Temporary road test centre opening in Niagara Falls to help alleviate backlog

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The provincial government is taking tangible steps to reduce the significant backlog of drivers trying to complete licencing requirements by opening additional road test locations. 

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced it was opening three temporary test centres in Ottawa, Sarnia, and Niagara Falls.

“Opening a temporary road test centre in Niagara Falls will help increase testing capacity across the DriveTest network and help local residents book a G2 or G road test sooner,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. 

“Our government has a strategic plan to reduce the backlog of novice road tests, and I am pleased that we are delivering additional testing for people in Niagara.”

DriveTest, which offers driver licensing and examination services on behalf of MTO, has had to cancel in-vehicle road tests – required to obtain a G2 or G license – several times throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to provincial restrictions. 

The most recent shutdown of in-person testing between the beginning of April and mid-June 2021 created a backlog of 700,000 tests, with many people having to wait several months to fulfill their road test requirement. 

“We’re making tremendous progress towards clearing the backlog of road tests,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney. “By opening temporary road test centres, hiring additional driver examiners, and extending weekday operating hours for passenger road testing, we’re getting Ontario back on track.”

In addition to opening three new temporary road test locations, the provincial government is also hiring an additional 251 temporary driver examiners.

“Our government recognizes the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all Ontarians,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “That’s why we are pleased to be opening temporary road test centres…to help clear the backlog of road tests and minimalize the wait times for our local residents.”

According to a report by Global News, the long wait-times have led to some people selling appointments online for hundreds of dollars via third-party website, something the province warns against. 

“The public should only book road tests at DriveTest.ca, and avoid booking through third-party websites,” read a media release from MTO. 

Located at 6080 McLeod Road, the new Niagara Falls test centre will open Monday, October 18. The location will offer class G2 and G road tests seven days a week between 7am and 6pm. Booking for the new centre is already available.

Niagara residents can still book road tests at the region’s permanent DriveTest centre located at Bunting Square in St. Catharines. 

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