Tests at the Transport Administration
- General Information
- Test rules
- You passed your driving test. What is next?
- What should you do if you fail a driving test?
- Appealing the test results
A driving test begins at a service bureau of the Transport Administration or the training track of a driving school. Bring a valid identity document to the test. Remember that you should arrive early before the test and the examiner will not wait longer than 5 minutes for anyone arriving late.
The driving test takes place in Estonian, but it can be conducted in another language. There are two options:
- first, if the examiner is sufficiently fluent in Russian (as many are in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County) or in English, then they may let you take the test in Russian or English. However, you should not count on the examiner speaking these languages;
- second, you can use the help of an interpreter at the test. In this case, the examinee must find the interpreter. In reality, tests have also been conducted in Chinese and Arabic, for example.
If the examinee agrees, their instructor or a representative of the driving school may attend their driving test. Other persons (such as parents or friends) are not allowed into the test vehicle. The driving test is recorded with special cameras that also record the sound. Test videos are not made public. These are used for settling appeals and inspecting the work of examiners or evaluating their competency.
It is very important to realise that you are the driver during the driving test and must make all decisions independently – the examiner sets the tasks and their role is to evaluate whether you are ready to travel on the road independently or not. Driving tests are often failed because people simply come to try their luck. This is the most time-consuming and expensive course of action and the only way to pass the test is to be prepared.
Driving tests for category B (passenger car) are carried out with the vehicles of the Transport Administration. The administration uses KIA Ceeds with petrol engines.
If you take the test with a car that has automatic transmission and this is your first test (not a repeat test), the test can be carried out with a vehicle of the driving school. However, the Transport Administration wants to end this practice in the near future.
The driving tests for all other categories are conducted with the vehicles of driving schools. There is a very simple reason for this – the car fleet of the Transport Administration only contains passenger cars, but no motorcycles, lorries, etc. If you are taking a driving test with a vehicle belonging to a driving school, the school will schedule your test. The state fee will also be paid through the school in that case – you will pay the school and the school will transfer the fee to the Ministry of Finance.
The Transport Administration allows you to take driving tests for categories A (motorcycle) and AM (moped) with your personal motorcycle or moped. In this case, you must take along the registration certificate so that the examiner could determine the category of the vehicle used for the test. However, it is too soon to rejoice. First, taking a test with the vehicle that you used for training is much easier. Second, you must obtain safety equipment for the test (check the list below); and third, how will you get the vehicle to the bureau of the Transport Administration if you do not have a driving licence yet?
During the A and AM category driving exams, the following safety equipment must be used:
- Motorcycle helmet
- Motorcycle gloves
- Elbow, shoulder, and knee protectors
- Motorcycle boots or at least ankle-supporting lace-up boots
- Motorcycle pants or, as a last resort, long jeans (shorts are not suitable).
ou should also keep in mind that the requirements for driving test vehicles differ somewhat from the classification of vehicles into categories. For example, you might own a motorcycle with a motor power of 40 kW that you would like to use for taking a category A driving test. However, requirements for a category A driving test stipulate the minimum power of 50 kW. Therefore, your motorcycle does not comply with the requirements for a category A driving test vehicle and you cannot use it to take the test. Requirements for driving test vehicles are available here.
You must find your own vehicle and trailer for a driving test of category B combination of vehicles (Code 96) . You need to take along the registration certificates of the car and the trailer so that the examiner could determine the maximum mass of the vehicles.
The driving test for category B (passenger car) takes place in a single stage (only travelling on the road), while tests for other categories have two stages (on a training track and on the road). This means that the tasks of the category B driving tests are completed on public roads, and the tasks of other categories are completed on tracks specially adjusted for the tests.
At the start of the driving test, the examiner asks two questions about the safety and operation of a vehicle. You must answer both questions correctly. The list of possible questions is available below. Liikluslab has prepared two thorough instructional videos on vehicles used for the tests which help answer the questions of the examiner correctly. You can find these in the chapter on the technical condition and operation of a car (available in Theory in Simple Terms and Online Driving School packages).
