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The Theory Test and Practical Driving Test for people with hearing difficulties

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

Studying for the Theory Test

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 Oficial 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.


Booking and taking the Theory 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 on-line 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 a BSL interpreter go with you into the test centre; this needs to be arranged through the theory test customer care team. You won’t be charged an extra fee for this service.

To book your Theory Test it is advised that you go to:

Tel: 0300 200 1188    Textphone: 0191 404 8944   email:


Booking and 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, they may use the new DVSA Deaf Candidate Pack and the pre-printed prompt cards contained in it. At the start of the test they will explain what will happen with the aid of these prompt cards or with notes that they have prepared, 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.

If anything needs explaining to you during the course of the drive the examiner will ask you to pull up at the side of the road and will then explain what he will be wanting you to do , they will demonstrate the hand signal that they will make and will then ask you to carry out the task.

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; you can though claim back the cost for this after the test, go to:

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 (there is currently no Textphone service for booking the practical test).

Updated 18.08.2022