Repeating your test

Common reasons why people fail driving tests, what to do if you do fail, and who to appeal to if you don’t agree with the tester’s decision

Repeating your test

If you fail your test, the tester will give you a report detailing aspects of your driving that caused you to fail. The tester will provide you with some feedback at the end of the test.  Due to time constraints, this feedback will be brief and will focus on the main areas of note in relation to your driving test.

You will also receive a certificate indicating that you failed the test; keep it in a safe place as you may need it to renew your learner permit.

If you wish to apply for a further test, application forms are available at test centres or on this website. It does occasionally happen that you will be scheduled with the same tester but this will not happen repeatedly as a matter of RSA policy. 

If you have recently failed a driving test, you will be unable to schedule a driving test for a period of three weeks.  If you do not wish to select a test date or if a test date is not available, we will schedule your test appointment for you and send you the details at a later stage

Appealing a failed test

If you feel you have been failed unfairly and want to challenge the decision, you can appeal to the District Court under Article 33 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. The Court can examine whether or not the test was conducted properly and if it finds that the tester did not conduct the test in accordance with procedures can direct that a further test be offered to you free of charge.

Why candidates fail

The following are the most common reasons why people fail driving tests:

  •  Inadequate observation moving off, at junctions, at roundabouts and when changing lanes
  •  Failure to anticipate the actions of other drivers
  •  Incorrect road position on the straight, on bends, turning left, turning right, at roundabouts, and when overtaking
  • Inadequate progress at junctions, roundabouts, on the straight, and when overtaking
  • Incorrect or inadequate use of mirrors and signals
  • Non-compliance with traffic controls, eg road signs and markings and traffic lights
  • Incorrect, inadequate or inappropriate use of vehicle controls, including gears, clutch, accelerator, steering, handbrake, footbrake, and secondary controls
  • Excessive speed for the road or traffic conditions
  • Failure to yield the right of way to others
  • Lack of competence in the reverse and U-turn manoeuvres

Common faults by motorcyclists include:

  •  Failure to perform a U-turn correctly
  •  Inadequate control at slow speed
  •  Inadequate observations to the rear
  •  Incorrect or inadequate hand signals

If you fail your test, the best way to get through next time is to study the Rules of the Road and the Learner Driver suite of manuals and get as much practice as possible in all types of traffic situations.

Renewing learner permits

A learner permit can be renewed once. However, if you want to apply for a third or subsequent learner permit, you must either:

  • Have undergone a driving test within the previous two years, or
  • Provide medical evidence showing why you were unable to take a test, or
  • Provide evidence that you have an appointment for a driving test prior to the new permit being issued
  • Contact the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)  at  or visit the website here for any queries in relation to learner permits.