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Pandemic backlog prompts province to open temporary DriveTest centre for York Region

Locations open in Guelph and Oshawa this week, with a York/Durham site among four more coming in September
Aug. 5, 2021
Elizabeth Kent

York Region residents who are eagerly awaiting a chance to take a road test will be able to attend a temporary centre opened by the province to help deal with a backlog in driver’s tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Aug. 9, the first two temporary sites will open in Oshawa and Guelph, with four more coming later in September, including one for York and Durham regions.

The locations correspond with the areas where demand for driver's tests is the highest, according to a government news release.

“We are taking concrete action to clear the road test backlog, and that includes opening temporary road test centres so people who need tests can get one as soon as possible,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney. “As Ontario continues to head in the right direction in the fight against COVID-19, we have an aggressive plan in place to hire additional temporary driver examiners, open additional centres to offer road testing, and extend weekday operating hours for passenger road testing, including weekends.”

The new sites will offer G2 and G road tests exclusively, with the Oshawa centre operating seven days a week, while the Guelph location will be open five days a week.

Currently in Newmarket, long line-ups occur daily at the test centre at 320 Harry Walker Pkwy., which is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Individuals whose driving tests were cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdowns they have been offered credits through the booking system and will have to re-book their appointments online.

Due to the high demand, cancelled appointments are not being prioritized at this time.

COVID-19 protocols are in place for in-vehicle testing.

Face masks are required and windows will be left open to ensure proper air flow.

Individuals will also be required to complete a screening questionnaire, sanitize their hands and provide contact information for tracing purposes.

Driving examiners will wear masks, face shields, and be equipped with seat covers.