What do I do if I receive a letter from the DVSA?
It is against the law to charge someone for driving lessons if you are not qualified and registered, or if you do not have a trainee driving instructor licence.
Approved driving instructors (“ADI”) are regulated by Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (“DVSA”). As an ADI you have the following responsibilities:
- high regard for all aspects of road safety
- high standard of driving and instructional ability
- professional approach to your customers
- responsible attitude to your pupils and profession
- Follow the code of practice that is expected of ADIs
You must also be a fit and proper person. When deciding if you’re a ‘fit and proper’ person, the DVSA will check if you have:
- any motoring or non-motoring cautions, convictions or fixed penalty notices
- been disqualified from driving
- any court proceedings pending against you
- been banned or barred from working with children under 18 years of age
- had any substantiated complaints of inappropriate behaviour or misconduct
- had any substantiated complaints for financially inappropriate or fraudulent activity
The ADI registrar is able to go one step further and can request:
- information from the police about allegations and motoring or criminal cautions or convictions
- information from complainants, including successful applications to a court or bank to reclaim money that had been paid for driving lessons that were not provided or refunded
If the DVSA receives a complaint or is concerned about a driving instructor’s conduct and behaviour, they will investigate and provide the driving instructor with an opportunity to respond. The DVSA will then review all the facts and make a final decision. The outcome could result in the driving instructor being removed from the register.
Saunders Law recently represented a driving instructor who received a complaint where it was alleged that during driving lessons our client:
- Fell asleep during a lesson,
- Turned up drunk to lessons, and
- Was asking inappropriate questions in relation to the pupil’s appearance and relationship status during a lesson.
We successfully represented our client and made representations which both disputed the allegations and showed our client to be a professional and competent instructor. Relevant to our rebuttal was a specific chronology of the pupil requesting further lessons, and then paying for those lessons. Ultimately the DVSA took no further action.
If you have received a letter from the DVSA providing you with an opportunity to submit representations, please get in touch with our regulatory department and we would be happy to discuss how we can assist.