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Become a qualified HGV or bus driver: Driver CPC part 3a and part 3b tests
Find out how the Driver CPC part 3a (off-road exercises) test and Driver CPC part 3b (on-road driving) test work, how to book and what to take.

Details

 

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 3 (driving ability) test is 1 of the 4 tests you have to pass to drive a lorry or bus for a living.

 

The test is going to be split into 2 parts from 29 November:

  • Driver CPC part 3a test: off-road exercises
  • Driver CPC part 3b test: on-road driving

 

These guides explain how the tests will work if you take them from 29 November.

There’s different guidance if you’re taking the single Driver CPC part 3 test before 29 November.

 

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

 


Driver CPC part 3a test: off-road exercises

 

Contents

 

  • Book your test
  • What to take to your test
  • Wearing a face covering
  • Taking a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test before your driving test
  • When you must not go to your test
  • How the test works
  • Test result
  • Cancelled tests

You must usually have passed the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 1 theory test before you can book the Driver CPC part 3a test.

 

You do not need to pass a theory test if you’re taking one of these:

  • a large rigid lorry (category C) test, when you’ve already got a medium-sized lorry (category C1) licence
  • a large articulated lorry test (category CE), when you’ve already got a large rigid lorry (category C) licence
  • a bus or coach (category D) test, when you’ve already got a minibus (category D1) licence
  • a bus or coach towing a trailer (category DE) test, when you’ve already got a bus or coach (category D) licence

 

If you take your test before 29 November, it will be a single Driver CPC part 3 test instead of being in 2 parts.

Book your test

 

You can either:

 

The test works the same and is assessed to the same standard, whichever option you choose.


What to take to your test

You must bring a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) or a bus or coach that meets the rules.

You must use a vehicle in the subcategory you want to get your licence for. For example, you must use an articulated lorry (category CE) if you want a full licence for this category.

 

Documents

 

You must take your theory test pass certificate with you (if you needed to take one).

 

You must also bring one of the following:

  • a Great Britain photocard driving licence
  • a Northern Ireland photocard driving licence and paper counterpart
  • an EU photocard driving licence (and paper counterpart, if you have one)

 

If you do not have a photocard driving licence, bring your paper licence and a valid passport.

 

Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if you do not bring these.

Wearing a face covering

 

Check the training organisation’s rules about whether you have to wear a face covering if you’re taking your test with them.

If you take your test with DVSA, you must bring and wear a face covering at the start and end of the test when you’ll be talking to the examiner, unless you have a good reason not to. Good reasons are things like:

  • having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability
  • wearing it would cause you severe distress

 

If you cannot wear a face covering at the start and end of the test, you or your instructor must tell DVSA when booking.

Your test with DVSA will be cancelled if you come for your test without a face covering and you did not say that you could not wear one when you booked it.


Taking a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test before your driving test

 

You can choose to take a rapid lateral flow test in the 48 hours before your driving test if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Find out how to:


When you must not go to your test

 

You must not go to your test if either:

 

Find out about:


How the test works

 

The off-road exercises will include:

  • an ‘S’ shaped reverse into a bay
  • showing the uncoupling and recoupling procedure if you’re taking a test with a trailer

Test result

 

After the test, your assessor or examiner will tell you if you’ve passed and explain how you did.

If you fail, you can book another test straight away, but you cannot take it until the following day.


Cancelled tests

 

Check the training organisation’s terms and conditions about what happens if they cancel your test at short notice.

If you take your test with DVSA, you can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if they cancel it at short notice.


Driver CPC part 3b test: on-road driving

 

Contents

 

  • What to take to your test
  • Wearing a face covering
  • Taking a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test before your driving test
  • When you must not go to your test
  • How the test works
  • Test result
  • Cancelled tests

You must have passed the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 1 theory test before you can book the Driver CPC part 3b on-road driving test. You must choose an appointment from 29 November onwards.

You must have passed the Driver CPC part 3a off-road exercises test before you can take the Driver CPC part 3b test.

If you take your test before 29 November, it will be a single Driver CPC part 3 test instead of being in 2 parts, unless you’ve already been tested on the off-road exercises.

What to take to your test

 

You must bring a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) or a bus or coach that meets the rules.

You must use the same subcategory of vehicle as you used for your Driver CPC part 3a test. For example, if you passed the part 3a test in an articulated lorry (category CE), you must use an articulated lorry for the part 3b test.

You must bring a face covering, unless you have a good reason not to wear one.

 

Documents

 

You must take your theory test pass certificate with you (if you needed to take one).

 

You must bring one of the following:

  • a Great Britain photocard driving licence
  • a Northern Ireland photocard driving licence and paper counterpart
  • an EU photocard driving licence (and paper counterpart, if you have one)

 

If you do not have a photocard driving licence, bring your paper licence and a valid passport.

Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if you do not bring these.

Wearing a face covering

 

You must bring and wear a face covering at the start and end of the test when you’ll be talking to the examiner, unless you have a good reason not to. Good reasons are things like:

  • having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability
  • wearing it would cause you severe distress

 

If you cannot wear a face covering at the start and end of the test, you or your instructor must tell the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) when booking.

Your test will be cancelled if you come without a face covering and you did not say that you could not wear one when you booked it.


Taking a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test before your driving test

 

You can choose to take a rapid lateral flow test in the 48 hours before your driving test if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Find out how to:


When you must not go to your test

 

You must not go to your test if either:

 

Find out about:


How the test works

 

The off-road exercises will include:

  • vehicle safety questions
  • practical road driving

 

Vehicle safety questions

 

During your test you’ll be asked vehicle safety questions on either:

 

Practical road driving

 

During your practical road driving, the examiner will see how you:

  • use the vehicle controls
  • move away at an angle, uphill and downhill
  • do a controlled stop
  • use the mirrors
  • give appropriate signals
  • show awareness and anticipation of other road users’ intentions
  • manage your progress and control your vehicle speed
  • deal with hazards
  • select a safe place to stop

 

There will also be 10 minutes of independent driving, designed to test your ability to drive safely while making independent decisions.

 

During the test

 

You can carry on if you make a mistake during your driving test.

If you make a mistake which means you’ve failed, your driving examiner will direct you back to the driving test centre. The test will end early.


Test result

 

After you’ve taken the practical test your examiner will tell you if you’ve passed and explain how you did.

 

You’ll pass your test if you make:

  • 12 or fewer driving faults
  • no serious or dangerous faults

 

If you fail, you can book another driving test straight away, but you cannot take it for another 3 clear working days.


Cancelled tests

 

You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if DVSA cancels your test at short notice.


Documents

 

Driver CPC part 3a test: off-road exercises

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Driver CPC part 3b test: on-road driving

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From: Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Published 16 November 2021

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