ICBC on Monday announced more support for British Columbians who want to take a knowledge test, as it implements additional physical distancing measures to ensure the safety of customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qualifying customers can call to book an appointment for a knowledge test at select locations beginning May 4 and at offices throughout the province by May 11. Locations offering testing can be confirmed when booking an appointment.
ICBC said scheduled appointments will allow it to provide an important service to impacted customers while ensuring its commitment to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Enhanced physical distancing measures, such as glass dividers, have or are currently being installed for the safety of customers and staff.
Anyone with a Class 5-8 learner’s licence that expired on or after March 1 or will expire within two weeks from when they phone to book, will be eligible to book a knowledge test appointment. Translator services are currently not allowed as physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained, however, non-commercial knowledge tests are currently translated into 11 common languages.
Customers whose Class 5-8 learner’s licence expired on or after March 17, when ICBC suspended road tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not have to pay a fee for their first knowledge test. At this time, knowledge tests are not available for first-time learner applicants.
Knowledge tests by appointment will also be available for residents who are new to B.C. where there is a legislative requirement to change their licences within 90 days, and for all commercial learner class applicants, including air brakes and heavy trailer. To ensure safety and physical distancing in the offices, commercial stand-by or walk-in knowledge tests will be discontinued as of May 2 and will then be made by appointment only.
Customers will also be able to book an appointment for their Motorcycle Skills Testing (MST), which will re-commence on May 11. The MST will be available for those people who hold an existing learner’s licence or whose learner’s licence expired on or after March 1.
“We know many British Columbians are facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO, ICBC. “By introducing knowledge tests by appointment we hope to support customers who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic while still enabling offices to conduct operations safely. We continue to adapt and respond as the pandemic continues, ensuring that the safety of our customers and staff remains the priority.”
Eligible customers should call ICBC’s driver licence contact centre at 1-800-950-1498 and leave a voicemail message requesting a knowledge test. Customers will receive a callback from an ICBC representative, who will identify available testing locations and book the appointment. All appointments will be 45 minutes per knowledge test and the number of available appointments will vary depending on location. Customers can book their motorcycle skills test online or can call 1-800-950-1498.
ICBC has already implemented several other measures to help British Columbians during the pandemic, such as:
- waiving the $30 cancellation fee and $18 re-plating fee for those customers who choose to cancel their insurance during this time.
- establishing the ability to conduct a number of transactions by phone or email, such as renewing driver’s licences set to expire, and renewing insurance; and
- allowing customers who pay for their insurance on a monthly basis to defer payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.
ICBC said it continues to review its operations to support the safety and well-being of its customers and employees, and will make additional changes as necessary.
Additional measures taken:
- ICBC waives cancellation and re-plating fees: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2020-apr16.aspx
- ICBC defers payments by 90 days: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2020-mar24.aspx
- Insurance renewable by phone: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2020-mar18.aspx
- ICBC suspends road tests: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2020-mar17.aspx