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Byron Shire
December 4, 2021

Confusion around driving tests in Northern NSW

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Service NSW

There may be 85.5 per cent first vaccination in NSW, but there is still confusion about how to get booked in to pass the driving test.

Since August, it has been impossible for teenagers in Northern NSW to pass their driving test due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Echo has spoken to some locals who have been trying to book a driving test and apparently, Service NSW has been giving mixed messages about if, how, and when you can book a driving test in the region.

Some locals, who asked not to be named, have been trying to book an appointment were told that driving test bookings are available online when they called Service NSW last week.

However, it turned out that the Service NSW Ballina centre does not appear on the internet anymore.

Moreover, the Service NSW website declares that the only person able to make a booking online is those who had an appointment cancelled by the previous restrictions or an emergency.

‘There is a lot of frustration and confusion for the community who would like to return to normal after this tough stay-at-home orders,’ says one of the parents The Echo spoke to who has been trying to help their teenager navigate the process of getting a driving test booked.

Seeking clarification some young people who have been waiting months to get booked in to take their driving test went directly to the Service NSW Ballina centre to ask for clarification.

Agents at the Ballina centre told them they could directly book an appointment at the centre if they wanted, which they did.

However, when The Echo called Service NSW, it was told that going to the centre wouldn’t help to book an appointment and added that they don’t know when driving test bookings will be available.

The agent added, ‘no new bookings are available, whether online or directly in a centre’.

This has been proved wrong by local parents who have told The Echo that there was no problem of availability when they went into the Ballina centre earlier this week. When they asked to book a driving test at the Ballina centre, the agent told her many appointments were available.

Proof of double vaccination and wearing a mask for a test is mandatory.

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