Questions about vehicle safety and operation (the examiner selects questions based on the vehicle category)
- Please describe how you know that all the doors on the vehicle are properly closed.
- Please describe how you know if the main brake is engaged.
- Please show how you check whether the brakes are in working order (according to the category).
- Please describe how you check the roadworthiness of the tires.
- Please show how you would use the window wipers when necessary (e.g. in rainy weather).
- Please show how you would use the rear window wipers when necessary (e.g. in rainy weather).
- Please show how you would wash the windows when necessary.
- Please show how you would regulate the cabin temperature.
- Please show how you would turn on the emergency lamps.
- Please show how you would turn on the main-beam headlamps when necessary.
- Please describe what you would do if the windows of the vehicle were frozen or foggy.
- Please show how you would turn on the rear window heater.
- Please show how you would turn on the heated mirrors.
- Please describe how much fuel there is in the tank at the moment.
- Please describe how the driver would make sure that all the passengers in the vehicle are ready to drive.
- Please show how you would adjust the headrests.
- Please show how you would properly use the seatbelt.
Source: Transport Administration
Once you have answered the questions about the safety and operation of a vehicle, the examiner explains the driving test rules to you; do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
Specific exercises must be completed for each category. In the case of a moped or a motorcycle driving test, you get up to two attempts for each test. A specific time limit is given for the exercises of other categories. Select the category you are interested in and read about the test rules in the section on state exams. For example, rules for category B driving test are available here.
During the second part of the test, you will be driving on roads with varying traffic density, including on motorways outside built-up areas. The second part of the test lasts for at least 35 minutes (the time spent answering the questions, introducing the test, completing the exercises, or concluding the test is not included).
It is important to remain calm during the driving test, and if you have any questions (such as an instruction you did not understand), feel free to ask the examiner for clarifications. When driving, always follow the 'safety first' principle. For example, if you failed to complete a certain manoeuvre, you should not make another attempt at any cost. Travel in the indicated direction and ask the examiner for another instruction. If this is an isolated incident (not ignoring the orders of the examiner continuously), then it will not be considered a mistake.
During the driving test, the examiner does not count individual mistakes; instead, they will focus on your skills as a whole – can you operate the vehicle well enough, do you comply with traffic rules, and are you able to drive independently? One or several small mistakes do not mean that the test will be over – being late with the turn signal or exceeding the speed limit by 3 km/h for a moment do not necessarily amount to a failure. Just focus on the traffic and keep driving – if you start worrying about it, then you are likely to make numerous new mistakes.
At the end of the test, you will be graded with:
- pass with remarks;
In the first two instances, you will be issued a driving licence, and in the last instance, you must retake the test. To fail the test, you usually have to make a serious error, such as endanger a pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing or drive onto an intersection with a prohibiting signal in the traffic lights (yellow or red).
Let us look at an example to illustrate the difference between ‘pass with remarks’ and ‘fail’. Let us assume that a traffic sign ‘Stop and yield’ has been placed in front of an intersection. It obligates you to stop at the required spot, make sure that it is safe to continue, and if necessary, yield to other drivers (if there are any). In our example, let us assume that there are no other drivers near the intersection.
If you do not stop by the sign and make sure that it is safe to continue, your driving test is over – this is a dangerous mistake and you will fail the test. If you decelerate to a very slow speed (such as 2 km/h) and make sure that it is safe to continue, but do not stop the vehicle completely, then it is still considered a mistake; however, as you made sure it is safe and remained in control of the situation, a comment is made at the end of the driving test and you will pass the test with a remark.
You passed your driving test. What is next?
Congratulations! You now have the right to drive a vehicle belonging in the category of your successful driving test. Your test result is added to the traffic register by the end of the day of the test at the latest, and from that moment, you may drive. You do not have to wait for your driving licence – if necessary, the police will verify your right to drive based on the data in the traffic register. Naturally, you should take into account that the police in foreign countries does not have access to the Estonian traffic register. For this reason, you can only drive in Estonia until you receive your driving licence.
