Starting Out & Registration

starting out and adi registration

How Do I Become a
Driving Instructor?

There are several basic steps involved when you begin your journey to become a driving instructor in the UK.

These steps must be taken before any form of driving instructor training for the tests you need to pass in order to obtain your badge – a permit required for undertaking driving tuition. Without this permit, you’re unable to legally take payment for teaching driving, and are not eligible to go further into the testing process.


Step 1: Meet Specific Criteria

meet specific criteria

The first step you need to take is to meet specific criteria. Without these, you’re unable to undertake training and your application will be immediately refused. The rules of the DSA are such that only those over 21 years of age and possessing a full and clear driving licence for at least three years are eligible. You’re also required to have held a full driving licence for a minimum of four of the previous six years.

If you can answer each of the following statements with a ‘yes’, then you’re well on your way to proceed to the second stage: the criminal record check.

  • I am 21 years of age or over
  • I hold a full driving licence and have done so for at least three years or more
  • I have not already been registered as an EC driving instructor
  • I have never been disqualified from driving
  • I have not got six or more penalty points on my licence
  • I have never been convicted of a non-motoring offence

If you can confidently answer all of these statements with a positive, you can then move on to look at criminal record checks.


Step 2: Criminal Record Checks

criminal record checks

This is a required element of the process before you can attempt to join a DSA register. This process is common in the majority of job roles, and is used as a method to ensure that the person is trustworthy and honest. You can either register online for this check or apply via post in order to complete the full criminal record check. It’s very important to be entirely honest and clear about any past criminal convictions.

If you were unable to answer any of the statements listed above with a ‘yes’, it’s important that, instead of submitting your application yourself, you should speak directly to the DSA, in order to confirm whether you’re able to continue with your application or this line of work. Depending on this phone call and your criminal history, you may be refused, or alternatively required to complete a CRB check before you’re able to continue with your full application.

Once your criminal record check is complete and you have passed, you can then proceed to apply for your Driving Standards Agency position.

Read More About: The DSA


Step 3: Apply to the DSA

apply to the dsa

This application to be a potential instructor allows you to become a driving instructor with full qualifications once you have completed (and passed) driving instructor training in Glasgow, and provides you with the reference number that you need to become a

potential instructor. Due to the waiting length of between two and six weeks for processing this paperwork, it’s important to complete this step as early as possible.

Before you can undergo any further coursework or tests, this application has to be returned, making it a critical step required before you can become a driving instructor.


Step 4: Move Onto ADI Part 1

continue to adi part 2

When these steps are completed and you have been accepted onto the ADI registration, you will receive a reference number. At this point, you can then apply for all the required qualifying tests. Each test must be completed in order and there is no initial time limit of number of attempts for the first stage of testing. However, for both the second and third tier tests, there are specific time and attempts limits in place.

Each of these tests have a limit of three attempts, with a period of time based on the ADI theory certificate, which lasts for two years. Should
you find yourself unable to complete parts two or three within this time limit, you must start from the beginning.