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Text message reminder service for public booked tests

From 1 July DVSA will start to send text message reminders to your pupils with a public booked practical test booking to help reduce the number of tests lost due to learner drivers failing to attend.

The reminders will be sent 6 days and 10 days ahead of your pupil’s test to remind them that their test is coming up. The first candidates to receive a text will be those with tests booked on the 7 July or 11 July.

The text will also encourage them to rearrange their test if they are not ready. This will free up the appointment for someone who is ready and may not be able to get the test they need. They can do this on GOV.UK.

The text message will show on the phone as being sent from GOV.UK DVSA.

We are only able to send text messages if a mobile phone number is included when your pupil books their practical car test, so please encourage them to include one.

Driving tests lost from pupils not attending

The number of car driving tests being wasted due to learner drivers not turning up has more than doubled compared to before the pandemic – this means that every day 1 in 22 people do not turn up for their driving test.

DVSA research found that 25% of those who did not turn up used a third-party app to book their test. The second biggest reason for not showing up to a test was that a driving instructor was unavailable (13%) and 11% said they forgot the date or time of their booking.

How your pupils can check if their mobile number has been added to their booking

Your pupils can add their mobile phone number to their test booking via the change your driving test service on GOV.UK.

They’ll need 2 of the following to pieces of information do this:

  • their driving test licence number

  • their booking reference number

  • their theory test pass certificate number

They will need to go to 'candidate's details' section of their booking to add in their mobile number. They then need to re-enter all their details as we do not show any of the details we hold for security reasons.

Things we’re doing to make tests count

We have put several measures in place to prevent businesses who do not employ ADIs from selling driving tests.

This will help ensure more tests go ahead by ensuring tests are booked for people who are more likely to attend.


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