The UK Rules
Become ADI

Becoming a Car Driving Instructor

You cannot charge for car driving lessons until you become an approved driving instructor (ADI). Then, you can teach learners through a driving school or you can start your own teaching business.

This step by step guide to becoming a driving instructor explains how long the process takes, how much it costs, and what qualifications you will need.

How to Become an ADI | Table of Contents

Part of the legalities include having held a valid driving licence for a minimum of three (3) years, and:

Note: This section focuses on the legal process to be a driving instructor in England, Scotland, and Wales. There will be some differences for becoming an ADI in Northern Ireland.

Can You Become an Approved Driving Instructor?

The first step will be checking whether you are eligible to become an approved driving instructor (ADI) in Great Britain. You can use the GOV.UK website to check:

  • What you will need to do to meet the qualification process.
  • What rules apply for applicants who have an automatic or a manual licence.

The next step is reading about the responsibilities of an ADI. The approved driving instructor register guide provides information on:

  • Your suitability for teaching people how to drive a car.
  • The qualification and registration process.
  • The role and powers of the DVSA and the ADI Registrar.

Important InformationYou will need to make a declaration that you read this guide when you apply to become an ADI.

The national standard for driver and rider training provides extra guidance on what skills and knowledge you will need.

It has essential information for people who provide instruction and training to drivers and riders of cars, light vans, motorcycles, and mopeds.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will answer questions about the standard. They also welcome any suggestions on how it to improve it or make it stronger.

DVSA National Driver and Rider Standards
Email: national.standards@dvsa.gov.uk

Note: The master section on teaching people to drive has further information on setting up a driving instruction business.

Application to Become a Car Driving Instructor

Getting a DBS Check

You will need a 'NEW' Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to become a driving instructor. GBG Online Disclosures will not accept an existing DBS check even if you already have one.

Follow these steps to get a criminal record check to become an approved driving instructor (ADI) - if it will be the FIRST TIME you applied.

Add this information into the GBG Online Disclosures service along with your personal details:

  • Organisation PIN 105205
  • Secret word axis
  • Organisation name DVSA - PDI (PO)

Note: Use a different process to get a criminal record check to continue being a driving instructor (e.g. to renew an ADI registration).

How to Prove Your Identity

After completing the online application you will need to provide some proof of your identity. The easy way to do this is at one of the Post Office branches that offer the 'CRB and ID verification service'.

Remember to take a printed page from the online application (showing the barcodes). The Post Office will also need to see three (3) original forms of identification (not copies), such as your:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Utility bill (not more than 3 months old)
  • Bank statement (not more than 3 months old)

Note: The current cost for this service is £6. Use the AccessNI criminal record checks if you are applying to become an ADI in Northern Ireland.

How to Get Help with an Application

You can fill out a contact form at the DVSA Disclosure and Barring Service team or call them on the phone if you need some help with your application.

Starting the Driving Instructor Application

The next step is to start the application process to become an approved driving instructor (ADI) in Great Britain. The service on the GOV.UK website will want to know if you are:

  • Making an application for the first time (details below).
  • Reapplying after failing the qualifying tests.
  • Reapplying after being an ADI before.

Note: Use the different process if you are making an application to become an ADI in Northern Ireland (details above).


Where to Find Driving Instructor Training Courses

A registered trainer can help you prepare for the approved driving instructor qualifying tests (you need to pass all three).

You can use the Royal Mail postcode finder to help you find driving instructor training courses near to the area where you will qualify to become an ADI.

The instructor trainers will be registered on ORDIT (which is the DVSA official register of driving instructor training).

Note: You can become a driving instructor (ORDIT) trainer to train people to become driving instructors. You would need to join the official register of driving instructor training (ORDIT).

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Taking the Theory Test (ADI Part 1)

Note: Another section covers the steps of the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 test in greater detail. It also explains which books and software to use for theory test revision and practice and what to take to the test.

Theory Test Centres

You can use your postcode on the GOV.UK website to find a theory test centre near to your location. You will be able to:

  • See a map with directions to the test centre.
  • Check if there are any special instructions for using that particular centre.

Note: There are six theory test centres in Northern Ireland. The practical driving tests will take place at different centres.

Booking an Instructor Theory Test

How to Become a Car Driving Instructor in the United KingdomThe theory test booking service allows you to book (either):

You will need your:

  • UK photocard with driving licence number
  • Personal reference number from DVSA
  • Email address (book by phone if not)
  • Payment (e.g. credit or debit card)

You can call the DVSA if you need help booking your theory test. Use the same contact number to book by telephone if you do not have an email address.

DVSA Booking Support
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm
Find out about phone call charges.

After passing the theory test you will have two (2) years to pass the other parts (e.g. part 2 and part 3). Otherwise, you would need to start the complete process of becoming an approved car driving instructor again.

Note: The process for booking the ADI theory test part 1 (with hazard perception test) differs in Northern Ireland.


Taking the Driving Ability Test (ADI Part 2)

Note: Another section covers all the steps of the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test and what will happen. You can also check what you will need to take with you (e.g. a suitable car).

Finding a Driving Test Centre

You can use your postcode to search online for the nearest driving test centres in your particular area.

The Department for Transport website also provides extra information on:

  • The different types of tests you can take at the centre and the waiting times.
  • Whether there are any other special instructions required for using the centre.

Booking Your Driving Test

You should use the DVSA driving test booking service to book your practical driving test. The cost for the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test is £111.


How to Get Practice Teaching Driving

Trainee Driving Instructor Licence

After passing the ADI part 2 you can choose to apply for a six (6) month trainee instructor licence. It is an ideal way to get some experience of teaching driving lessons to 'real' students.

Note: Another section explains how to get a trainee driving instructor licence in greater detail. It covers the two options you have when applying for a trainee licence and the rules for using it.

Applying for a Trainee Instructor Licence

Before you apply for a trainee driving instructor licence to give driving lessons to students, you must already have:

Note: The Department for Transport online service is available for applications from 6am to 11:30pm.


Taking the Instructional Ability Test (ADI Part 3)

Note: Another section covers all the steps of the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 test and what will happen. You can also check what you will need to take with you (e.g. a pupil).

Finding a Driving Test Centre

You can use your postcode to search online for the nearest driving test centres in your particular area.

The Department for Transport website also provides extra information on:

  • The different types of tests you can take at the centre and the waiting times.
  • Whether there are any other special instructions required for using the centre.

Booking Your Driving Test

You should use the DVSA driving test booking service to book your practical driving test. The cost for the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 test is £111.

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Registering and Working as a Driving Instructor

After passing all three ADI tests you must register yourself, using the Department for Transport service, within twelve (12) months. The cost of registering your first ADI certificate is £300.

The approved driving instructor certificate allows you to start charging for giving people driving lessons.

You can choose between:

Note: You will get an ADI standards check at least once every four (4) years. Other ADI responsibilities include renewing your registration and getting a new DBS check (also at 4 yearly intervals).

Approved Driving Instructor Cost

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) set test and registration fees for the approved driving instructor (ADI). Whereas, various training organisations set the fees for driving instructor training.

ADI Qualifying Test Fees

ADI part 1 test: £81
ADI part 2 test: £111
ADI part 3 test: £111

ADI Registration and Licence Fees

First ADI certificate (badge): £300
Trainee driving instructor licence: £140
Renewal or re-registration: £300
Replacement ADI certificate (badge): £3

Pass Plus Instructor Fees

Pass Plus starter pack: £37
Pass Plus refill pack: £29

DVSA Special Test Fee

DVSA car special test: £144

Fleet Driver Trainer

Registration: £120
Renewal: £120
Replacement fleet certificate (badge): £3.60

Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers (ORDIT)

Qualifying assessment: £151.20
Registration with one training organisation: £120
Registration with each extra training organisation you work for: £18
ORDIT trainer reassessment: £151.20
Replacement ORDIT certificate (badge): £3



How to Become a Car Driving Instructor in the United Kingdom

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