Ontario DriveTest centres have been closed to the public since March, and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation confirmed last week that they would begin reopening to public starting on June 22.
Few details were available at the time about what specific services would be resuming when, but a news release from the province published Thursday outlines the detailed approach centres will be taking to safely restore full services by September.
According to the release, customers will be able to access DriveTest centres based on when they were born in order to reduce crowding and support requirements for physical distancing.
Those with birthdays between January and June will be able to visit a centre during the first week of reopening, which is next week.
People with birthdays between July and December will have access the following week, and this will continue to alternate weekly until full services resume.
Starting on Monday, all 56 full-time DriveTest centres will reopen for G1 and M1 knowledge tests, driver’s licence exchanges and commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades. Commercial road tests will also be available by appointment at 28 locations across Ontario.
“We encourage applicants to be patient when visiting a centre and hold off visiting DriveTest where possible to support physical distancing and reduce crowding,” said Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation, in the release.
“We have extended the validity of all driver’s licences, so we would ask that everyone hold off on visiting a DriveTest centre unless the need for a driver’s licence is urgent. I can assure you that no one will lose their licence as a result of COVID-19.”
To protect customers while the pandemic is ongoing, anyone entering a DriveTest centre or taking a road test will be required to wear a mask or face covering. DriveTest staff will also wear personal protective equipment when serving customers, and driver examiners will be equipped with face shields, sanitizer packages and seat covers when conducting road tests.
Individuals will also have to sanitize their hands when entering the building and undergo temperature checks before road tests.
Updated information on which customers are being served each week, how to access DriveTest centres and which services are being offered will continue to be posted on the DriveTest websiteweekly.
“As Ontario continues to gradually and safely reopen, reopening DriveTest centres will help get more people back to every day life,” Mulroney said.
“By resuming driver testing in a phased, staggered approach, important health and safety measures, such as physical distancing and extensive cleaning, can be maintained.”