Manitoba Public Insurance plans to resume driver testing using “MPI-certified driver education instructors” amid a union strike, but licences issued during this time could be subject to retesting down the road.
On Wednesday the Crown corporation said in a press release that Class 5 drivers who have already completed the comprehensive driver program will be eligible to receive their licence without a road test, while all other Class 5 drivers will be offered road tests with certified instructors should they wish to receive their licence during the work stoppage.
Priority will be given to people who already had tests scheduled with the Crown corporation, the release said.
Instructors from private driving schools who partner with MPI for programs like driver’s education in schools will do the testing, board chair Ward Keith said.
However, MPI’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles will have the discretion to require no-charge retesting once picketing ends as a “safeguard,” the board chair added.
“Just to make sure that at the end of the day, those who are licensed through this process are not in any way increasing the increasing risk on the road,” Keith said.
About 1,700 of MPI’s 2,000 employees went on strike on Aug. 28 to demand higher wages. Members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union working for MPI have been without a contract since September 2022.
Knowledge testing will also resume and customers with existing appointments will be contacted as to how and where they will take place, MPI said.
The Crown corporation has other contingency plans in place amid the work stoppage, saying general inquiries and service transactions can be done at any of its nearly 300 broker partners across the province, including licence renewals, new insurance policies and insurance payments.
MPI’s contact centre will stay open for reporting personal injury claims, non-drivable collision claims and total-theft claims, and customers reporting all other types of collision damage claims, including hail claims, can go directly to an MPI-accredited repair shop.
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