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Properly Registered Driving Instructor?

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 8 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Driving Instructor Learner Driver

It is not something that many learner drivers take into consideration but do you know that the person teaching you to drive is genuine? It's not unheard for individuals claiming to be registered driving instructors, not be registered at all.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) along with the Ministry of Transport and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) have been clamping down on the number of driving instructors who advertise their services without being correctly registered.

How Do I Find Out if My Driving Instructor is Registered?

The first thing you should do before getting into a car with a driving instructor is check if he or she is fully qualified and registered as a bona fide driving instructor. You can do this initially by asking them for details of their qualifications over the telephone before arranging a lesson.

You can check these credentials with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) who hold a database of all those driving instructors who are fully qualified and licensed. The register also details which driving instructors are licensed to give driving lessons in exchange for payment.

Check the Windscreen

If you are satisfied that your driving instructor’s – or potential driving instructor’s – details are listed on the register with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) you can still make a last check before getting into their vehicle.

All driving instructors are obliged by law to display what looks like a tax disc but is actually their driving instructor number which corresponds to that of the Driving Standards Agency’s (DSA) register. If the number on the disc (which is light blue in colour) does not tally with the number on the register then you should not continue any further.

What Happens if I Take Lessons With a Bogus Driving Instructor?

As a general rule most driving instructors are genuine and rely on their lessons with learner drivers as a means of generating an income. For those less than honest instructors they are not likely to be insured correctly in the event of an accident.

Every so often police authorities up and down the country carry out routine checks on driving instructors and uncover a surprising number who are not legally insured or trained to provide lessons.

If you take lessons from a driving instructor who is not correctly qualified or insured you are putting yourself and other road users at risk. A bogus driving instructor is not insured to allow other drivers to drive his or her vehicle and therefore if an accident occurs and you are injured, the insurance company may refuse to pay any damages as the instructor’s insurance is invalid.

What Should I Do to Safeguard Myself Whilst Taking Lessons?

It would be unfair to say simply use well known driving schools but you should try – where possible – to use instructors that other family members or friends have used when taking their lessons. Likewise most driving instructors now have their registration number with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) printed on any literature or advertisements in telephone directories.

If you come across a driving instructor you would particularly like to use and this information is displayed then you should contact the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) – details of how to do so are available at www.dsa.gov.uk – and verify the information is correct before making an appointment.

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