Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
239. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) has had their driver theory test postponed by nearly a year; the steps he is taking to address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30352/21]
The Department is very conscious of the significant number of people waiting to take their driver theory tests.
In line with the further easing of restrictions, the gradual re-opening of in-person driver theory test centres will commence after the 7th of June. The Road Safety Authority (RSA) will reopen its network of test centres and will be permitted to conduct 25,000 driver theory tests per month.
Prior to COVID-19, the RSA provided 15,000 tests per month. In light of the significant backlog of customers, the RSA will gradually increase capacity in its test centres to 25,000 tests a month.
The test centres have extensive COVID-19 measures in place to protect both customers and staff and to ensure the safe delivery of the service. It is hoped that capacity will gradually increase to 50,000 tests per month over time, if public health guidance permits.
The RSA has been working to deliver an online theory test service, with a pilot online test already underway for trucks and buses. This pilot service has now been extended to include a limited number of car and motorbike tests.
The new offering will see 4,000 online theory tests available for all categories of vehicles per month. Tests are available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis with the new online service becoming more widely available later in the year. The RSA has indicated that this will expand in mid-June with the addition of a further 2,000 online tests. Once the online service is fully established, all customers will be able to opt to do the test online.