VicRoads to resume driving tests as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Teenager driving car during driving test.

Sue Hewitt

Posted June 12, 2020

Extra VicRoads staff hired to deal with backlog of 100,000 licence appointments.

VicRoads driving tests and other licence tests will resume next week with strict health and safety measures in place.

Testing will start progressively from Monday 15 June with extra staff hired to deal with a backlog of 100,000 licence appointments, including 55,000 driving tests, postponed since 25 March.

Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, has laid down a range of measures to make driving tests safe for the public and VicRoads workers.

This includes appropriate cleaning of vehicles used in tests, comprehensive hygiene for applicants, instructors and testing officers, and the use of disposable seat covers, particularly if the customer uses their own vehicle. No one should take a driving test if they’re unwell.

Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC, Jaala Pulford, says it will take time to get through the backlog.

“We know how important it is to have a driver’s licence, especially for young people who need it for work or study – and we’re now in a position to safely resume testing,” she says.

“It will take a little bit of time to get through the list of those waiting to take a test – we've got a plan for doing this safely and as quickly as possible and are grateful for everyone’s continued patience.”

VicRoads staff will contact people whose tests were postponed and will reschedule appointments in the order of cancellation. No new tests will be available until the backlog is cleared.

More than 200 new staff will be hired to work through the postponed appointments as quickly as possible, with testing resuming at all VicRoads testing locations. Six temporary licence-testing sites will also be set up to increase testing capacity.

During the lockdown VicRoads approved more than 2700 licence tests for people who faced undue hardship from not having their learner permit or licence. This option will remain until new appointments return to normal. 

Meanwhile RACV Drive School is preparing to reopen. Zac Evers, RACV’s manager motoring services and support, says RACV Drive School is working on a plan to restart lessons, with hygiene, safety and traceability as a priority. 

“Protecting the health and safety of students and instructors is paramount,” he says. “We will be ensuring all our providers implement best-practice hygiene and safety standards for in-car lessons, in line with state and federal government requirements”.

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