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Theory test


Booking your test

You must have a provisional driving licence to book your theory test.

There are 2 parts to the test:

Multiple-choice Questions Hazard perception

You book and take them as a single test. You must pass both parts to pass the test.


When you can take the theory test

You can take the theory test from your 17th birthday onwards. You can take it from your 16th birthday if you get, or have applied for, the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).


Who needs to take the theory test

You usually need to take the theory test before you can get your full car driving licence.

You don’t need to take the car theory test if you:


If you have a moped or motorcycle licence

You must pass a car theory test before taking the car driving test.

Theory test


Theory test revision and practice

You can use books and software to revise for the theory test and take practice tests.

Take a practice test

Take a practice theory test to check how much you've learnt.
The questions aren't used in the real test, but they are based on the same topics as the test

Hazard perception test

To prepare for this test you can use the official guide to hazard perception.

You can buy the guide in these formats:

You can also buy it as an interactive DVD from most high street and online book shops.

Lost your licence

You need to apply for a replacement driving licence if you lose yours. This could take up to 15 days to arrive.

Rearrange your test if you don’t get the new licence in enough time.

Personal belongings

You can’t take personal items into the test room with you. This includes things like:

  • bags
  • earphones
  • mobile phones
  • watches

You have to store any personal items in a locker.
The test centre staff will check if you have anything with you that could be used to cheat. Your test won’t go ahead if you don’t let them check.

It’s illegal to cheat at the theory test. You can be sent to prison and banned from driving.

Hazard perception test

Before you start the hazard perception test, you’ll be shown a video about how it works.

You’ll then watch 14 video clips. The clips:

  • feature everyday road scenes
  • contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ - but one of the clips features 2
  • developing hazards

You get points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen.

What a ‘developing hazard’ is

A developing hazard is something that would cause you to take action, like changing speed or direction.

Example - A car is parked at the side of the road and isn’t doing anything. It wouldn’t cause you to take action, so it’s not a developing hazard.
When you get closer, the car’s right-hand indicator starts to flash and it starts to move away. You’d need to slow down, so it’s now a developing hazard.

Multiple-choice questions

The multiple-choice questions in the theory test are based on 3 books:

Study these to learn the rules and skills you’ll be tested on.
You can buy them from most high street and online book shops.

Translations into foreign languages

Some official books and software are translated into other languages by approved organisations.

What to take to your test

You must take your UK photocard driving licence to your test.

If you have a licence from Northern Ireland, bring the photocard and paper counterpart licence.

Your test will be cancelled and you won’t get your money back if you don’t take the right things with you.

Multiple-choice questions

You have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions.

Before the test starts you’ll get:

  • instructions on how the test works
  • the chance to do some practice questions to get used to the screens

How the test works

A question and several possible answers appear on a screen. You have to select the right answer.

Some questions are given as a case study. The case study will:

  • show a short story that 5 questions will be based on
  • be about a real life situation you could come across when driving

Leaving a question

You can ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later.

Changing your answers

You can go back to any question to review and change your answer at any point.

When you’ve finished

You can finish the multiple-choice questions part when you’ve answered all of the questions. You don’t have to use the full 57 minutes.

You can have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception test starts.

How the scoring works

You can score up to 5 points for each developing hazard.

To get a high score, click the mouse as soon as you see the hazard starting to develop.

You don’t lose points if you click and get it wrong. However, you won’t score anything if you click continuously or in a pattern.

You only get one attempt at each clip. You can’t review or change your responses.

Pass mark and test result
You’ll get the result at the test centre after taking the theory test. You must pass both parts to pass the test.

Test Part Pass Mark Points Available
Multiple Choice Questions 43 50
Hazard Perception 44 75

If you pass

You’ll get a letter with a pass certificate number at the test centre. You need this when you book and take your driving test.

Your pass certificate number lasts for 2 years. You must pass your driving test in that time, otherwise you’ll have to pass the theory test again.

If you fail

You’ll get a letter at the test centre. It’ll tell you which parts you didn’t score enough points on so you know what to practise.
You must book and take the full test again, even if you passed one part this time.
You have to wait at least 3 working days before taking your test again.

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