VANCOUVER -- Drivers hoping to take a road test in the near future will have to wait at least two weeks, as ICBC is temporarily suspending evaluations province-wide over COVID-19 concerns.

The insurer made the announcement Tuesday, saying it's continually evaluating risk levels over the spreading novel coronavirus. 

"Effective immediately, we are suspending all road tests and we will reassess in two weeks," a notice from ICBC said.

"There are no cancellation fees for these bookings."

As well, anyone who visits an ICBC licensing office will be asked COVID-19 screening questions and may be asked to return at a later date. Access to waiting areas is also being limited to ensure social distancing. 

On Wednesday, the insurer announced additional measures to limit in-person contact amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Brokers will now be temporarily allowed to conduct ICBC insurance business by phone and email, the company said in a release, noting that many brokers remain open for business for those who have transactions that can't be done over the phone, such as vehicle registrations and new policies.

ICBC customers will now be able to do the following by phone and email:

  • Renew or cancel vehicle insurance, or make policy changes
  • Make changes to storage policies and temporary operating permits
  • Receive transactions by email
  • Submit signatures electronically
  • Submit payments by phone
  • Receive policy documents by email

ICBC advises customers to give themselves "ample time" for renewals, as the transaction may take longer than usual.

For anyone with a claim, only urgent transactions are being completed at ICBC's claim centres. 

Anyone who has travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days, has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or has a fever, cough or difficult breathing is asked reschedule their appointments.

ICBC said it has not yet made any changes to driver's licence renewal protocols, but is "working actively on further options across the board to support customers and employees."