The Insurance Corp. of B.C. is adding staff for an extra 2,000 road tests appointments in September, as it struggles to catch up to a long suspension of driver testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After hiring additional driver examiners to tackle a backlog of up to 80,000 road tests, ICBC says people who have an appointment booked should check the booking website to see if there are earlier spots available starting Sept. 9. Some people have reported driving to far-away communities in B.C. for a test rather than wait weeks or months, with learner permits expiring or school and jobs starting that require driving.
People with expired learner permits are required to book online and take the written test again before they get a road test. The fee for one written test is waived.
The additional testers and drivers cancelling appointments mean about 100 spots a day are coming available province-wide, ICBC said in a release Aug. 28. With more than 40 per cent of drivers failing their road tests, the corporation urges practice and preparation. That’s an improvement since road tests resumed in July; the fail rate was about 50 per cent in the past fiscal year.
Road tests can only be booked through ICBC’s website, and customers are required to clean their vehicle interior and have it ready to pass a safety check before arriving. Drivers will be issued medical-grade masks and asked health screening questions before heading out with the driving examiner.