Drivers advised to take test in winter to beat long queues

Driving school vehicle.
Driving school vehicle. Source: ERR

The Transport Administration is inviting clients unsatisfied with the long driving exam queues to take the exam in winter when the waiting time is shorter.

Waiting times for driving tests have been a point of discussion for several years, with queues of at least two to three months. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 4,000 driving exams were postponed to the summer, the administration said.

The head of the administration's examination department Risto Kasemäe said the situation is changing all the time and if people want to check the number of free spots in the e-registry, a slot can likely be found for next week.

"When we currently look at the next week, there are some free times in Tallinn. The times appear and disappear," Kasemäe said, adding people register for a time and then cancel.

For that reason, the Transportation Administration reminds people to cancel the examination time as soon as possible. This frees up the spot for somebody else. Last year, 800 people did not come to their exam.

Kasemäe encourages people to sign up for winter times.

"Strangely, people don't want to come to us in the winter, we are currently seeing less interest. We would invite people who have not taken the exam for some reason to visit our e-service more often. It's easier to get an examination time in the winter than in summer or spring," the Transport Administration representative said.

The shortage of examiners has also been mentioned in connection with long waiting times. There are 40 state examiners at the Transport Administration, Kasemäe said. That's five more than about a year ago.

"We currently have a dozen people in Tallinn, but we got a little more resources. A few people are waiting for certification. We are talking about 15 people in Tallinn and a total of 40 examiners across Estonia. A few years ago we brought three or four Saue examiners to Tallinn and now we have recently got two more openings. Currently, the number is optimal. "

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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