People turning to third-party websites for driving tests during backlog
KITCHENER -- DriveTest Centres across Ontario are facing an appointment backlog, making road tests hard to come by for young drivers.
The delays have pushed some people to third-party websites, which promise earlier appointments at a premium price. However, the promises from those sites may be too good to be true.
Juno McGowan said she feels like she was scammed.
"Honestly I was just really upset and screaming bloody murder at the world at the time," she said.
McGowan needs to go for her G licence driving test, but appointments are hard to come by these days.
DriveTest Centres closed in March when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Since reopening in August, they've faced a backlog.
"It's absolutely just horrendous to try and book," McGowan said. "Currently bookings are for March at least."
McGowan paid $150 to book an appointment for her test through a third-party site, but when she arrived, he appointment didn't exist.
"They were like, so we don't actually see your name on here for today," McGowan said.
Driving instructors Faith Morphy said more people are heading to other websites to book during the pandemic.
"There's a big rush on them now because of the backlog," she said. "People are so desperate to get a test they're willing to pay $150 to book a road test that could be free."
Morphy also said people are travelling from larger cities to smaller centres to take their test.
"People are just going on and searching for the first available road test, and then they're driving to get there because they don't want to wait so long," she said.
The Ministry of Transportation said it's working to hire more than 130 temporary examiners to help with the wait times.
"(We're) aware of the instances where third-party websites and individuals are providing road test appointments at a premium, and are working with DriveTest on developing solutions to this issue," a statement from the ministry said in part.
McGowan said she's now encouraging others to be cautious and patient when booking a road test.