Driving theory tests at the Road Transport Department (RTD) could soon be conducted on computers by private companies.
There is expressed interest by multiple parties while KEVE (Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry) has already requested to meet with RTD officials to present its own opinions.
The RTD has also publicised its intention to move ahead with a tender for private companies to take over the conducting of theoretical examinations.
The private company which will take over these examinations and will collect a fee directly from those taking the test. The largest allowed fee will be specified in the bill, and the fee is expected to be significantly lower than that paid today.
According to the draft bill which was put for discussion in parliament, the maximum fee will be €30 of which €3 will go to the government as administrative fees. Furthermore, €4.31 will be collected by the government as VAT, leaving €22.69 per examinee to the private company.
The company which wins the tender must have at least one examination centre in each urban area: Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Paralimni. The examinations will take place in these centres, with the company issuing a certificate and exchanging information with the RTD system.
The RTD is aiming to eventually expand the computer examinations to all driving licence tests including bus drivers and taxi drivers.
The total investment needed to conduct examinations via computers for five years is €2.5 million, or €500,000 annually.
The RTD says that approximately 23,000 driving theory tests for drivers are conducted each year.
In 2015, 23,309 theoretical examinations took place, while in 2016 the number was 23,314.
With the computerised examinations, the RTD’s driving examiners will significantly increase their available time for practical examinations, leading to better service for those looking for dates for their practical examinations.