Delays expected in driver testing

VTNZ in Teviot St, Dunedin, expects to be extra busy for months to come as it deals with the...
VTNZ in Teviot St, Dunedin, expects to be extra busy for months to come as it deals with the backlog caused by Covid-19 restrictions. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Those booking a driving test in Dunedin can expect to wait up to five weeks longer than normal, as VTNZ deals with a backlog of more than 15,000 tests.

Four driving officers in Dunedin are joining 140 officers nationally in working to catch up on testing.

VTNZ national technical manager Craig Basher said, in a normal month, it carried out about 20,000 tests.

During Levels 3 and 4, it was unable to carry out the testing which resulted in the backlog of 15,000 previously booked driver’s licence tests.

He said the waiting times would "continue to be felt in the coming months".

"Customers need to plan for a wait time of between five to eight weeks for their test [up from the usual three weeks]."

"We have now been able to resume testing in Alert Level 2 and all of these tests have been rescheduled and will take place in their original locations.

"All previously booked tests were rebooked before remaining timeslots were made available to other members of the public."

Mr Basher said no additional driver testing officers had been brought to Dunedin to deal with the backlog, but they could be moved to neighbouring regions if required.

"VTNZ is in the process of recruiting more driver testing officers.

"The recruitment and training process takes between 12 and 14 weeks to complete."

The priority of VTNZ was ensuring the safety and wellbeing of team members and customers and it was following strict health and safety procedures under Level 2 while conducting driver tests.

"These have been amended to fit with the Government guidelines for close personal contact, to allow a driver testing officer to sit within one metre of a driver test applicant."

Mr Basher asked customers to be patient, and encouraged those waiting for a test to use their extra time to "practise, practise, practise".

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