Validity theoretical tests extended as driving tests fully booked

Validity theoretical tests extended as driving tests fully booked
Credit: Belga

The validity of theoretical driving tests in Flanders will once again be extended as there is almost no more capacity to take a practical driving test at examination centres in the region before the previously extended deadline at the end of September.

Almost one month ago, it was announced that across the whole of Belgium, theoretical driving tests would remain valid until 30 September 2021, as there were more candidates who passed the tests valid until 30 September 2021 than there are available places in examination centres for the same period.

However, the long waiting lists at driving schools and examination centres in Flanders due to periods of lockdown, resulting in 35,000 practical exams not taking place.

In response to this, Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters announced both theoretical tests and provisional driving licenses will now remain valid until 31 December 2021 for those whose validity expires between 16 March 2020 and 30 September 2021.

For those whose validity expires between 1 October 2021 and 31 December 2021, there is an extension until 31 March 2022.

Yet, examination centres are doing "everything in their power to let the candidates take their turn as soon as possible," according to Peeters, adding that this is evident in the latest figures:  In the first five months of 2021, 16,605 more exams were taken than in the same period in 2019, an increase of 38%.

But now all available tests in most centres have been fully booked until 30 September, meaning many people whose theoretical driving licence validity would run out on this date will not have a chance to book a test on time.

Peeters has urged all candidates to plan an appointment on time to avoid another pile-up of appointments or validity periods running out.

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