Driver tests: Long waits at VTNZ post-lockdown

The Covid-19 lockdown has resulted in driving test waiting times of up to two months.

A local mum, whose son had a six-week wait at VTNZ Highbrook, told the Times her son went to VTNZ Glen Innes where he was able to take his test within two days.

James Law, VTNZ operations support manager, told the Times that in a normal month, VTNZ carried out around 20,000 driver tests nationwide.

“During Alert Levels 4 and 3, we were unable to conduct tests which resulted in a backlog of 15,000 previously booked driver licence tests,” Law said.

“The tests were rescheduled once we moved to Level 2. However, the backlog generated over the lockdown has resulted in longer wait times for all new driver testing customers around the country.”

VTNZ is advising customers to plan for wait times of between five to eight weeks for their tests, up from the usual three weeks. To address the backlog additional officers are being employed.

Credit: VTNZ

“However, we anticipate wait times of three weeks or more that were created by the lockdown, could continue for the remainder of the year,” Law said.

Regarding the very short wait times at VTNZ Glen Innes, he said the branch employs five driver testing officers.

“The branch reserves two driver testing schedules on a Friday in case of any absences earlier in the week. If by Wednesday, there have been no absences, any reserved booking slots are released and made available to the public,” he said.

“Additional slots are freed up through cancellations which together with the reserved slots, are offered to waiting members of the public.”