New Zealand’s largest driver licensing tester is preparing for a surge in demand when New Zealand moves to the new COVID-19 traffic light system on Friday.
VTNZ Country Manager Greg O’Connor says the company, in conjunction with Waka Kotahi NZTA, is ready to receive bookings from fully vaccinated customers, with significant pent-up demand due to Auckland’s four-month lockdown.
“We had to postpone approximately 22,000 driver licence tests in Auckland so it’s not hard to imagine the level of demand that’s out there as we move to the new traffic light system.
“Our message to customers is make sure you’ve got your vaccine pass ready and ensure you book early. It’s going to be a very busy summer."
Driver testing is a close contact service, and to comply with the new traffic light system guidelines all test applicants must be fully vaccinated and show a NZ COVID-19 vaccination pass (otherwise known as My Vaccine Pass) to sit a test. If test applicants are joined by a support person, the support person must also show a NZ COVID-19 vaccination pass.
If tests cannot be conducted the applicant can choose to have it rescheduled free of charge to another time when it can be conducted safely in line with COVID protocols, or they can obtain a refund from Waka Kotahi.
Facemasks must also be worn during tests. If either the test applicant or support person has a face-mask exemption they must contact VTNZ in advance at DTexemptions@vtnz.co.nz.
“Safety is our top priority. We will be managing the significant demand for tests while still ensuring staff and customers are safe when they are out on the road.
“We’ve worked closely with Waka Kotahi following the Ministry of Health guidelines to develop the necessary health and safety procedures that will allow us to conduct tests under each of the new traffic light levels.
“We will continue to explore procedures that could allow customers who are not fully vaccinated to access these services in the future," says Mr O'Connor.
Waka Kotahi Director of Land Transport Kane Patena says VTNZ and Waka Kotahi are asking people to be patient while this demand for testing is worked through.
“We know how important it is for people to get a driver’s licence and we will be working with VTNZ to clear the backlog created by the lockdown, but it will take some time to work through.
“VTNZ and Waka Kotahi have rescheduled tests for all customers who were impacted by the lockdown, and encourage customers looking to make new bookings to think ahead.
“We’re working on solutions with VTNZ to help address delays and ease some of the pressure on the system. VTNZ will be providing additional testing locations and driver testing officers as a result,” says Mr Patena.