Learning to Drive

Taking Lessons

Dyslexia does not mean that you cannot learn to drive. You may take longer to learn than others, need to be taught in a slightly different way and may need to repeat the test, but you will get there.
There are resources for driving instructors on the BDA website to help them with appropriate teaching methods. Ask your driving instructor to look at the suggestions in the “driving tuition/practical tips” section: www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/dyslexic/adult#Independent Driving Section.

Theory Test

You will need to request any special arrangements on the online form when applying for the test. You may need to provide evidence of dyslexia (a diagnostic assessment or SPOT Your Potential online assessment).
You can ask for:

  • An English or Welsh voiceover.
  • Apply for extra time to complete the test (up to double the standard 57 minutes).
  • Those with significant comprehension problems can ask for an “oral language modifier” who can explain a question in a different way.
  • People with significant anxiety in strange environments/situations can ask for a prior visit to the test centre, to be accompanied to the test by a friend/family member who waits in the waiting area during the test, and in extreme cases may be allowed to take the test at home.
  • Contact 0300 200 1122 or customercare@pearson.com

Tips: Use all of the 15 minute practise sessions.

Practical Test

  • Reasonable Adjustments could include:
  • Accommodations during the sight test (reading a car number plate)
  • Reading a yellow rather than a white number plate
  • Writing down letters / numbers instead of reading them out
  • Providing a letter from an optician confirming good eyesight, and a dyslexic report which highlights problems reading letters/numbers.
  • Accommodations for confusion with directions
  • Asking the examiner to indicate left and right with hand signals as well as verbal
  • Using coloured stickers on the dashboard to help with left/right
  • Asking to be given exit numbers on roundabouts rather than words
  • The driving test is not a memory test – you can ask for instructions to be repeated. If you go the wrong way by mistake, you will not be marked down because of it.
  • Accommodations during the independent section of the test
  • Ask your driving instructor to talk to the test centre about the most suitable way for this part of the test to happen.
  • Accommodations for anxiety
  • If you become stressed, you can ask for the test to be stopped for a few minutes
  • You can request that your driving instructor or someone you know accompanies you for the test (in the back seat of the car).