How do I become a Driving Instructor?

How To Become A Driving Instructor

Training to become a Driving Instructor takes three main steps. We have outlined these below to make the process as simple as we can. When you train to be a qualified Driving Instructor with Bill Plant Driving School a member of our Training Team will be on hand to offer support and advice throughout.

Step 1: Pre-qualifications and applications

In order to begin training to become a Driving Instructor, you must meet certain criteria as set by the DVSA – Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

You must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years.

If you meet the above criteria then you can start the process of becoming a Driving Instructor.

Criminal Record Check:

Firstly, you will need to have a criminal record check. You must apply for one even if you hold one already. There are two ways to do this:


You can apply online by filling out an application in your browser.

After filling out your online application you must prove your identity. This can be done at a post office that offers the ‘CRB and ID verification’ service and will cost £6. You must provide 3 original forms of identification, these could be:

  • Your driving licence
  • Your passport
  • A utility bill that is less than 3 months old
  • A bank statement that is less than 3 months old

These documents must be originals, copies will not be accepted. You must also bring out your printed application – the page with the barcodes on.


To apply by post you need to fill out this form and a postal application will be sent to you within 5 working days.

DVSA Online CRB Team
1 Wilford Business Park
Ruddington Lane
NG11 7EP

For postal applications checks via the post office checking service are available at a cost of £8.50. For applications sent to the GBGroup, the cost is £11.80.

ADI Application Process:

Once you have received your criminal records check, you can start the application process to become a Driving Instructor.

To apply you must have:

  • Your driving licence number
  • Any details of driving disqualifications, motoring or non-motoring offences
  • Any information on court cases that are being brought against you.

You can apply here. 

Motoring Offences and Convictions:

You may have your application refused if the ADI registrar feels you’re not suitable to become a Driving Instructor or for any of the following reasons:

  • You have been banned from driving
  • You have 6 or more points on your licence
  • You have any convictions for non-motoring offences

Your application is likely to be declined if you have any of the following:

  • You have been convicted of a violent, sexual, financial or drug-related crime.
  • You have been banned from working with children.

Step 2: The Training

You will need to undertake training with a Qualified Driving Instructor to be able to gain the necessary experience to pass your exams. Find out more about the process of training to become a driving instructor with Bill Plant Driving School.

There are 3 parts to becoming an ADI:

Part 1:

The Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 1 test is a theory test that takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and includes:

Multiple Choice Questions:

You’ll be asked 100 questions in total, 25 in each of the following categories:

  • Road procedure
  • Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge
  • Driving test, disabilities, and the law
  • Publications and instructional techniques

Hazard Perception:

First, you will be shown a video clip explaining how this test will work. It’s very similar to the learner hazard perception test that you can practise on our free guide. 

You will then be shown 14 videos that show every day road scenes. 13 of these clips will include 1 hazard and 1 clip will include 2 hazards.

You can get up to 5 points per recognised hazard giving a maximum of 75 available points – you will need 57 points to pass this test.

You must pass both parts in the same sitting in order to pass the Part 1 exam. There is no limit to how many times you can take the test.

If you choose to train with Bill Plant Driving School we will give you all the materials that you will need to become a Driving Instructor, along with online and telephone mentoring to help you with your studies.

Once you pass your Part 1 exam, you will then have 2 years available to qualify as an ADI. If you take more than 2 years you will need to take your Part 1 exam again.

Part 2:

The Part 2 test takes around 1 hour and consists of the following

A Simple Eyesight Test:

You will need to read a number plate from a distance of 26.5 metres for new-style number plate and 27.5 metres for the old-style. You must use glasses or contact lenses during the whole test if you need them to read the number plate.

Vehicle Safety Questions:

During this part of your test you will be asked 5 vehicle safety questions. This will consist of:

  • 3 ‘Show Me’ Questions
  • 2 ‘Tell Me’ Questions

You will need to ‘Show’ the examiner and ‘Tell’ the examiner accordingly how to carry out specific vehicle checks. You will receive a minor fault for any questions you get wrong and a serious fault if you answer all 5 questions incorrectly.

You can view the questions here

Test of Driving Ability:

This test is similar to the current driving test for learner drivers. Where possible, you will be driving in various road conditions, including Motorways, dual carriageways and differing traffic levels. You will need to be able to demonstrate the following to the examiner:

  • Expert handling of the controls
  • Ability to anticipate what other road users are doing and take appropriate actions.
  • Correct road procedures
  • Ability to judge speed, distance and timing
  • Environmentally friendly driving
  • Consideration and convenience of other road users


As with the learner driver test, you must show you are able to do a range of manoeuvres. Unlike the learner test, these are much more extensive and you will be asked to carry out a selection of the following:

  • Parallel park
  • Bay park
  • Forward pay park
  • Park on the right and reverse
  • Emergency stop
  • Move off straight ahead or at an angle

Independent Driving:

As well as the above you will need to show that you can drive independently. This will be presented through a (roughly) twenty-minute drive where you will be instructed to either follow traffic signs, or a series of directions from a Sat Nav.

On occasion, an examiner’s supervisor will be present at the test. They will not be assessing you or have any impact on your results but are instead there to assess the examiner’s performance.

Part 3:

Upon completion of Parts 1 and 2, you will then be able to take your Part 3 test. At this stage the vast majority of trainees opt to select a Trainee (PDI) Licence. This enables you to gain vital practical experience teaching learner drivers under the sponsorship of Bill Plant Driving School, while earning hundreds of pounds in lesson revenue per week. This route substantially increases your chances of passing your Part 3 test.

Currently, the Part 3 test costs £111.

The one hour test includes an assessment of:

  • Lesson planning
  • Risk management
  • Teaching and learning strategies

The examiner will test this by observing a “live” lesson given by you.

Step 3: Apply for the Badge

Once you have passed your exams you can apply for your ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) Badge from the DVSA. The cost of this is £300 and you will need to pay by debit or credit card. The online service for this is open 6 am – 11:30 pm.

The following requirements on the application are taken from the Gov website:

Photocard Driving Licence:

If you have a photocard driving licence you’ll need:

  • Your online user ID from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
  • Your password
  • Your driving licence number (if you’re giving DVSA permission to use your photocard photo)

Paper Driving Licence:

If you have an old-style paper driving licence you’ll also need:

  • To print the final screen and send it to DVSA
  • Passport-sized photo with your ADI personal reference number written on the back
  • Your user ID and password

Your user ID can be found on all letters sent to you by DVSA. It’s not the same as your ADI personal reference number.

Email DVSA if you’ve never had, or have lost, your user ID. You must include your:

  • Driving licence number
  • ADI number
  • Date of birth

Upon completion and acknowledgement of this application – you can look forward to your new career as a fully Qualified Driving Instructor!

Fill in the form on this page to receive a comprehensive information pack about Driving Instructor Training at Bill Plant and life as a Qualified Driving Instructor.

Complete the form to get started or call our dedicated Training Team on 0330 555 2254. We’ll look forward to hearing from you.


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    “From the initial enquiry by the friendly Recruitment Manager to the ORDIT trainer – it couldn’t have been any easier. Becoming a fully qualified ADI was so smooth thanks to the Bill Plant team.”


    “A really useful introduction to the world of ADI’s. Well paced, friendly and informative, this course has provided me with a vital first step in my new career.”


    “I found that the course was excellent, extremely well presented and had great structure throughout. I would highly recommend this to friends and trainees alike”