The Ontario Trucking Association welcomed the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s announcement to reopen DriveTest facilities on June 22 and gradually phase-in licence applications and road tests across all locations throughout the summer.
All 56 full-time DriveTest centres will reopen on June 22 for commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades, including knowledge testing; while commercial road tests are being offered at 28 locations by appointment (see below for details). On August 4, commercial driver road testing will expand to the remaining 22 DriveTest locations across Ontario that offer road tests to commercial drivers. MTO will also introduce a pilot for testing Class A licence applicants directly at driving schools. And it is expected that many of the 39 part-time DriveTest locations (known as Travel Points) will also begin reopening at this time.
DriveTest locations were temporarily closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and wellbeing both staff and clients. To ensure minimal disruptions to essential trucking operations and supply chain distribution, the Government of Ontario under the leadership the MTO agreed to extend the validity of existing driver and vehicle credentials.
“As the province begins to reopen the economy, the approach taken by MTO to manage the testing and credentialing services for professional truck drivers will be critical,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “COVID-19 has created a challenging situation for the MTO. However, today’s announcement by Minister Mulroney shows the type of leadership and commonsense approach needed to deal with this ongoing challenge while keeping the industry on the right path in keeping the supply chain moving.”
The details of the gradual reopening include:
Phase 1 – June 22, 2020: All 56 full-time DriveTest centres will reopen for commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades, including knowledge testing. Commercial road tests are being offered at 28 locations across the province by appointment (Barrie, Belleville, Brampton, Brantford, Burlington, Chatham, Clinton, Cornwall, Downsview, Guelph, Hamilton, Hawkesbury, Kitchener, Kingston, Lindsay, London, Newmarket, Oshawa, Orangeville, Orillia, Ottawa Walkley, Peterborough, Sault Ste Marie, St. Catharines, Simcoe, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins).
Phase 2 – Aug. 4, 2020: The remaining 22 DriveTest locations across Ontario that offer road tests to commercial drivers will resume conducting commercial road tests.
OTA is reminding industry that there is no need for drivers to fear their licenses expiring and rush to renew credentials as MTO has extended the validity of all driver licenses until further notice so drivers can schedule renewal appointments at the convenience.
It is also important to note that all jurisdictions in Canada and the United States will continue to recognize any driver or vehicle credentials issued by the Province of Ontario until everyone can successfully and realistically complete renewals.
For a comprehensive overview of important COVID-19 information including health and safety protocols, temporary procedural and policy changes, services offered and DriveTest Centre openings and hours of operation, please click here. The DriveTest website will be updated with new information and carriers are encouraged to visit the website frequently to stay informed.
For complete details on the reopening of DriveTest Centres click here.