PEOPLE could be waiting up more than seven months for a driving test, the Road Safety Authority has warned.
That means people who apply now for a driving test may not get to do their test until at least next April.
Currently, there are 3,206 people waiting for a test date in Cork City, while there are 1,054 tests scheduled. A further 1,812 people who applied for a test have been deemed ineligible.
Spokesman for the Road Safety Authority, Brian Farrell, said: “The number of people waiting for a driving test has increased. This is due to two factors. The first is that the driving test service was shut down for over four months, during which time we were only able to conduct a small number of emergency tests.”
He continued: “The second is that we only started testing, on a gradual basis, on the 29 July and are operating at around 75% capacity per tester compared to the pre-covid19 environment. The reduction in capacity is a direct result of the measures we have had to introduce in order to comply with Covid-19 health and safety measures to protect both staff and customers.
“When the service was suspended in March the average waiting time for a driving test was less than six weeks. We estimate that a person applying now could face a 30-week wait.”
He said anyone who had their tests cancelled during the suspension have all been offered a new date.
He added: “In the interests of fairness test appointments are offered to people in the order of application date and for cases of essential workers. We are also operating a cancellation list and will place candidates who need an urgent test on that list. But, the cancellation list wants to become quite lengthy as customers are cancelling less frequently.”
He urged people who cannot attend their tests to notify their center.
He elaborated: “Right now, about 10% of all test candidates simply don’t show for test. A further 6% of tests are also not conducted because customers have incorrect documentation, ie NCT, tax, insurance out of date.”