The driving licence is mailed to your home or you can collect it at a service bureau of the Transport Administration.
Please note! If you are 17 years old and passed the driving test up to three months before turning 18, then you will still be issued a provisional driving licence after becoming an adult.
Please note! If you fail to collect your provisional driving licence within one year, it will be revoked and you must retake the theory and driving tests of the Transport Administration to receive a new provisional driving licence.
What should you do if you fail a driving test?You must retake the test. You can schedule another test no sooner than one week after the day of failing the previous test. While waiting for the new driving test, we recommend you take more driving lessons every week. Be critical of yourself and describe the reasons for failing the driving test to the driving school instructor. Getting accurate details is very important for the instructor. Analyse your knowledge and skills. It is very common that blame is placed on the examiner, the instructor, other road users, or anyone else but themselves. People hope that next time, another examiner will carry out the test, there will be no distracting factors, and they will succeed, but this is rarely the case. If you failed a driving test, you only have one option – you must practice more and not count on luck. Remember that driving a car or a motorcycle is not the same as a bicycle, which you can learn to drive once and then remember it even a decade later. You must demonstrate a firm driving style at the driving test, which is only possible with constant practice. To maintain your skills, you must drive at least an hour a week. To learn more, you must drive even more often. If your test is tomorrow and the last time you drove a car was a month ago, then the likelihood of passing the test is extremely low.
Appealing the test results
If you disagree with the results of the driving test, you may submit an appeal to the Transport Administration regarding your test results within 30 days of announcing the results. Do not appeal the results based on negative emotions and complete a few steps before the potential appeal. Before appealing the test results, do the following:
- read the report of your driving test results in the mail box of the e-service (driving test report);
- consult your instructor;
- read the guidelines on the procedure of driving tests and the assessment of driving tests;
- if the driving test was terminated due to a failed exercise, read the descriptions of exercises.
If the aforementioned steps still leave you doubting, then you can review the recording of the driving test if you wish. For this, you need to submit a digitally signed application to the Transport Administration by e-mailing it to email@example.com. Please consider that you will not receive a copy of the recording for personal use and you can only review the recording in the service bureaus of the Transport Administration (in Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu, and Jõhvi). Access to the recordings is granted to you and your representative (for example, if you wish to review it with your driving school instructor). It is important to keep in mind that watching the recording is not an appeal. Therefore, you may submit an appeal before or after watching the recording.
You reviewed the recording and the report and are still not sure of the results of the assessment? In this case, you should submit an appeal contesting the result of your driving test to the Transport Administration. You can submit an authenticated appeal through the e-service or at a service bureau convenient for you. The appeal must be written in Estonian and be digitally signed. The appeal form is available here.
When appealing, it is extremely important to explain clearly and unambiguously how and in which part of the test your rights were violated during the driving test. Name the situation (or situations) that were assessed incorrectly or any other important aspects where the examiner made a mistake in your opinion (such as an instruction that was not compliant with traffic rules). In addition, please describe the circumstances of the contested traffic situations which confirm the compliance of your behaviour in traffic.
A decision on the appeal is generally made within 10 days, but you should take into consideration that sometimes the deadline for reviewing an appeal is extended to 30 days. Appealing the results of a driving test does not prevent you from scheduling another driving test.
In case of a positive decision regarding the appeal, you will be given the opportunity to take the next driving test without a state fee, or be granted the right to drive. However, such decisions are an exception, not the rule. We are all humans and can make mistakes, but the examiners rarely make mistakes.
If you have scheduled another driving test and you are allowed to take another driving test free of charge or granted the right to drive with a decision made on the appeal, then you can ask for a refund of the state fee that you have paid in excess. For this, you must submit an application for a refund of a state fee to the Transport Administration. If you have passed the driving test in the meanwhile and the appeal is granted (you can take a new test without a state fee or you have been granted the right to drive), then you may also submit an application for a refund of the state fee.
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