01 April 2022, by Victoria Séveno
With a high number of driving examiners retiring or on sick leave, students hoping to acquire their driving licence are now having to wait as long as four or five months for an appointment to sit their practical exams, the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Testing (CBR) has announced.
Students face 14-week wait in order to obtain Dutch driving licence
According to the CBR, last autumn, it would typically take around seven weeks from the day the student applied for a slot to the day they sat the exam. Now, this period has risen to an average of 14 weeks, with some students having to wait as long as 20 weeks until they’re able to sit their practical exam.
“At the moment, 12 percent of our 603 examiners are sick at home, most of them with COVID-19, and that means that they are not deployable for at least five days,” CBR director Alexander Pechtold explained. In order to stop this figure from rising further, the Dutch driving authority has decided to introduce its own rule: until at least May 1, candidates and examiners will be required to wear a mask when inside the car.
CBR struggling to hire and train new driving examiners
In addition to staff shortages caused by coronavirus, the CBR has also seen a number of its examiners retire, and is struggling to hire and train new employees. “Recruitment is extremely difficult: of the 8.087 candidates who have applied for a job since March 2021, only 108 have been hired by us for the training,” Pechtold told De Telegraaf.