The extended practical driving test

When disqualified as a driver or rider, the court can order you to resit your theory test and take an extended practical driving test before getting your full licence.

How the court decides

It is more likely that the courts will order an extended driving test if you’re convicted of dangerous driving offences or other offences involving mandatory disqualification.

What will happen

At the end of the disqualification period, if you wish to get back a full driving licence you’ll need to:

  • apply for a provisional driving licence and drive as a learner
  • pass a theory test for the category of vehicle in which you intend to take an extended practical driving test
  • pass the extended practical driving test

The practical driving test is longer and more demanding than the normal learner driving test. The test lasts for about 70 minutes and covers a wide variety of roads, including dual carriageways where possible.

Many candidates have found it beneficial to take some driving instruction in advance of the test.

You must apply for an extended test either by post or in person or at any of Driver & Vehicle Agency’s (DVA) test centres – you cannot book online or use the telephone booking service.

When booking an appointment for the extended practical driving test ensure that you apply for the correct category of vehicle and pay the appropriate fee.

Extended practical test are available at Belfast, Londonderry, Craigavon and Newry test centres.

Bus and lorry drivers

If you're convicted of a dangerous driving offence that involves a period of disqualification, all bus and lorry driving entitlement (vocational driving licence) is automatically lost, regardless of the type of vehicle being driven at the time of the offence.

The decision about whether vocational entitlements can be regained is a matter for the DVA. The options are:

  • the entitlement may be refused on the grounds that you have shown yourself to be an unfit and improper person to hold a vocational driving licence
  • you may be required to take a driving test for each additional category of vehicle that you want to drive
  • the additional category (categories) may be restored without further requirement, in exceptional circumstances

It’s important to remember that a vocational driving licence can’t be issued on its own. You must hold a full valid car driving licence for your vocational driving licence to be valid.

If you lose your car entitlement you lose your vocational entitlement with it and if you have to resit a category B test you must apply for a provisional licence at the end of the disqualification.

Rules for provisional driving licence holders

As a learner you must:

  • be supervised by a person who is at least 21 years old and holds a full driving licence for at least three years for the type of vehicle you’re driving
  • display L plates, at the front and back of the vehicle
  • not drive on a motorway
  • not drive a bus or lorry if you have only got a provisional car driving licence  

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