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How to become a Driving Instructor

In order to begin training to become a driving instructor you must meet a certain criteria as set by the DVSA – Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

You must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have held a full UK or EU driving licence for at least 3 years.

If you meet the above criteria then you can start the process of becoming a driving instructor.

You will need to have a criminal record check. You must apply for one even if you hold one already. There are two ways to do this.


You can apply online by clicking here.

After filling out your online application you must prove your identity. This can be done at a post office that offers the ‘CRB and ID verification’ service and will cost £6. You must provide 3 original forms of identification, these could be:

  • Your driving licence
  • Your passport
  • A utility bill that is less than 3 months old
  • A bank statement that is less than 3 months old

These documents must be originals, copies will not be accepted. You must also bring out your printed application, the page with the barcodes on.


To apply by post you need to fill out this form and a postal application will be sent to you within 5 working days.

DVSA Online CRB Team 
1 Wilford Business Park 
Ruddington Lane 
NG11 7EP

For postal applications checks via the post office checking service, the price will be £8.50.
For applications sent to the GB Group, the cost is £11.80.

Once you have received your criminal records check, you can start the application process to become a driving instructor. To apply you must have:

  • Your driving licence number
  • Any details of driving disqualifications, motoring or non motoring offences
  • Any information of court cases that are being brought against you.

Follow this link to apply


You may have your application refused if the registrar feels you’re not suitable to become a driving instructor. Or for any of the following reasons:

  • You have been banned from driving
  • You have 6 or more points on your licence
  • You have any convictions for non motoring offenses

Your application is likely to be declined if you have any of the following:

  • You have been convicted of a violent, sexual, financial or drug related crime.
  • You have been banned from working with children.


You will need to undertake training with a qualified instructor to be able to pass your exams. You can find out more about the Mutual Driving School training package by following this link


There are 3 parts to becoming an ADI.

Part 1

The approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 test is a theory test. The Test takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and includes:

Multiple Choice Questions

You’ll be asked 100 questions in total, 25 in each of the following categories:

  • road procedure
  • traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge
  • driving test, disabilities, and the law
  • publications and instructional techniques


Hazard Perception

You will be shown 14 videos that show everyday road scenes. 13 of these clips will have 1 hazard and 1 clip will have 2 hazards. You can get up to 5 points per hazard so there is a maximum of 75 points available; you need 57 points to pass. You must pass both parts at the same time to pass the Part 1 exam. There is no limit in how many times you can take the test. If you choose to train with MDS we will give you all the materials you will need, along with online and telephone mentoring to help with your studies. Once you pass your part 1 exam you will then have 2 years to qualify as an ADI. If you take more than 2 years you will need to take part 1 again.

Part 2

The part 2 test takes around 1 hour and consists of the following

An eyesight test

You will need to read a number plate from a distance of 26.5 metres for new-style number plate and 27.5 metres for the old-style. You must use glasses or contact lenses during the whole test if you need them to read the number plate.

Vehicle Safety Questions

During this part of your test you will be asked 5 vehicle safety questions. This will consist of:

  • 3 ‘Show Me’ questions
  • 2 ‘Tell Me’ Questions

You will need to ‘Show’ the examiner and ‘Tell’ the examiner accordingly how to carry out the vehicle checks. You will receive a minor fault for any questions you get wrong and a serious fault if you answer all 5 questions incorrectly.

Test of driving ability.

This test is similar to the current driving test for learner drivers. Where possible, you will be driving in various road conditions, including Motorways, dual carriageways and different traffic conditions. You will need to be able to demonstrate to the examiner, the following

  • Expert handling of the controls
  • Being able to anticipate what other road users are doing and take appropriate actions.
  • Correct road procedures
  • Being able to judge speed, distance and timing
  • Environmentally friendly driving
  • Consideration and convenience of other road users


As with the learner driver test you must show you are able do manoeuvres. Unlike the learner test, these are much more extensive, you must be able to carry out all of the following:

  • Turn in the road
  • Parallel Park
  • Bay Park
  • Emergency Stop
  • Overtake, meet or cross the path of other vehicles.
  • Turn left and right at corners
  • Move off straight ahead or at an angle
  • Reverse and enter limited openings to the left and right

Independent driving

As well as the above you will need to show that you can drive independently. This will be roughly a ten-minute drive where you will either follow traffic signs, a series of directions before you set off or a combination of both.

On occasion an examiners supervisor will be present at the test. They will not be looking at you or have any impact on your results. They are there to watch the examiners performance.

Part 3

After completion of parts 1 and 2, you will then be able to take your part 3 test. Currently this costs £111.

The hour test includes an assessment of:

  • Your instructional techniques
  • Instructor characteristics
  • Core competencies

The examiner will test this by role playing difference characters.

Apply for Badge

Once you have passed your exams you can apply for your ADI (Approved driving instructor) Badge. The cost of this is £300 and you will need to pay by debit or credit card. The online service for this is open 6am – 11:30pm.

The following information is taken from the Gov website.

Photocard driving licence

If you have a photocard driving licence you’ll need:

  • your online user ID from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
  • your password
  • your driving licence number (if you’re giving DVSA permission to use your photocard photo)

Paper driving licence

If you have an old-style paper driving licence you’ll also need:

  • to print the final screen and send it to DVSA
  • passport-sized photo with your ADI personal reference number written on the back
  • Your user ID and password

Your user ID can be found on all letters sent to you by DVSA. It’s not the same as your ADI personal reference number.

Email DVSA if you’ve never had, or have lost, your user ID. You must include your:

  • driving licence number
  • ADI number
  • Date of birth

If you would like to know anything about training with Mutual Driving School please visit our Driving Instructor Training page or by calling us on 020 8880 7548

Apply to become a driving instructor today!