The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) made two announcements regarding how customers can handle driver license transactions and road tests.
ICBC announced that they are moving to an appointment-based system for most driver licensing officer transactions and that they are moving to the next phase of their road test resumption plan.
With customer volume increasing, ICBC is urging customers to book appointments online before visiting an ICBC office for transactions such as driver license renewals and knowledge tests, as this allows ICBC to meet the physical distancing guidelines set by the Provincial Health Officer.
Joanna Linsangan, a spokesperson for ICBC, said booking online would allow them to stager the number of customers, and make sure everyone is safe.
“We are asking customers prior to coming into an office, whether you’re coming into renew your license, replace a lost license, to get a medical exam, or to conduct any kind of driver license transaction, normally we would take in walk-ins, but now given the fact that we want to make sure we are able to handle the volume of people within our offices; we’d like for people to book an appointment.”
She added that customers would be asked to arrive ten minutes before their appointment and ensure they have the required documentation. Customers will also receive a confirmation email and two reminder emails with instructions ahead of the appointment.
When it comes to road tests, ICBC has moved on to the next phase as they will be prioritizing customers whose Class 5 or 7 road tests were cancelled between March 17 and June 26.
Customers will not be able to book their road tests online, but will instead be contacted by ICBC and given the details of when and how they can book their road test. They will also contact customers in advance of their booking date.
Linsangan said that those who provide essential services would be the crown corporations’ number one priority.
“Essential health care workers, first responders, we will prioritize them,” she said. “In terms of when we first introduced road tests, we started off with commercial class licenses given the fact a number of people who carried those types of licenses are providing essential services throughout the province through this pandemic.”
As for Class 5 and 7’s licensing, which makes up the majority of ICBC’s road tests, they have rolled out a schedule for customers (see below).
Original date of cancelled Class 5 or 7 road test:
When customers will be contacted by ICBC:
When customers can book their new road test:
March 31 – April 30
Prior to July 30
July 30 onwards
May 1 – May 31
Prior to August 10
August 10 onwards
June 1 – June 26
Prior to August 17
August 17 onwards
All other customers
August 24 onwards
Linsangan said that customers could expect many different things when they come for their road test.
“One will be asking you to please clean your vehicle before you come in. We will be asking you a serious of health screening questions, and then finally, you will be required to wear a mask for the duration of your road-test, which we will be providing you with that mask.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ICBC has a backlog of over 50,000 road tests that have been cancelled and has been able to complete over 5,600 of them since reopening earlier this month.
Those who didn’t book their road test from March 31 to June 26 will have to wait until August 24.
Currently, ICBC is expanding their capacity so they can handle the influx of road tests, and customers who will require their services.
“Hiring additional driver examiners, that’s something that is currently underway, we had job posting that are up right now. We are going to be looking to expand our driver examiner base for the short term so we can get through this backlog,” she said. “Other things that we are going to be looking at as well is expanding our hours and days of operations, and then also repurposing some of our existing facilities.”
Linsangan said that ICBC understands the frustration of those who may have slipped through the cracks and those who have to wait a month or more before having their road test booked.
“We whole hardly understand some frustrations that are customers might feel,” she said. “We do thank them for their patients; we ask them for their continued patients during this time. Our plan that we are putting forth, we did very thoughtfully and wanted to make sure that the safety of our customers of them, the drivers, and also our examiners were top of mind for us.”
She added that if you don’t hear back from ICBC before a set date, that you reach out to them.