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Studying & taking the theory test if you are deaf

Although many people will be able to use mainstream study aids for the theory test additional help is available with DVD’s available in BSL, special needs provision is also available when taking both the theory test and practical driving test,

You can take the Theory Test using on-line British Sign Language (BSL) if you’re deaf or have hearing difficulties, the BSL interpretation will run alongside the standard test questions and answers; be aware that there have been reported problems understanding the BSL interpretation and you can’t ask what it means.

If you don’t use BSL or are worried about understanding the on-line interpretation you can have an interpreter go with you into the test centre; this needs to be arranged through the theory test customer services section. You won’t be charged an extra fee for this service.

DVSA/Pearson Vue Customer Care Team:

Tel: 0300 200 1188    Fax: 0300 200 1177    email:

Many people will be able to use the mainstream study aids for the theory test but those who use BSL may find the following useful:

  • Safe driving for life

DVSA have produced a series of videos to help users of British Sign Language to learn The Official Highway Code for their safety and the safety of others.

Driving Theory Test Extra in BSL (19.99)

This DVD has been produced in a twin pack and will assist all Deaf driving students to pass the Theory Test with confidence.

Taking the practical test

If you are deaf or have hearing difficulties your examiner will communicate with you by whatever means is best for you. At the start of the test they will explain what will happen with the aid of notes, they will also look at you to help you lip read if you find this useful. On the move they will usually give directions as hand signals, these will be explained before you start the drive.

You may take an interpreter with you if you use sign language; the interpreter must be over the age of 16 and you could use your driving instructor as an interpreter. You must arrange for the interpreter and pay any fees yourself.

When booking the practical driving test you must declare any hearing difficulty on the booking form, or when booking by phone, details will then be passed on to the examiner and extra time will be allocated if it is needed.

Book your test on line at or by phone: 0300 200 1122