DSA Tests

Transport written statement – made on 10th October 2013.

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Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I have today announced that, from April 2014, foreign language support for candidates taking driving tests will no longer be available. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) undertook a consultation on this issue between February and April 2013.

Candidates have previously been able to take the theory test in 19 languages, in addition to English and Welsh, and can attend for theory and practical tests with an interpreter. We are making this change to:

Improve road safety—in response to concern about the ability of non-English or Welsh speakers to understand road signs and other advice to drivers.

Enhance social cohesion—to help individuals’ integration in society by learning the national language.

Reduce fraud—to address the issue of an interpreter attending for test with a learner driver and giving information in addition to a translation of the theory test questions or the instructions given by the examiner.

Reduce costs—there will be modest savings to DSA from not paying a fee to the theory test service provider for the annual update of voiceovers.

DSA has issued a response to consultation report, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/driving-test-language-support.