Learner tests to go online
VicRoads reveals online learner testing and pop-up driver’s test sites to help clear COVID-19 backlog.
Aspiring drivers will sit their learner’s test online as part of a new plan to “turbo-charge” licence testing and clear a backlog created by COVID-19 restrictions.
The plan, announced by the state government, also includes an additional six temporary licence-testing sites, 180 additional testing officers, and refunding appointment fees for those booked to take a learner, hazard perception or driving test between 25 March 2020 and 5 April 2021.
Driving tests are set to resume in metropolitan Melbourne when it reaches the next stage in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, expected to be on 1 November, depending on case numbers.
VicRoads will need to work through a massive Melbourne backlog once testing resumes to rebook about 80,000 learners who had their driving tests suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as manage the pent-up demand for learner tests. Those with suspended appointments for learner, hazard perception and driving tests will be given priority to rebook their tests and will receive a refund of their booking fees.
VicRoads estimates it will take until April next year to clear the backlog in Melbourne and will begin contacting those affected in the near future.
Licence testing has resumed in regional Victoria, where a backlog of 5000 tests should be cleared by the new year.
The government says the latest measures will enable VicRoads to deliver up to 11,000 licence tests and 16,500 computer tests for learner drivers each week in Melbourne, once all 12 new temporary testing sites, including six sites announced in June, have opened.
RACV’s senior policy adviser road safety, Elvira Lazar, has welcomed the measures to help clear the testing backlog and says the new online tests will also make access easier, particularly for people in remote and regional areas.