Scots farmers in talks with DVSA to resume driving tests

Scottish farmers have highlighted the need for access to driving tests for the agricultural workforce ahead of harvest
Scottish farmers have highlighted the need for access to driving tests for the agricultural workforce ahead of harvest

Scottish farmers are in discussion with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency on the importance of access to driving tests for the harvest workforce.

The DVSA recently made changes to service provision in England and from Friday 4 July, theory tests and driving lessons resumed.

From Monday 6 July, tractors tests resumed and driving tests will commence again from Wednesday 22 July.

The DVSA said driver and rider testing services would resume in phases, starting with ones where social distancing was easier to maintain; therefore, tractor tests are one of the first services to return.



Discussions around the resumption of testing and training for the devolved administrations are still ongoing, as Scotland, Wales and NI set their own rules.

Although driving tests are still suspended in Scotland, critical workers can apply for an emergency driving test through the DVSA portal.



Agricultural workers are included in this category as members of the food and drink industry.

The DVSA are currently conducting driving tests using volunteer driving examiners and three categories of critical workers are being prioritised now: NHS workers; care workers and emergency services personnel.

NFU Scotland’s legal committee chair, Tom French said access to tests was particularly important for the younger workforce.

“The DVSA have listened to our concerns on this matter and understand the potential implications for harvest work," he said.

“At the moment, tests are being conducted by volunteers and we are grateful for they work that they are doing to support our health care services.

"We welcome more tests at the earliest opportunity which will allow our agricultural workforce to do their essential work and support the nation by producing and harvesting world-class food.”

DVSA chief driving examiner Mark Winn added that it was 'vital' that tractor tests in Scotland resume when it was 'safe to do so'.