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Driver Test

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 13 January 2021

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Questions (161)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

161. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport the plan in place to deal with the driver theory test backlog; and if remote options or staggered examinations have been considered. [1140/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Covid-19 has had a profound effect on the delivery of the Road Safety Authority’s driver theory testing services and a significant backlog has developed.   Under current level 5 restrictions, the driver theory test has not been deemed to be an essential service. As a consequence, the service is closed while level 5 restrictions remain in place. 

The driver theory test service has seen its capacity reduced significantly to comply with occupational and public health requirements. The Road Safety Authority has advised my office that it is engaging with its service provider to maximise capacity to offer tests while adhering to occupational and public health requirements for when servicers are resumed. In this regard, they would, for example, be opening on additional days at some centres and extended hours also provided to allow additional capacity for appointments.

My Department had previously requested that the Road Safety Authority, as the body legally responsible for the driver theory test, examine whether theory tests can be taken on line remotely and what is required to do so.  

I am pleased to inform you that the Driver Theory Test service has launched a pilot phase of a new initiative, which offers a Remote Testing service for specific categories of Theory Test (bus and truck, ADI and CPC).

During the pilot phase Remote Testing will be available on a limited basis and extra capacity will be added as it is rolled out to allow more customers to sit their bus, truck, CPC or ADI Theory Test online. Remote Testing allows candidates to test from their home or another suitable environment once the minimum requirements for the service have been met.  

Following a review of the pilot phase, the RSA expect the initiative to be extended for car and motorcycles in the future.

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