Peru’s reopening of a new licence centre set to ease backlog of tests

Peru’s reopening of a new licence centre set to ease backlog of tests

Booking in to get your driver's licence in Perth is a big struggle for many eager young L-platers, with a long backlog of available testing dates.

An announcement this week that the WA government would reopen a shuttered licence centre in Perth's northern suburbs and hire two dozen extra driving assessors, should be welcome news.

But while the reopening of the Joondalup Licensing Centre would help take the load off, he said, it might be a long way off yet before there is significant change.

The centre closed three months ago as it was deemed no longer fit for purpose, but it is set to re-open as a dedicated driver assessment centre in November.

Having the extra centre will definitely take the load off, said instructor Dirk Zarb Cousin.

I don't think completely, because of the boom in this area. It'll definitely free up more tests. Zarb Cousin said the lack of driving test dates had been frustrating for instructors, parents, and learner drivers.

It always has been a little bit of a struggle to get a test, but even more so now, he said.

The Joondalup centre was closed and there was a lack of driving assessors.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the refurbished centre would aim to add 130 practical driving tests per day along with 24 new driver assessors.

This is good news for West Australians wanting to sit their driving tests, we've worked really hard to make sure those that are in the system can do that, Ms Saffioti said.

The Joondalup facility was replaced by a larger licensing centre 15 kilometres north in Butler.

But the minister said this week that it was good to keep both of them.

There is demand across the area in particular, and the northern suburbs there's significant growth, Saffioti said.

Having the Butler centre together with Joondalup helps support the growing north. The department has implemented technical changes to the booking system, including two-factor authentication, after reports of people using bots to bulk book test times.

Roger Gibson, a father of two, said he had a difficult time booking tests for his children.

He added: There have been quite a few delays through that process, which has caused a fair bit of frustration.

It will take months or even weeks to book a test, he said, despite scanning for bookings throughout the day.

First thing in the morning, you would spend five or 10 minutes, he said.

You have several attempts when that was unsuccessful, you give up after a while, leave it for a few hours, go back in, do the same thing. And repeat throughout the day. Mr Gibson said that long wait times mean parents are spending more money and time on driving to maintain their child's driving skills.

You really need to be able to maintain those skills and that takes the time investment or it takes money, he said.

They've got delays on the retest, essentially, that they're not keeping their skills up, unless you're actually out there spending time with them doing the driving or you're paying for someone else to do it.