With the increase in dashcams used by driving instructors the question of recording a driving test or having to remove dashcams regularly comes up. There are numerous stories of instructors who have had their dashcam unplugged or removed just before a test by the examiner. With official information from the DVSA we tell you exactly what you can and can not do with regards to dashcams and the driving test.
It is important to note, however that not all driving test examiners will be aware of the official DVSA policy. Remember as an instructor your focus should be solely on your learner who is about to take their test, not on debating about the rules of dashcams. If you do wish to challenge the driving test examiner, which you have every right to do, do this after the test. It does not have to be confrontational or in a way that encourages any sort of altercation, regardless of how unfair or heavy-handed you felt the examiner was.
Officially the DVSA does not allow the recording, either through audio or video of a driving test. In this context, the DVSA are referring to the actions inside the car as constituting the driving test itself. Therefore you are not allowed to film by video or audio the inside of the car at any time during a driving test. The DVSA have said that a driving examiner will not start the driving test if they know that it's being recorded without permission and will stop the test if they become aware that it is being recorded inside. The examiner will give the candidate the chance to turn off the recording equipment, however the test will be ended and the candidate will lose their test fee if they can not do this quickly or easily.
In the DVSA's defence it is completely fair of them to have this stance with regards to filming the inside of a car during a test. They have a duty to protect their driving test examiners from unwanted attention and the right to privacy. Just as a driving instructor has the right not to allow a pupil to film their lessons inside a car, the DVSA feels that the same is applicable to driving test examiners. It isn't all bad news though for dash cam enthusiasts. The DVSA make it very clear that cameras fitted for insurance purposes are permitted provided that they are external facing (i.e. not filming the inside of the vehicle) and do not record audio from inside the vehicle. Therefore a regular dashcam is allowed to be on during a driving test. Typical dashcams do not record the inside of a car nor do they record audio from the inside of the car, though there are some more premium ones that do both. It is important to note however that the DVSA will not, under any circumstances accept, comment on or review audio or video footage regarding a driving test to facilitate a challenge to the conduct of a test or its result. It certainly is reasonable for a driving test examiner to ask about a dashcam to ensure that it does not record video or audio inside the vehicle, and it is your responsibility as the driving instructor to provide them with a satisfactory explanation or evidence that the dashcam meets the official DVSA requirements.