FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick has become the first province to offer an online written driver’s test.

The online tests will reduce wait times at the service centres and increase access to testing for the Class 7.1 written tests which include the road sign recognition exam and the rules of the road non-commercial knowledge exam.

“An increasing number of our customers want the convenience and safety of online transactions rather than in-person visits to a service centre,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson. “As one of our most requested services, particularly from our younger customers, being able to offer the written driver’s test online is a significant step towards reaching our goal of having 70 per cent of all transactions completed online.”

The new system was developed in partnership with an Atlantic Canada based software engineering company with an office in Fredericton. As a result of this partnership, Service New Brunswick is now able to offer randomized tests and answers to ensure uniqueness among those taking the test, and to leverage artificial intelligence to detect fraudulent behaviour.

The software uses the applicant’s web browser and camera to take a photo of the candidate at the beginning of the test for identification purposes. Snapshots of the applicant are taken randomly throughout the test to ensure the same person is taking the test, and that they are not getting help from another person or any other source.

Each candidate has 30 minutes to complete the multiple-choice tests. The system automatically marks the test and the results are sent by email.

If they pass, the candidate can visit a Service New Brunswick centre (except at Dieppe or Campobello) after four business days to complete the process by completing the vision screening, providing identity and residency documentation, having a photo taken, and paying for the driver’s licence. The candidate’s in-person photo is compared with the photos taken during the test.

If a candidate fails the two-part test, they can repurchase the entire bundle, or just a single test. The bundle costs $25, plus HST, and a single test costs $15, plus HST.

A desktop or laptop connected to the internet with an enabled camera is required. Phones and tablets are not compatible at this time.

In person testing is still available at service centres.