1 month ago
Driver Testing – Frequently Asked Questions for Resumption of Services June 2020
1. When will full driving test service recommence?
We expect to resume tests for trucks, buses, and motorcycles (except for C1 and D1 categories) week commencing 29 June. Tests for these categories will resume gradually during that week and increase over the subsequent weeks. We wish to ensure that we can safely meet public health safety measures and while a date has not yet been finalised, we are aiming to get Category B ‘car tests’ back at the earliest opportunity in phase 3 (in light of the government’s revised road map for the reopening of Ireland).
2. What is the current waiting time for a driving test?
The national average waiting time for a driving test, before the suspension of the service on 13 March, was around five to six weeks. Given that we now have a backlog of truck/bus and motorcycle tests and also have reduced capacity to deliver those tests due to the practical realities of adhering to the public health guidelines, we will now be experiencing longer waiting times than was the case when the service was suspended. We will soon be updating our website here on general driving test waiting times with additional information as to when different customers are likely to receive an appointment.
3. What driving test centres are available for testing?
Week commencing 29 June the following test centres will reopen for truck, bus and motorcycle tests.- Dublin (Dun Laoghaire, Finglas, Mulhuddart) Dundalk, Ennis, Galway (Carnmore), Kilkenny, Kerry ( Tralee, Killarney ), Limerick (Dock Road), Sligo, Cork (Ballincollig, Mallow), Waterford.
4. When will all driving test centres open?
Week commencing 29 June will see 14 centres open for business, in the weeks after that we will gradually be reopening all of our 52 test centre. We will update our website here to advise on each centre as they are re-opening.
5. When services resumes, how will test appointments be prioritised?
From Monday 22 June we began contacting some customers for truck, bus and motorcycles driving tests with appointment dates. When car tests resume, which we hope will be in coming weeks, we will start arranging appointments in a similar fashion initially. We are conscious that there is a significant waiting list at this point and we will be prioritising appointments. When the driver testing service was suspended, appointments were cancelled and those customers who were cancelled will be prioritised on resumption. We will keep the approach for prioritising our customers under review as we move through the service resumption.
6. Are there urgent test slots available for all categories of test?
There will be pressure on the available capacity when driver testing resumes given longer waiting times. It must also be borne in mind that for all categories, at least for the initial resumption, it is almost certain that fewer daily tests will be conducted by each driver tester. Therefore, while there will be some availability for urgent tests our capacity to make these available to all cases will be limited.
7. How does the RSA define who is eligible for an urgent test slot?
Initially, only those who are frontline healthcare workers will be deemed eligible for an urgent test slot.
The RSA will keep this definition under review as the resumption of the driving test service ramps back up and also as the governments roadmap for economic recovery evolves. The RSA appreciates that all learner drivers are entitled to a driving test within a reasonable timeframe and we will be working hard to ensure that we can make this available in as short a timeframe as possible.
8. I work in the emergency services and had emailed RSA to get an urgent test but as it was a car test I wasn't tested. Will I get priority when testing resumes?
We will be putting in place rules to prioritise appointments when the driver testing service resumes. We will be giving a high level of prioritisation to those who are in the emergency services and who contacted us during the suspension of the service.
9. I had a test appointment prior to services being suspended which was cancelled by the RSA, will I get a priority test now?
Yes, we plan to give priority to those customers who held an appointment on suspension of the service.
10. I recently failed (just before services were suspended) and applied again straight away. Can I get a priority test?
Given that there will be longer waiting times on the resumption of the driver testing service it is planned that there will be a prioritisation of appointments. Those whose appointments were cancelled by the RSA due to the Covid-19 situation will have first priority. Priority then will be given in order of application date.
11. I have cancelled two prior driving test appointments, if I am issued with a new date and it does not suit me will I be given the opportunity to cancel it without losing my fee?
Customers are allowed two opportunities to cancel an appointment without losing the test fee.
12. Will the driving test centres have protocols in place to observe physical distancing?
Resumption of driving tests will be in accordance with Government Protocols and public health safety measures and these will be observed at all test centres when the driver testing service resumes.
13. I am ill/have symptoms of COVID-19 and I have a Driving Test Appointment. Should I present for my test?
Where a customer, or someone in their household, is experiencing COVID symptoms they should not attend for test. Appointments can be cancelled online at Cancel My Test and a further appointment will be offered in due course free of charge.
14. I have recently been in contact with someone with Covid-19, can I still present for my test?
In cases of close contact you will have been contacted directly by the HSE and you should follow their advice and that of your own GP as regards the steps you need to take. If you are in any doubt and have symptoms of Covid-19 you should not attend for a test appointment.
