The DVSA have revealed when learner drivers will be able top book a driving test after the service ran out of appointments within hours on Monday September 7.

The service has been plagued by problems since the DVSA opened it up to the general public again in late August.

After crashing under the weight of enquiries, it was taken offline for maintenance. Since being reinstated, it has been inundated by hundreds of thousands of users trying to secure a date for their practical driving test.

After running out of appointments twice last week the DVSA released a further 30,000 driving test spaces on Monday, September 7, all of which were snapped up by early afternoon.

Learner drivers are now being told they will have to wait another week before they can try to make an appointment.

How can I book a driving test?

To book a practical driving test go to the DVSA online system.

You will need your driving licence number, a credit or debit card to pay the £62 fee, and your driving instructor’s personal reference number if you want to check they’re available. You also must have a valid theory test pass certificate, which will be checked automatically.

However, currently the system is offline as all available appointments have been booked.

After tens of thousands of test appointments were snapped up in a few hours last week, the DVSA made another 30,000 available on Monday, September 7. However, by midday there were more than 150,000 people queuing for the final 4,000 slots and by 2pm the system was shut down again.

When it restarts, learners should expect similarly long waits to secure a slot, although additional spaces should be available.

When can I book a driving test again?

At the moment, the DVSA has only been releasing appointments up to six weeks in advance.

However, from next week it is releasing 375,000 more test slots that will cover the period from October to the end of January 2021.

The next set of appointments will be made available via the online system from 8am on Monday, September 14.

Appointments will be available for learners in England, Scotland and Wales, with Scottish test centres due to reopen on September 14, more three weeks after those in Wales and two months after England’s.

How to check availability at your local test centre

To help learners find an appointment when the system goes live again, the DVSA has launched a tracking service. Here you can check availability at your local test centre as well as any others nearby. The service will be updated every 30 minutes as appointments are claimed.

What to do if your theory test is about to expire

One of the knock-on effects of lockdown has been for drivers whose theory test pass certificate is due to expire or has already expired.

Theory test passes remain valid for two years but, unfortunately, if yours has expired or is due to expire before you can book a practical test, you will have to resit it.

The DVSA has said that learners will not be granted any extension on their theory test and without a valid theory test certificate you will not be able to book your practical test.

The booking system for the theory test remains open and new appointments cost £23.