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Albertans struggle to book road tests

By Admin User on November 15, 2019

Alberta drivers are facing roadblocks when it comes to getting their driver’s license. A shortage of road test examiners is causing long wait times for exam appointments.

Wait times are up to 12 weeks in most areas of Alberta. Many drivers are travelling hours from their homes to take a road test. The problem started in March when the government took over the road exam program. Now only government-hired examiners can conduct road tests.

“They told us to check every single day until something maybe earlier will pop up, but October 25 in Athabasca was as soon and as close as we could get it,” said Emma Stensrud, an Edmonton driver.

Stensrud booked her road test on August 25 and was not able to find any open dates for two months. The closest test available to her was an almost two-hour drive from her home.

During the summer the number of drivers waiting to take a driver exam was close to 36,000.

“The problem is we can’t rush bringing on the new licensees because of course it’s a safety-related issue and if you take a short cut on safety with the driver examiners by extension you take a short cut on safety with those getting licenses,” said Ric McIver, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation.

In September the government announced they would be licensing up to 30 private examiners to help get through the long waitlist. So far four private examiners have finished their training and are now working.

“November, December, January is one of the slowest seasons. We’re hoping to use that opportunity to stay up at full strength with our permanent employee driver examiners. And we hope also during this period of time to continue adding more licensees,” said McIver.

The best way to book an exam is to regularly check the road test scheduling website for openings or cancellations. The website will also open January appointments times in early November.



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