News & Media

Sherlock calls for Driver Theory Test reclassifications

18 May 2021

Statement by Seán Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Social Protection, Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Community and Rural Development
  • Minister must do better for Theory Test applicants and move online.

Labour Spokesperson on Rural and Community Affairs Seán Sherlock TD has called on Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to do better for the thousands of applicants awaiting a driver theory test appointment.

Said Deputy Sherlock:

“3,200 people will have their test done online this month, that is just a drop in the ocean.

“We feel that the Minister needs to do better and move all applicants online if that is their choice. That needs to happen immediately. There are countless numbers of people who are contacting our offices with serious concern and we continue to ask the Minister for the exact figure of the total number of people who are waiting for the Driver Theory Test. This delay in communication leaves those living in rural areas not served by public transport completely isolated. 

“There needs to be clarity from the Government in terms of the category that were called ‘essential workers’. We need to move beyond categorisation of workers so that everybody who applies for a Driver Theory Test can have the test in a timely fashion, be able to do it online, and be able to do so immediately.

“The backlog created by Covid-19 requires additional resources and must be urgently addressed as young and rural drivers continue to be disproportionately impacted. While this is affecting people up and down the country, young people in particular are calling out for a resolution, many of whom may need their car to get to college, work and are looking forward to exploring the country for our outdoor summer.

“We are hearing of extended wait times of up to a year for tests, and this disproportionately affects our young people who are in dire straits. These delays will inevitably lead to huge financial costs for learner drives, including higher insurances prices and extra pressure on families to accompany learner drivers. I would urge the Government to hear the pleas of thousands throughout the country who are impacted. Reclassification must happen for applicants without delay.”