Physical distancing inside a car may be impossible, but as driving lessons were considered essential during the pandemic, Canberra has avoided a lengthy backlog.
As some schools rolled on, the risk was too great for many to take.
Instructors continued to teach but the ACT government's one-off driving test was cancelled from March 23.
There were 150 postponements but 40 of those people opted to complete log-book assessment instead.
Derek Brewer from Panache Driving School took on several new drivers who couldn't take the one-off test.
He said it was a silver lining, considering many of his vulnerable students had stopped classes due to health concerns.
"Because the government stopped doing their one-off test we got a lot of people who were desperate to get their licence," he said.
Driving tests were cancelled across all states when physical distancing rules came into place. A backlog of drivers in some states could take weeks or months to clear.
However, the ACT government deemed driving schools essential, giving Canberrans one option to get their licence.
A government spokesman said lessons were an educational activity which couldn't be done from home.
"Driving instructors were permitted to conduct lessons in the ACT as long as proper hygiene procedures [were] in place during and after each lesson," he said.
He said the government test was suspended due to Work Health and Safety concerns for staff and customers and Access Canberra were working with the Chief Health Officer to resume it safely.
Access Canberra said it would take two weeks to clear the backlog of drivers but did not yet have a date the government test would restart. During the pandemic, 650 learners progressed to their provisional licences - 400 less than the same time last year.
Mr Brewer said revenue fell 40 per cent when restrictions first hit, and he had expected to close down as it was impossible to maintain 1.5m distance in a car.
"The government deemed it to be alright," he said.
Instead, cleaning regimes were brought in and students signed forms declaring they were symptom free and hadn't recently travelled.
However, the risk was too great for some schools to stay open.
Road Ready Driving School's eight drivers stopped taking students in March and are only now slowly coming out of hibernation.
Owner William Stewart was baffled when he found out his service was essential and gave instructors the choice to continue work. Several received JobKeeper payments.
He couldn't understand why lessons could go ahead while much of society shut down.
"We've started to build up again quite steadily," he said.
Inquiries have started to roll in and classes restart, but Mr Stewart said it would be some time before the instructors at one of Canberra's biggest driving schools were booked out.
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