Drivers who were eligible for road tests in the midst of the pandemic won’t be able to book one until the last week of August — and from there, it could still be months before they get behind the wheel.
ICBC has been dealing with a backlog of as many as 55,000 road tests since the start of the global pandemic, when it had to cancel appointments due to health and safety concerns. Over that same period, it stopped accepting new bookings.
B.C.’s insurance and driver’s licence provider will now start reaching out to those customers who had cancelled appointments to re-book.
Drivers looking to book a new road tests won’t be allowed to do so until Aug. 24.
Spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said there’s no timeline for when the entire backlog will be cleared. Licensing offices will have a limited number of road tests they can issue per day.
“We’re trying our very best to get through the backlog,” said Linsangan. “The best piece of advice is to practise … we do not want to have to reschedule you for a second test.”
Drivers are also expected to wear masks and ensure vehicles are disinfected to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There will be health screenings prior to every test.
“We had to secure a significant amount of masks for our customers and employees, so thankfully we’re at the place where we have a significant amount so we can continue to expanding our phases, and making road tests available,” she said.
There will not be any standby tests as ICBC rolls out the program.
ICBC is now looking to hire and train more driver examiners and open additional locations to help deal with that backlog.
This article was originally published by Jon Hernandez with CBC News.