After a four-month break, B.C. residents will once again be able to book a road test in July.
On Tuesday (July 7), the Insurance Corp. of B.C. laid out the details of its “phased” reopening plan.
Health-care workers and first responders who need a licence for work will have priority access and can call 1-800-950-1498 to determine if they qualify, and to book.
Motorcycle and recreational trailer tests will begin first, starting up again on Wednesday, with Class 5 and 7 road tests starting up as of July 20. Drivers who had their tests cancelled between March 17 and 30 will get priority and should expect a call from ICBC this week, and not call the auto insurer themselves.
All other customers are asked to book online if possible as phone lines will be busy as tests start up again. The auto insurer began taking appointments for commercial road tests and knowledge tests in June.
Spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said everyone who comes in for a road tests will be subject to a health screening, and may be asked to rebook if they cannot answer the questions, or do not pass. Both the test taker and the instructor will wear medical grade masks during the exam, and the instructor may wear more personal protective equipment as well. For anyone who is unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, a face shield will be offered.
But before people come in, Linsangan said drivers should look over the vehicle safety checklist to make sure they’re not turned away.
“The number one item is to make sure interior of your vehicle is clean,” she told Black Press Media by phone Tuesday.
Linsangan said with 55,000 cancelled appointments that ICBC will have to rebook, drivers can expect it to take some time to clear the backlog.
“But to reduce the stress, we’re exploring an appointment-based system when it come to other driver services [that typically were not by-appointment],” she said, “so that we are able to manage the volume of people who walk in.”
For drivers who cancelled their insurance during the height of the pandemic, ICBC is warning that their policies might not cost the same when they are reinstated.
“Policy cost changes could happen because of a number of factors, such as converting to the new insurance system, at fault claims or optional rate changes,” ICBC said in a statement. “However, customers may be experiencing these price changes earlier than they normally would have because of the cancellation.”
The auto insurer sad that drivers who receive higher policy costs when they reinsure won’t see an increase until their former insurance expiry dates.
“ICBC will be identifying these customers in the coming weeks and automatically mailing them a cheque,” the auto insurer said.