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Psychological tests for drivers – a quick guide

>Driver tests, especially psychological ones, are a key element in assessing ability to safely participate in road traffic. They aim to verify whether a person has the appropriate traits to drive vehicles. In this article, we will discuss in detail various aspects of these tests – from their scope and methodology, to their validity period and legal requirements.

What are driver psychological tests?

Driver psychological tests focus on key aspects of the psyche as well as adaptability:

  • intellectual abilities and cognitive processes – assessment of the ability to quickly process information and make decisions
  • personality – analysis of character traits relevant to driving, such as resistance to stress or tendency to take risks
  • psychomotor skills – tests checking eye-hand coordination and reaction time

What does the driver psychological test look like?

The examination process usually begins with an interview with a psychologist, whose aim is to collect basic information about the person, their life history and health. Then the driver goes through a series of psychotechnical tests, which may include tasks on simulators, computer tests measuring reaction to stimuli or logical tasks. The results of these tests allow us to assess whether a person is capable of driving a vehicle safely. Driver examinations usually take about 30 minutes, although in some centres they can take up to 2 hours.

How important are psychological tests for drivers?

For drivers performing road transport, these tests are valid:

  • up to 60 years of age – for 5 years
  • above 60 years of age – for 30 months

The requirement to undergo periodic tests ensures that every professional driver who still actively participates in road traffic has the ability to drive a vehicle.

Psychotechnical tests for category B drivers – how long are they valid for?

For non-professional drivers with a category B driving license, psychological tests are usually not required. An exception may be situations when they are sent for such tests for medical reasons or after losing their driver’s license. If they are carried out, their validity period is subject to the same rules as those that apply to professional drivers.

How much do driver psychological tests cost?

The price of psychological tests has been standardized and currently amounts to PLN 150. Very often, it is possible to perform psychological tests together with other medical tests, which, may of course entail a higher price, depending on the scope of the tests performed.

What driver tests does the employer pay for?

The employer is required to cover the costs of psychological tests required for professional drivers. This includes situations where a driver is employed to drive vehicles as part of his or her job duties. These costs are also often covered for drivers who need to go through testing after losing their driver’s license for health or legal reasons.

Re-testing drivers and the appeal procedure

If the driver or their employer do not agree with the results of the psychological tests, it is possible to submit an application for a re-test. The application must be submitted to the appropriate entity that conducted the original test within 14 days of receiving the decision. Re-tests are subject to a fee and are borne by the person requesting a review of the results.

The last resort

What if the re-test results are negative? The last option is to submit a formal appeal to the provincial occupational health centre. The results of previous tests must be attached to the appeal, and in some cases it is also necessary to undergo additional consultations and specialist tests. The decision issued after the appeal is final and binding.

What other tests are required for professional drivers?

  • ophthalmological – eye examination
  • ENT – hearing test
  • neurological – assessment of motor coordination and exclusion of neurological disorders
  • psychological – focus on behavior and reaction in difficult situations
  • general – verification of your general health condition
  • ancillary – e.g. tests for diabetes or hypertension

Driver tests – regulations

In Poland, in accordance with applicable law, all professional drivers and driver candidates must undergo psychological tests before obtaining the appropriate licenses. These tests are also required when regaining driving privileges after losing them. These issues are regulated primarily by regulations of the Minister of Health, although they are also reflected in the law. If you are interested in detailed regulations, please refer to the following regulations:

  • Regulation of the Minister of Health of July 17, 2014 on medical tests of persons applying for driving licenses and drivers;
  • Regulation of the Minister of Health of July 8, 2014 on psychological tests of persons applying for driver’s licenses, drivers and persons performing work as drivers;
  • Article 39j of the Act of September 6, 2001 on road transport
  • Article 229 § 1-2 of the Act of June 26, 1974, Labor Code
  • Article 81 of the Act of January 5, 2011 on drivers of vehicles
  • Article 233 of the Act of June 6, 1997 – Penal Code

Driver psychological tests: a summary

Driver psychological tests play a key role in ensuring safety on roads and during transport processes. It is about periodic verification of drivers’ ability to drive vehicles, their reaction to stressful situations, and the ability to make quick decisions. All this for the sake of our safety!