UK driving licences were first introduced by the Motor Car Act in 1903 but no actual test was required.
Compulsory testing was introduced by the NEW Road Traffic Act in 1934. The driving test was actually voluntary when it was first introduced, up until 1 June 1935 when all people who had started to drive on or after 1 April 1934 needed to have passed the driving test.
The testing of drivers was suspended during World War II (1939 to 1945). The testing was suspended again during the Suez Crisis (1956) to allow driving test examiners assist in controlling the distribution of petrol rations.