15. I have underlying health conditions, what precautions are in place to safeguard me from contracting the virus?
Driver testers will wear a face mask and the RSA will initially also provide driving test customers with a face mask for use during their appointment (see Q18 also ). All test centres will meet the public health requirements set out by the Government. We are confident that all steps in line with public health advice are being followed and that the risk of Covid-19 transmission has been mitigated to the greatest degree.
16. What PPE if any will the testers be wearing during my test?
Driver testers will be wearing face masks and will also be carrying wipes and hand sanitiser. Driver testers may wipe down some surfaces on your vehicle before and after the test. You may also be asked to keep your windows partially open during the test and you should comply with any request to do so in the interest of measures to mitigate against the transmission of Covid- 19.
17. Will the RSA provide me with a face mask if one is required?
Yes, the RSA initially will provide a face mask to driving test customers who present for an appointment.
18. Do I need to wear a face mask or gloves when attending the service?
Yes, customers will be required to wear a face mask and the RSA will initially provide one to driving test customers. However, if there are exceptional circumstances where you cannot wear a face mask you must contact us as soon as you receive your test appointment and advise us of your situation. You can do this by contacting us here.
Gloves are optional and are not required however, if you are wearing gloves, then in line with public health advice, gloves should not replace the need to wash/sanitise your hands. The virus
gets on gloves in the same way it gets on your hands.
19. Will the test centres be cleaned after every test?
After each test the driver tester will ensure that all commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and desk surfaces are wiped down with appropriate wipes/cleaner in between tests and all wipes disposed of securely.
20. Can my pass/fail cert and feedback form be emailed to me instead of handed to me at the test centre?
There are no proposals to change the current practice and it is intended you will receive your result and pass/fail certificate on the day. Your feedback form will be emailed to you as per normal procedure.
21. Who is monitoring compliance with the public health guidance for the prevention of Covid-19 transmission in the case of the driver testing services?
Employers have the responsibility to safeguard both its employees and customers with regard to compliance with Government and public health guidelines. The Health and Safety Authority has been given powers to monitor compliance with the guidelines.
22. Has the validity period of learner permits been further extended?
Yes, all learner permits falling due between I July 2020 and 31 October 2020 are having their expiry dates extended. This means that if your permit expires on 10 July 2020 for example, its expiry date is being extended to 10 November 2020. You do not need to do anything to avail of the extension of the expiry date as your driver record will be automatically updated. A new learner permit will not be issued to you.
23. I was already granted an extension to the validity of my learner permit, will the further extension announced on 26 June now apply to me also?
Earlier this year learner permits, which were due to expire from 1 March to 30 June 2020, were extended for a four month period, from their expiry date. These will now benefit from the further extension announced on 26 June 2020. As an example, a learner permit which expired on 5 March was extended by four months to 5 July 2020 and its expiry will now be further extended to 5 November 2020. You do not need to do anything to avail of the extension of the expiry date as your driver record will be automatically updated. A new learner permit will not be issued to you.
24.I received the 4 month extension to my learner permit and I have a driving test appointment in coming days, will the driver tester accept this as a valid learner permit even though the extended date is not displayed on my permit?
Yes, the driver tester will be aware that your licence has been extended on your driver record and the learner permit validity check will take this into account.
25. I was on the waiting list for a driving test but my application was unavailable until April or after then the driver testing service was suspended will I get priority now?
We will be putting in place rules to prioritise appointments when the driver testing service resumes. Initial priority will be given to those who had tests scheduled when the driver testing service was suspended and to those in emergency services who sought emergency tests. We will have to balance available capacity against competing demands in all other cases. The default approach will be to offer appointments to those customers, who had applied but were not yet scheduled, in order of application date.
26. As I have to be accompanied by a fully licenced driver to the test centre will there be somewhere for them to wait while I am being tested?
In compliance with public health guidelines only customers for driving tests can enter the driving test centre. Your accompanying driver must make alternative arrangements while you take the test.
27. Will there be hand sanitiser available for customer use at the test centre?
Yes, hand sanitisers will be available in the test centre. Customers will be asked to use the hand sanitiser/use hand washing facilities on entry after being called for their test by the driver tester and also when fitting and removing their face mask.
28. As I am advised to attend for the test up to 15 minutes before my test, can I go into the test centre before my test start time. What physical distancing measures will be in place while I am waiting to be called for my test?
In the days immediately after resumption on 29 June the driver tester will make contact with you on your mobile phone to inform you when to approach the driving test centre.
29. As I have been unable to take lessons or get practice in recent times could I let you know when I am available for a test rather than you sending me out an appointment that I'm not ready for?
Yes, if you would prefer to have an appointment at a later date, please contact us here and we can arrange to defer your appointment until that point.
30. If I apply online for a test are there slots available?
No, initially the RSA will schedule an appointment when a slot becomes available. Please be aware that there will be longer waiting times compared to those experienced during the last 18 months when waiting times were well under 10 weeks.
