Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Free COVID Self Tests

Posted 5/5/2021

Free rapid lateral flow device tests for you and your pupils in Scotland

To help keep you, your family, your pupils and our examiners safe, we’d encourage both you and your pupils to regularly take coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests. This includes while you’re teaching them to drive and within the 4 days before they take their driving test.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms and can spread the virus to others without knowing.

Regular testing using rapid LFDs helps to find positive cases in people who have no symptoms, but who are still infectious. If people who test positive self-isolate, we can break the chain of transmission and limit the spread of COVID-19.

A negative rapid LFD test result is not a guarantee that you do not have COVID-19. You must continue to follow coronavirus FACTS guidance and restrictions in place in your area.

If you live in Scotland you can get a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow device test if you do not have symptoms. They’re free and you get a result 30 minutes after taking the test. You should take a rapid LFD test twice-weekly(every 3 or 4 days).

This applies even if you’ve had the first dose or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

The NHS does not yet know how much it will reduce the risk of you passing on the virus. You’re also more likely to be teaching pupils in the age groups where the data shows infection rates are some of the highest and where vaccination is still to be undertaken.

What this means for your pupils

Your pupils will not need to take a rapid LFD test to be able to take their driving test, but by doing one, they’ll help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For the rapid LFD test to be valid, your pupil will need to take the test in the 4 days before their driving test.

If your pupil or anyone they live with tests positive from a rapid LFD test, everyone in the household must:

If a PCR test result is negative

If your pupil gets a negative PCR test result back before their driving test, they can stop self-isolating when the local health protection team tells them it’s safe to do so.

They can then take their test.

If a PCR test result is positive or they do not get a PCR test result in time

Your pupil must not go for their driving test if either:

  • they or someone they live with has a positive PCR test result
  • their PCR test result does not come back before their driving test

They will need to change their driving test appointment to a later date.

They can then email us if they’d like us to try and find an earlier appointment. They should email with the email subject ‘Lateral flow rebooking and include 2 of these 3 pieces of information:

  • their driving licence number
  • their theory test pass certificate number
  • their driving test reference number

We’ll then try to find them an earlier test appointment.

We’ll only do this if they changed their test appointment within 4 days of their test. This service cannot be used by anyone else to try to get an earlier appointment. We will refuse anyone who is not eligible and tries to use this service.

We’re contacting all driving test candidates to let them know how to get a rapid LFD test and encourage them to get them while they’re learning to drive and before they take their driving test.

If you have a booked a driving test for any of your pupils, you need to pass this information on to them.

More information

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

Driving tests restart in Scotland: actions to take now and on test day

Driving tests restart in Scotland on Thursday 6 May.

Here’s a reminder of some of the most important actions to take to work safely and make sure your pupils are prepared for their driving test.

Actions to take now

1. Review the guidance about working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

The driving instructors’ National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) has produced guidance to help you work safely during the pandemic.

Read the NASP guidance (PDF, 87KB).

2. Order rapid lateral flow tests in Scotland - and encourage your pupils to do the same

If you’re in Scotland, you can get regular rapid lateral flow tests. They’re free, and you can order them online, by phone or collect them from a walk-in test site.

Your pupils in Scotland can also get them.

Find out how to get rapid lateral flow tests.

Take a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test before your driving test.

3. Make sure you give your pupil’s email address if you book their test for them

If you use the service to book and manage driving tests for your pupils, you'll need enter your pupil's email address when booking their test from Thursday 6 May. Your pupil's test result will then be sent to that email address.

4. Check if the driving test centre waiting room will be open

Most waiting rooms are open, but some are closed because of COVID-19. Make sure you check if your driving test centre’s waiting room will be open.

Check the list of driving test centre waiting rooms.

5. Find out about the top 10 reasons people fail the driving test

The driving test pass rate was 45.9% between April 2019 and March 2020. Many people who fail the test make at least one of the top 10 faults. Use our new guide with your pupils and their parents to help them understand if they’re ready to take their test.

Find out about the top 10 reasons people fail the driving test.

6. Remind your pupils their test will end early if they make a serious or dangerous fault

If your pupil makes a serious or dangerous fault (which means they’ve failed) the driving examiner will direct them back to the driving test centre. This is to minimise the amount of time they need to spend in the vehicle.

Actions to take on the day of the test

1. Clean the inside of the car before the test and let fresh air in

You must clean the inside of your car before your test and make sure that you’ve left fresh air in. You must have at least one window open on each side throughout the test, so your pupil needs to wear clothing suitable for the weather.

Find out more about the rules for the car used for the driving test.

2. Wear a face covering

Your pupil must bring and wear a face covering when they come for their test, unless they have a good reason not to and they told us this when they booked their test. We strongly encourage you to do the same.

Read more about face coverings and driving tests.

3. Do not get to the driving test centre too early

You should arrive for your pupil’s driving test no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.

4. Follow the rules for using the driving test centre waiting room if it’s open

There are temporary rules for using driving test centre waiting rooms during the pandemic. Make sure you’re familiar with the rules before you go.

Read the rules for using waiting rooms.

Actions to take after the test

1. Encourage your pupil to read the new guidance to understand their test result

You and your pupils can use new guidance to better understand their test result, find out how to improve their skills, and get help them better prepare for their next test if they fail.

Read the guide about understanding your car driving test result.

2. Check the appeal guidance if your pupil thinks the test did not meet the legal requirements

Your pupil can appeal their driving test if they think it did not meet the legal requirements.

Check the reasons you can appeal a driving test.