British Columbia

B.C. road tests to resume July 20 after months-long pause due to COVID-19

Attorney General David Eby says ICBC road tests are set to resume starting July 20 after being cancelled in March due to the pandemic, but warns there is a backlog of tens of thousands of appointments to get through.

Province is dealing with a backlog of 55,000 road tests

ICBC will resume testing for non-commercial driver's licences in July. (Martin Diotte/CBC)

ICBC road tests are set to resume starting July 20 after being cancelled in March due to the pandemic, but the province warns there is a backlog of tens of thousands of appointments to get through.

Attorney General David Eby says now that the province has eliminated the backlog for commercial road tests, there's enough personal protective equipment available to resume road tests for anyone trying to get a non-commercial driver's licence.

"There are about 55,000 appointments that had to be cancelled as a result of the COVID public health measures that were taken," Eby said. 

ICBC is now looking to hire and train more driver examiners and open additional locations to help deal with that backlog.

New public health measures mean road tests now will look a lot different than before, Eby said. 

"The student who's taking the test will be wearing a medical-grade mask that will be provided by ICBC," he said.

"The examiner will also be wearing a medical-grade mask, as well as goggles, or a full face-shield and gloves."

Starting July 20, ICBC will roll out an online scheduling system and a new call centre so that people don't have to go schedule their road tests in person.

Those whose road tests were cancelled when the pandemic hit in March will be the first to have them rescheduled.

ICBC will be contacting those people starting this week.

Those with tests in April, May and June will be contacted in the order that their tests were initially scheduled for.

Eby's advice to prospective drivers is to study hard.

"Unfortunately there's a large percentage of people who do fail their tests and have to schedule a second test," he said.

"If you fail that test you will have a significant wait."  

With files from Tanya Fletcher

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