31. As I have applied for a bike test and some restrictions have been lifted why have I not been called for a test?
We expect to resume tests for trucks, buses, and motorcycles week commencing 29 June. We will be scheduling driving test appointments for these vehicle types on a phased basis and contacting people starting the week commencing 22 June.
32. I have applied for a motorcycle test and I have heard that I now need to bring my own ear piece, is this true and what one should I get and where can I get it ?
As part of resumption of services, post the COVID 19 cessation, the RSA now require all motorcycle test applicants to bring their own earpiece for communication with driving testers during motorcycle tests. The RSA will issue customers additional guidance on this prior to their test appointment notification and if you do not have a suitable earpiece already you can buy one at your local electronic store or phone accessory shop.
33. Are all Approved Driving Instructors (ADI's) back operating?
ADIs are independent operators and if you have been taking lessons from a particular ADI you should contact him/her directly to see what arrangements they are making.
34. I have a query or concern in relation to my ADI and Covid-19 guidelines, what do I do?
ADIs, like all other service providers, are obliged to follow government protocols. The Health and Safety Authority has an enforcement role as regards compliance with the protocols. ... See MoreSee Less
Safeway is back to business from tomorrow 29/06/20, please contact me at 086 8972778, if you wish to book a lesson, keep safe Martin @ Safeway ... See MoreSee Less
Hi Folk’s, latest update from Road Safety Authority,
We want to take this opportunity to update you on the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) efforts to get the driving test operating again. We know the past few months have been very difficult and stressful for you and that you are anxious to get back providing lessons to candidates. We too want to be back on the pitch testing candidates as soon as possible, but the overriding consideration in doing so must be the safety of our staff and our customers.
We have been working closely with the Department on putting in place a plan that would see the return of the driving test service. As the Minister confirmed, we do see the possibility of truck, bus and motorcycle testing resuming in Phase 3 of the Government’s Road Map to reopening the country. So, assuming the Government approves the move to the next phase, and the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport approve our resumption in line with service protocols, testing of candidates in these three categories could return on the 29 June.
The resumption of car testing is more of a challenge. The issue is that the test candidate and the driver tester cannot maintain physical distancing. They would be sitting within a two-meter distance of each other in a confined space, and for periods in excess of 15 minutes. Physical distancing is something which the National Return to Work Safely Protocol asks all employers to review so that alternative protective measures can be put in place where the two-metre rule cannot be maintained. Subject to government approving the move to Phase 3, we are aiming to get Category B ‘car tests’ back at the earliest opportunity in phase 3.
As part of our resumption of service plans, we have created an FAQs document to provide you with the latest information and to outline some of the new protocols that will apply at driving test centres.
When we have more concrete details on any aspect of the resumption of driver testing services, and subject to them being approved by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, we will be in touch with all ADIs to update you on developments.
In the meantime, we want to thank you all for your patience. This is a very challenging time for everyone, but we know that by working together we can find a pathway to safely getting back to helping our customers become better safer drivers.
Frequently Asked Questions
for Resumption of Driver Testing Services
1. When are driving tests resuming?
We expect to resume tests for trucks, buses, and motorcycles (except for C1 and D1 categories) week commencing 29 June. Tests for these categories will resume gradually during that week. While a date has not yet been finalised, we are targeting resuming car tests and C1 and D1 categories) at the earliest opportunity in phase 3. Further actions are necessary to ensure we can safely meet public health safety measures, and this will dictate the actual resumption date.
Can the RSA provide a roadmap with indicative timelines for the resumption of testing to allow for demand management of driving lessons to allow students to be properly prepared for the driving test.
It is envisaged that, in line with Phase 3 of the Government Roadmap , motorcycle testing will be the first of our testing services to resume followed closely by truck and bus tests and finally a phased resumption to car testing Final dates for service resumption remain under discussion and are dependent on continued positive progression of the country against the overall Government roadmap. Subject to government approving the move to Phase 3, we are aiming to get Category B ‘car tests’ back at the earliest opportunity in phase 3 (in light of the government’s revised road map for the reopening of Ireland). We will continue to update and advise ADIs of exact timings as we obtain more clarity and continue to move towards Phase 3.
3. Will the content of any of the driving tests change?
No, the driving test content will remain the same
4. Can an ADI visit a test centre?
No, only those people with a driving test appointment may attend a driving test centre. This is in order to conform with public health requirements.
What steps will driver testers be taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19
Driver testers will be wearing facemasks as will all customers (except those who cannot do so for health reasons). Driver testers will also carry pocket sized hand sanitisers and wipes while in the vehicle.
6. Can the RSA assist with any guidance on what PPE at a minimum is required when we recommence driver tuition?
As ADI’s are independent commercial entities, ultimate responsibility for safe resumption of driver tuition and education lies with each individual ADI and you should satisfy yourself that you have taken the necessary actions to ensure a safe resumption to work in line with the relevant public health guidance and the “Return to Work Safely Protocol” document.
