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 and part three tests your ability to instruct learner drivers.
Approved Driving Instructors (ADI)
ADI and Approved Motorcycle Instructor (AMI) qualifying tests have resumed. Check tests for fully qualified ADIs have also resumed.
If you need to contact Business Support Unit (BSU), email ADIOnlineCorrespondence@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk.
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)
If you are an authorised CBT trainer you should email DVA.AMI@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk to ask for a CBT certificate and logbook.
Becoming an ADI
When you first apply, an enhanced security check will be carried out by Access NI (ANI). Once carried out, DVA will send you your eligibility number which you will need to book a theory test.
If you have concerns about your criminal history you should speak to DVA before committing to any fees for packages offered by ADI training providers.
Information about the ANI check is on pages six and seven of Your guide to becoming an Approved Driving Instructor. There is also a list of training materials to help you prepare for each test.
The ADI job preview tool will help you understand what it means to be an ADI, whether you're 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
Yes this is possible. You must send details of the restrictions on your licence with your application. Drivers with disabilities who are unable to drive a manual car may take the tests in an automatic vehicle. This option 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:
Apply to become an ADI
You will need to make payment for an ADI theory test (part one) online.
You can then book your ADI theory test online (part one).
You can change or cancel your ADI theory test (part one) within three clear working days’ notice of your appointment online.
You can also send an application form to DVA’s Business Support Unit (BSU). Visit the link below for the address and telephone number.
Forms are available from DVA's Business Support Unit (BSU) or can be downloaded:
- ADI theory test application form
- ADI test of driving ability application form
- ADI test of instructional ability application form
- ADI registration or renewal application form
If you need to contact BSU 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 test centres – Ballymena, Balmoral (Belfast), Londonderry, Newry, Omagh and Portadown.
The driving ability test (part two) is conducted at Balmoral (Belfast) or Altnagelvin test centres.
The instructional ability test (part three) is conducted at Dill Road (Belfast) or Altnagelvin 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 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 need to fill in the application form at the link below and send it to ADIAMIApplications@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk.
You then need to make a payment for registration on the NI register. You can pay online at the link below by selecting ADI registration (£240.00) and make the payment as instructed.