Annoyed young drivers can’t get a driving test for five years
WINCHESTER — Rural kids are increasingly driving the back roads without a valid driver’s licence and often times the parents are okay with it.
This is partly caused by the spike in illegal young drivers who can’t drive legally even if they want to. Driving test centres across the province were shut down during COVID lockdowns and only re-opened in mid-July. About 400,000 driving tests were cancelled and now you can’t get a driving test in almost any location in Ontario until at least October 2025.
For instance, if you wanted to book a driving test in the town of Winchester and checked the Drivetest centre website on July 31, you would have discovered that there are no available tests for any date listed on the website. The website shows all test times booked to the end of October 2025.
One teenager, who drove for one year with a G1 licence, said that the earliest opening she found for a G2 driving test was in December in Elliot Lake, an eight-hour drive from her home. The 17-year-old spoke on condition of anonymity and said that her father told her that he would allow her to drive on her own anyway because she is a good driver and the government shouldn’t take people’s rights away because it screwed up.
“I am going to use my father’s authorization as a driver’s licence,” the teenager said, adding that she is annoyed by the five-year backlog and by the fact that she also tried to renew her passport three times and that that federal department is still closed. Her introduction to government services is not pretty. She called government bureaucracy “a bunch of useless people.”
The province is hiring an additional 167 drive test instructors to alleviate the driving test backlog.