Canadian Underwriter

What road tests and bookings may look like during the pandemic

July 23, 2020   by David Gambrill

Print this page Share

B.C.’s public insurer is starting to re-book road tests that were interrupted by the pandemic, prioritizing drivers whose Class 5 and 7 road tests were cancelled between Mar. 17 and June 26, 2020.

The insurer is reaching out to Class 5 and 7 drivers with details of how to book their road tests online. The insurer is booking appointments for new road tests according to the following schedule:

  • If the original date of the cancelled Class 5 or 7 road test was Mar. 31 to Apr. 30, ICBC will contact the customer to book a road test online before July 30, and the road test will be booked from July 30 onwards.
  • If the original date of the cancelled test was May 1 to May 30, ICBC will contact the customer to book a road test online before Aug.10, and the road test will be booked from Aug. 10 onwards.
  • If the original date of the cancelled test was June 1 to June 26, ICBC will contact the customer to do the online road test booking before Aug. 17, and the road test will be booked from Aug. 17 onwards.

“All other customers will be able to book a road test starting Aug. 24,” ICBC says on its website. “We advise you not to call the call centre before August 24.” There is no standby availability for any road test appointment.

Social media posts include comments from drivers who would like to be re-booked earlier than Aug.24, naturally. And some believe they have been passed over in the queue.

CBC cited B.C. Attorney General David Eby, the minister responsible for ICBC, imploring motorists to be patient. “It’s a significant number of people who are affected and a significant backlog,” he told CBC. “Fortunately, ICBC is fully caught up on the commercial side….Working through [the rest of] the backlog will take a considerable amount of time, it will depend on how many examiners ICBC can get up and trained and deployed.”

Eby warned that drivers who fail Class 5 and 7 tests will likely face extended wait times for follow-up tests. “Hopefully people are showing up to the tests more prepared now, and passing the first time,” he said.

Road tests in B.C. during the pandemic will look different than they usually do, as ICBC notes on its website.

“Our driver examiners are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for the duration of the road tests. They have access to a combination of equipment including masks, shields, goggles, gloves and disposable seat covers. We’re also providing a mandatory medical grade mask for customers to wear during the road tests.”

Drivers will be screened for health, and must ensure that their vehicle interiors are clean. They will be expected to maintain a two-metre distance from ICBC examiners “when possible.”

“For motorcycle road tests, riders will not be provided PPE due to the nature of the test, but they will be required to wear the safety vest that we provide, which will be sanitized after each use,” the insurer states.

Drivers who hold Class 5 licenses, the most common in the province, can:

  • Drive cars, vans, trucks, construction, utility vehicles (two axles, maximum) and motorhomes (may exceed two axles);
  • Tow trailers or vehicles up to 4,600 kg;
  • Ride a limited speed motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV); or
  • Ride three-wheeled vehicles, not including three-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations

Class 7 license holders, basically a learner’s permit, can allow a driver to do all of the above without a Class 5 license, provided there is supervision, and subject to graduated licensing restrictions.


Feature image courtesy of iStock/CasarsaGuru

Print this page Share

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *