IFA Countryside Chairman Brian Rushe has called for the immediate resumption of the Driver Theory Test Service.

“I previously wrote to Minister Hildegarde Naughton pointing out that there are many essential workers who need to secure a Category B and/or W Driver Licence in order to deliver essential services on farms during the Summer, and as part of employment with agricultural contractors.”

The service was supposed to resume last Tuesday, but it remains suspended until further notice.

Minister Hildegarde Naughton confirmed in the Dáil last week that the Driver Theory Test has not been classified as an essential service and will remain closed.

An online pilot allows candidates to take their Driver Theory Test for buses and trucks remotely from their own home.

While pre-pandemic capacity was approximately 15,000 tests per month, the rollout of this online option for cars is planned to begin during May, with up to 3,000 online car Driver Theory Tests being conducted per month.

Mr Rushe concluded by saying that the backlog of candidates waiting for a test continues to grow and that capacity must be increased to make online testing available for essential workers without further delay.