Waiting times for driving tests rise to average of 13 weeks

Public service embargo and economic recovery hit waiting lists, especially in Dublin

Leaner drivers are having to wait longer for a test but a spokeman for the RSA says the hiring of 10 new testers should help the situation. Photograph: PA Wire

Waiting times for a driving test have risen to an average of 13 weeks as the economy grows and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) deals with staff shortages brought on by the public service embargo.

The RSA’s target average waiting time is 10 weeks but there is considerable variation across the country with waiting times in Dublin understood to be significantly longer than 13 weeks.

The RSA recently suspended publication of its table of waiting times at individual testing centres saying they were “currently under review and therefore unavailable at present”.

The RSA’s website carried a message of apology and said “demand for driving tests nationally is currently high and customers can expect to wait on average 13 weeks for a driving test”. The figure has risen from 12 weeks in recent days.


Brian Farrell, spokesman for the RSA, said lists were affected by a number of factors including retirements leading to staff shortages; a public sector recruitment ban and economic recovery which means more young people applying for a driving test for work.

However Mr Farrell said permission had been obtained from Government to hire 10 new testers, whom he said were now all fully trained “and on the pitch”. As a result, he said, he had no doubt that waiting times would fall over coming months.

Mr Farrell added that he was confident those who need urgent tests could be accommodated. “Nobody is going to miss out on a job opportunity or such,” he said. “ We know that a person may need to take a test urgently. We can usually facilitate this.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist