How to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
To become an ADI you must carry out three qualifying tests. Part one tests your theory knowledge, part two tests your driving ability and fitness to drive and part three tests your ability to instruct learner drivers.
Becoming an ADI
Detailed information on the ADI process is available at:
When you first apply, an enhanced security check will be carried out by Access NI (ANI). Once carried out, Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) will send you your eligibility number which you will need to book a theory test.
Information about the ANI check can also be found in the guide above along with a list of training materials to help you prepare for each test.
If you have concerns about your criminal history, you should contact DVA by email before making payment for any tests and before committing to any training offered by ADI training providers.
Send any queries to: ADIAMIApplications@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk
The ADI job preview tool will help you understand what it means to be an ADI, whether you are suitable for this kind of work and your level of understanding of driving theory and practice.
You must pass all three tests, in order, within two years. If you fail any of the tests three times, you must wait two years from the date you first sat the theory test before beginning the process again.
Becoming an ADI if you're disabled
You will need to give details of the restrictions on your licence when you make your application. Drivers with disabilities who are unable to drive a manual car may take the tests in an automatic vehicle. This method is for drivers who have a medically restricted licence, marked with code 078. In this case, drivers are only able to give paid instruction in automatic vehicles.
Other rules to be an ADI
As well as the three tests and a satisfactory ANI check, you must also:
- hold a valid, full NI, Great Britain, or Community (EU) car driving licence
- have held the licence or a foreign licence for a total of four years out of the past six before the date of your application
- not have been disqualified from driving for any part of the four years before the date of your application
Category B+E instruction
If you wish to give paid instruction in Category B+E (car + trailer) you must become a registered ADI and have held full B+E rights for at least four of the last six years.
If you are already an ADI, have full B+E rights on your driving licence and would like to be registered to teach B+E, you must tell DVA that you want your registration to include B+E by emailing DVA's Business Support Unit:
Apply to become an ADI online
You can book your ADI test and make your payment online at the link below.
If you need to contact DVA about your application or booking, email ADIAMIApplications@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
ADI test centre locations
The theory test (part one) is available at six theory test centres – Ballymena, Balmoral (Belfast), Londonderry, Newry, Omagh and Portadown.
The driving ability test (part two) is conducted at Balmoral (Belfast) or Altnagelvin driving test centres.
The instructional ability test (part three) is conducted at Dill Road (Belfast) or Altnagelvin driving test centres.
ADI test fees
Approved Driving Instructor test fees are available at the following page:
Joining the register
After passing all three tests, you may apply to have your name added to the ADI register after paying the registration fee and having a satisfactory ANI check.
If you hold an ADI licence in an EU country, you can get this transferred to a NI licence if you are resident in NI.
You can do this online at:
You will then need to make an online payment to be added to the NI register. You can pay online at the link above by selecting ADI registration (£240.00) and making the payment as instructed.