The RSA is reviewing how the driver testing service can resume safely in line with the government’s National Protocol for returning to work and alongside the public health advice and guidance.
As set out by the Health and Safety Authority and other government guidance, the most important actions that can be taken to protect staff and customers from COVID-19 is to undertake regular hand-washing, good respiratory hygiene and to follow physical distancing guidelines. While this is still being reviewed internally, revised measures on resumption of driving tests is likely to include, amongst other things, the following:
Customers will be asked to cancel their appointment if they develop COVID symptoms in the days before or on the date of the test. No cancellation fee will apply, and Customers will be rescheduled at a later date.
Limiting access to the driving test centre, which will mean that only the test customers will be allowed entry and any accompanying ADI or family member/friend will be asked to remain outside.
Customers should ensure that their vehicle is clean and free from any tissues or personal items and that where possible windows on passenger and driver side are left partially open. The ‘recirculated air’ option for the car's ventilation should be set to ‘off’ to ensure as much fresh air as possible is circulating in the vehicle.
Customers may be contacted by the driver tester via phone as part of the initial pre-test ‘meet and greet’ so as to reduce face to face contact. If this occurs the mobile phone number provided at the time of application will be used.
Where possible, and weather permits, as much activity between the driver tester and candidate will be conducted in the outdoors.
Customers will be asked to wash / sanitise their hands before and after the test
Customers will be provided with a face covering during the test which must be worn, if the customers cannot wear a face covering then they must confirm this in advance of the test appointment. The driver tester will also wear a face covering.
Customers may be asked to wipe their learner permit with sanitiser before presenting it to the tester.
Maintaining a distance of two metres can largely be followed in the carrying out of Bus, Truck and Bike tests but it is not physically possible when conducting a car test. However, in line with government guidance, processes should support having as much physical distance as is reasonably practicable and safe between the driver tester and the customers and additional protective measures such as the wearing of face covering should be put in place. This should all be done in conjunction with good hygiene practices and respiratory etiquette.
Will I need to modify my car in advance of service resumption?
Each individual ADI should satisfy themselves that they have taken the necessary actions to ensure a safe resumption to work in line with the relevant public health guidance.
The RSA does not intend on issuing any COVID requirement to ADIs around vehicle modifications. However, if you are considering fitting your vehicle with Perspex panels or any other physical barriers during the Covid19 pandemic, you should contact the vehicle’s original manufacturer or authorised distributor. They are best placed to advise if there are any safety implications or if it is possible to carry out the proposed fitting without affecting the performance of the vehicle’s safety features, e.g. airbags etc. You must also ensure that any such installation does not present a danger to the driver, occupants, or any other road user. It is important to remember that, under Irish road traffic regulations it is the responsibility of the owner and or driver to ensure that their vehicle is maintained in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place. In such cases ADIs may also need to consult with their insurance companies.
8. What will be the new procedures for ADIs and test candidates attending at driving test centers?
When testing services resume, ADIs will no longer be permitted to accompany test candidates into the Test Centre or to use the waiting areas. ADIs must also vacate the vehicle in advance of the Driver Tester and test candidate arriving at the vehicle. In order to minimise any additional risks of Covid-19 contamination, public toilets at Test Centres will be for test candidates use only.
9. Are there any items that the RSA will require in terms of the vehicle that candidates use for their test, or where an ADI vehicle may be used?
As well as the normal vehicle requirements such as NCT and so on, customers should ensure that the vehicle they intend to use for their driving test is clean and free from any tissues or personal items. Where possible windows on the passenger and driver side should be left partially open and the ‘recirculated air’ option for the car's ventilation should be set to ‘off’ to ensure as much fresh air as possible is circulating in the vehicle.
The RSA expectation is that ADIs will adhere to the government protocol requirements with regards to sanitisation of work areas taking into account the health and safety of both the test candidate and the Driver Tester. This would include, but not be limited to, implementing thorough and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as steering wheels, gear sticks, door handles, hand brake and so forth.
10. What will a phased resumption testing plan look like?
As with all areas of society, implementing the current public health social distancing and sanitisation requirements within the driving test service, will impact on our ability to provide the same level of driving test appointments as before. At the time of test suspension waiting times on average across the country were less than six weeks. On resumption waiting times will be substantially longer. However, it is hoped that once the service resumes, and after an initial adjustment period has taken place, that we can then plan to increase availability of test appointments.
11. What test capacity will be available?
Initially test capacity will be reduced as adjustments to comply with public health guidelines are bedded in. However, it is envisaged that a robust demand management plan will be put in place to cater for candidates who wish to sit their test and progress on their journey to become a safe driver. ... See MoreSee Less