestimate it, especially if you never had to take one back in the day. It's broken down into two sections. Multiple choice questions and Hazard perception.
Multiple choice questions
You'll have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions. One or more of the questions will be a case study where a story will be laid out and you'll answer 5 questions on the text. You'll be able to go through all the questions at the end and given the chance to change your answer. I highly recommend doing this once finished.
A 3 minute break is allowed before the hazard perception section begins.
MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE DOING. There is a video showing what this section entails. Watch it. You should already know what you're being asked to do here.
This section isn't a simple "click when you see a hazard". You should only click the mouse when you feel as a driver you would either change speed or direction. Essentially when you should check your mirrors. It's known as a developing hazard and you'll have 14 clips to watch. One will feature 2 developing hazards. Points are allocated for your reaction time, which essentially is what their measuring. 5 points are on offer for each clip.
You'll need to score over 43 (out of 50) for the questions and get over 44 (out of a possible 75) for the hazard perception.
You'll get a pass certificate if you're successful, which you'll need to book the practical test. Your certificate will only last for 2 years, so make sure you don't dilly dally too much.
Once the theory is out of the way you'll be allowed to look at and book a practical test. It's recommended to take at least a few driving lessons with a qualified driving instructor to help you get to test standard. The test could have changed a great deal since the last time you took it and the standard now required to pass will be far higher than it was the first time round. When you can do all of this - National Standard for driving, without any assistance you'll be ready for the exam.
On test day you'll need your actual drivers licence. They ask you to bring your theory test certificate (although I've not seen them ask a candidate in the last 8 years or so for one at any test centre). You'll need a fully insured car that's road legal. Check the tyres before test day because the examiners will and if the tread depth is too low (1.6mm) you'll be going nowhere.
You'll need to display L plates on the front and back and provide the examiner with an additional rear view mirror. Without these, again the test will not go ahead.
The extended driving test
We've already mentioned it's significantly longer, but what else happens in your extended driving test? A regular test will have 1 manoeuvre, yours could contain all 4. These now include: forwards and reverse bay parking, pulling up on the opposite side of the road, reversing and rejoining traffic and the parallel park.
There will be lots of faster, A-road type driving conditions which could include dual carriageways with higher speed limits. The emergency stop will be included too.
Below is a video showing an extended driving test route in Bristol (Avonmouth). This student of mine passed with just 2 minors after taking around 4 hours of tuition. Speed is usually the biggest issue for experienced drivers to kerb. Approaching junctions and being under the limit can feel just too slow for many with years of experience.
I'd recommend taking the test at the quietest time of day. The tests at 10:24 and 11:21, in my opinion, are the best as rush hour is well and truly over. The lunch time errands haven't quite yet begun meaning an easier run on those roads and around the test route.
If you need any further assistance, please call call us at A-Class Driving School and we'll be happy to assist you.