Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (28)

Niamh Smyth


28. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting so long for a driver theory test. [7566/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The operation of the tests is handled by the RSA, under contract. My Department does not have access to individual applications nor have I any power to intervene in individual cases.

The closure of the Driver Theory Test Service from March-June 2020, as well as the significantly reduced level of capacity necessary on reopening, followed by further closures during subsequent level 5 restrictions, is inevitably increasing service backlogs.

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.

The position in relation to backlogs will be reviewed again when Level 5 is lifted.