Lockdown has hit learners hard
Learner drivers in Laois and other counties can finally prepare properly to sit the driving test with confirmation of the gradual re-opening of in-person driver theory test centres.#
From June 7 the Road Safety Authority (RSA) will re-open its full network of 40 test centres with capacity being permitted at 25,000 driver theory tests per month.
There are currently 120,000 customers booked to take their driver theory test. 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 also recently extended its pilot scheme for online driver theory testing to cars and bikes and 4,000 such tests will be available each month.
Driving tests for essential workers will continue to be the priority for the driver testing service. In line with the reopening of services on a phased basis, capacity to provide driving tests for all those eligible to take a test, including non-essential workers, will be increased, beginning with those who have been waiting longest. An additional 40 driving testers will be available from next month, and the Department and RSA will keep the situation under review.
For more information on the driver theory test, visit www.theorytest.ie. The Driver Theory Test Service has details of all customer bookings so there is no need to contact the theory test service. They will be in touch directly with all customers who have bookings. Further details will be made available in the coming days.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton TD have welcomed the changes.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said: “We are very conscious of the significant number of people waiting to take their driver theory test. The re-opening of in-person testing centres after the 7th of June will see the delivery of 25,000 tests initially with levels being permitted to increase to 50,000 in time. The safety of customers and staff remains a priority as we look to carefully re-open this service for the public.”
Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said: “While it will take time for the theory test backlog to clear, the reopening of the centres and a gradual increase in the number of tests that can be conducted will go some way towards addressing the problem. Test centres were managing 15,000 tests a month pre-covid while now we are going to facilitate 25,000 tests with the intention of allowing the RSA to increase that further to 50,000 as soon as possible.”