THUNDER BAY - New drivers itching to get behind the wheel may have to wait a little longer, as a backlog of road tests continues following the closure of Drive Test Centres due to COVID-19.
All Drive Test Centres were closed in late March due to the pandemic. Most centres have reopened on June 22 using a phased approach, but priority is still being given to commercial licenses.
“We have a significant backlog for commercial drivers, as well as for G license drivers,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney.
“We have introduced a gradual and phased approach. The first is to allow commercial drivers who need to get their road test done and give them the opportunity to do that. We need to make sure we keep our goods moving across Ontario.”
According to the Drive Test Centre website, phase one of the reopening allows drivers to complete knowledge tests, but road tests for G2, G, LM2, M2, LM, and M license classes are still not available.
“We also have a significant backlog of knowledge tests for G1 and G2 drivers,” Mulroney said. “Once we have assessed the situation and determine how the backlog is going, then we will move into the next phase.”
The next phase is expected to open later this summer, but the provincial government has given no definitive timelines for when phase two will begin.
“From the beginning we have asked for patience,” Mulroney said. “We hear a lot of families and commercial drivers that they are eager to get back on the road and get these tests done. We need to do so in a prudent way that maintains the health and safety of the students but also those who work in the test centres.”