Driving test centre phone numbers are changing. The DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) have started the process of removing landline telephones from many driving test centres.
Instead, they are now going to use existing broadband connections to provide VOiP (Voice Over IP) services to customers. This will apparently improve the quality of calls to the DVSA; although of course it will also result in lower costs as they will no longer need to pay for the line rental.
New Area Code
The new test centre phone numbers may appear a little strange at first, as they will no longer have the local area codes. Instead, they will all begin with the 020 code which belongs to London. The numbers dialled however, will still connect people directly to their local driving test centres.
The initial roll-out is to 68 test centres around the country, but eventually all locations will receive a similar style number and a digital phone service.
Candidates who book driving tests at these locations will be sent the new test centre phone numbers. There are reminders however, that the numbers are only for contacting the centres to enquire about things such as bad weather on the day of their test. They cannot call the numbers to book, cancel, or re-arrange test appointments. They must still only use the central 0300 200 11 22 number.
The new numbers are active from January 18th, so the old number will no longer connect to the test centres after this point onwards. You can search here for details of your chosen driving test centre.
It has been a long time coming for the DVSA to begin investing in new technology. Until 2017 driving examiners were still conducting driving test on sheets of paper. They were also writing out reports by hand in between each test. A time consuming task; and one which made reports often difficult to read.
There was also the potential for reports to go mssing in the post, as everything was sent off in an envelope at the end of each day.
The next step appears to be the removal of the paper pass certificate for successful candidates. Although that decision has to go through parliament first so I wouldn’t get too excited yet!