Once you have passed the first two parts of the ADI qualification process, you can apply for a trainee licence to help you gain experience instructing pupils to drive.

A trainee licence allows you to be legally paid for giving driving instruction, but this should not be regarded as a sole means of making a living or as an alternative to registration as an Approved Driving instructor.

The trainee licence lasts six months and is normally only granted once in the two year qualifying period.

It is not essential to hold a trainee licence to prepare for the part three exam, but it but it is an option that will help instructors to prepare for the final stage of the exam.

BEWARE – If you fail the part three test three times then your trainee licence will lapse on the day following your third unsuccessful attempt.

Applying for a trainee licence

If you apply for a trainee licence you must:

  • Hold a full UK or European (EU or EEA) car driving licence for at least three years, up to the date of application
  • Not have been disqualified from driving at any time in the four years up to the date of application
  • Be a fit and proper person
  • Have passed the first two parts of the ADI testing process (Theory Test and the driving ability test)
  • Be eligible to take the test of ability to instruct
  • Not have passed the Theory Test more than two years before the date of your application

You will also need to complete and submit form ADI 3L (MD) to accompany your application.

The fee for the trainee licence is £120.00

Download the application form (ADI 3L) for a trainee licence

Conditions of a trainee licence

The conditions under which a licence is granted are:

  • You are only authorised to give instruction for the school whose address is shown on the licence
  • You must not advertise yourself as a fully qualified instructor
  • You must receive 40 hours practical training from a qualified ADI before you apply for your licence. It is your responsibility to make sure that you receive training in each of the specified subjects. You must submit a completed Instructor Training Declaration with your application.

You must also abide by one of the following conditions:

Condition 1

  • You must receive supervision for 20% of all lessons you give from your sponsoring ADI
  • A record of all lessons given, along with the supervision received must be kept on the form ADI 21S which will be issued with the licence, this must be signed by you and your ADI and must be returned to the DVSA as soon as the licence expires

Condition 2

  • You must receive a minimum additional 20 hours training covering all the specified topics
  • This extra training must take place within the first three months of the licence or before you take your first attempt at part three, whichever is the soonest
  • A record of this training must be kept on the form ADI 21AT, and must be sent to DVSA before the end of the three month period, or presented to the examiner conducting the part three test, whichever is the earliest
  • At least 25% of the training will have to be practical training

Displaying the trainee licence

When instruction is being given the licence must be displayed in the bottom left hand corner of the front windscreen. The use of the licence is your own responsibility. No refunds will be given for any period when the licence is not used.

If you cannot make full use of your licence and you have to stop giving tuition, return it to the issuing office immediately. If your trainee licence is lost or stolen you should report it to the police and to the DVSA straight away.

Forms to download

Instructor Training Declaration Form ADI 21T

Licensed Trainee Supervision Record Form ADI 21S

Instructor Training Declaration Form ADI 21AT

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