Illegal Driving Instructors
How to spot them
Illegal driving instructors.... are they working in your area?
It is vitally important, particularly in today's society, that you know who is teaching you, your son or daughter to drive.
Section 123 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 prohibits drivers from receiving payment in monetary terms for providing driving instruction, unless they have passed the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) demanding three-part instructors test.
All licensed driving instructors have to by law display an appropriate licence clearly in the front windscreen of their car (or your car if you are using it) whilst they are providing paid tuition.
The licence will be either pink with a triangle on it, which denotes that the instructor is a trainee. Or it will be green with an octagon on it which donates a fully qualified driving instructor; these shapes will be visible from the outside of the car.
Both the pink and green licence are of a hard plastic and measure 10.5cms by 10.5cms.
They have a valid date on them and a unique instructor number. As well as a photograph of the instructor that is less then 4 years old on the reverse side.
The inside must show a photograph of the instructor and valid date. It will also have the instructors name and number on it.
There is no excuse for an instructor not to show their licence.
In fact there is up to a £1000 fine if they get caught not displaying it. If there is no licence you need to start asking questions. Anyone can get hold of a set of dual controls, a roof sign and some training materials to make them look genuine. Also do not be fooled if they say they are with a local or large driving school bad apples appear in any part of society.
If you or your loved ones are learning to drive with an illegal driving instructor they will not have passed the DSA enhanced CRB check and could have anything in their history! Illegal instructors survive by being really nice, down to earth and friendly they become your friend so that you will not ask questions or change to a professional instructor.
They may offer you cheap driving lessons, but as I always say you get what you pay for; driving is a skill for life.
This also poses the following questions:-
Do they have the appropriate instructor insurance?
Are they teaching you modern methods of driving?
And are they being honest with YOU?
Are they taking you for a ride?
To sum up, this is what to look for:-
A pink or Green dated licence on show at all times in the window (the pale yellow licence in the photograph is for fleet training, which donates a trainer who has been accredited to coach full licence holders, they still have to gain the green licence first.)
Professional Instructors have gone though a rigorous testing system and will be continually tested and CRB checked. They too are helpful, friendly and down to earth but if they display inappropriate behaviour it is important you report it to the Driving Standards Agency. Some of the potential instructors who have failed their examinations will continue teaching despite no qualifications!
Don’t pay for lessons until you know your instructor is legal.
> Cheap lessons may indicate illegal instruction.
If you have any doubts about whether a driving instructor is teaching legally call DSA on 02920 581155
In Northern Ireland you can contact Driver & Vehicle Agency on 028 905 47933 to see if the instructor is registered.
The head of the Driving Standards Agency Fraud and Integrity team, Andy Rice, said; “We investigate all reported cases of suspected illegal instruction and we work very closely with the Police and criminal justice agencies to identify offenders and prosecute”.
The Driving Standards Agency is the government agency responsible for the running of the ADI register and conducting the driving tests.
Driving instructor examinations are in 3 parts. Which include theory, own driving ability and teaching skills.
They only have 3 attempts at the driving and teaching examinations which is why many fail and resort to teaching illegally.