The DSA was the Driving Standards Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Transport in the United Kingdom. As of April 2014 it has been replaced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. The DVSA is a merger of the DSA and VOSA.
The aim of the DSA was to promote road safety by improving the standards of drivers and motorcycle riders. They were also responsible for setting the standards of education and training that learning driver received, as well as being in charge of carrying out practical and theory examinations.
The DSA had headquarters based in Nottingham, as well as having a training and learning materials centre in Cardington, Bedforshire, along with two administrative centres in Cardiff and Newcastle. It had employee numbers exceeding 2,400 staff members as well as running approximately 400 practical driving test centres. There were also an additional 150 theory test centres around the county. These examination centres are now supervised by the DVSA.
What Does The DSA Do?
The DSA is responsible for the education, training and examination of learner drivers. They are also in charge of the register of Approved Driving Instructors who issue the tests that are required to qualify as an ADI.
What Do I Have To Do When I Have Decided That I Want To Learn To Drive?
The first step you need to take if you have made the decision that you want to learn to drive is to apply for your provisional driving licence. You will need this to be able to begin taking driving lessons, sit your theory test and apply to do your practical exam.
You can apply for your provisional driving licence when you are 15 years and 9 months old and you are able to start learning how to drive a moped or light quad bike at 16.
If you are wanting to learn how to drive a car, you will need to be 16 years and 9 months old and you can start to drive when you are 17 years old.
Your provisional driving licence costs £50 and it will need to be paid by debit or credit card.
Taking Your Theory Test
After you have received your provisional driving licence, the next step to obtaining your full driving licence is sitting your theory examination. Most driving instructors will offer help and support with this, but the majority of the studying and revision is left to the individual. There are a wide range of different programs that can be used to practice, such as the DVLA theory test app, numerous computer programs and learning games for handheld computers, such as Nintendo DS and don’t forget our very own list of driving theory test tips.
The theory test consists of 50 questions relating to the rules and regulations of the road. In order to pass, you must answer 43 of these questions correctly. There is also a hazard perception test where you are presented with the experience of a road user and need to click whenever you are aware of something that could present itself as a hazard. You will have a hour to complete both parts of the exam and if you have any special requirements, such as needing extra time, you will need to inform the test centre.
Taking Your Practical Driving Test
After you have successfully completed the theory part, you can submit to take the practical exam. This is made up of several questions about the car, such as where you can find the engine coolant and how to check the oil levels, followed by an eyesight test, where you are required to read a car registration that is 20 feet away from you.
Following this preliminary part of the exam, you will need to take a 40 minute drive that demonstrates you can safely operate a vehicle on a number of different types of roads. You will also have to complete some manoeuvres, such as a turn in the road, parallel park, reverse around a corner and reverse into a parking space.
You can make minor errors and serious faults when taking part in the driving aspect of the exam. If you commit a serious fault, you will have failed the exam. You can make up to 15 minor faults and still pass, but 16 minor faults will also result in a fail.