Would-be drivers left scrambling for months to book a road test amid backlog

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He said the province has 176 driver examiners, a net increase of 10 since mid-March when the tests were shut down. They’re planning to hire more and are currently reviewing applications for the next driver examiner training. That’s scheduled to begin next month.

Kibler said examiners’ hours have been extended and 13,100 Class 4 through 6 road tests were conducted in September of this year compared to 13,700 in September 2019.

In June, the government said approximately 18,400 total tests were cancelled due to the pandemic, creating the backlog.

Due to the pandemic, new health protocols for road tests include health screening questions, requiring drivers to sanitize their vehicles and wear to protective equipment.

“We are aware of some longer wait times for Albertans to book a road test because of pent-up demand while tests were suspended,” he said. That’s “combined with longer road test times to account for these new health protocols.”

Wait times for driving tests in Alberta were an issue prior to the pandemic. Kibler said the current government has increased the number of driving examiners from 77 after the NDP made the system public, rather than private, in March 2019.

Prarthna Nagar lives in the suburbs outside of Edmonton and has been trying to get her licence since before the pandemic hit. When she looked in February there were multiple slots available in March and April to take the driving test, she said. She picked an April date, hoping that the weather would be nice.

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