Students wait months to take driver’s test

Driver and Vehicle Services deals with large backup from summer


Photo Illustration Sadie Yarosh

Gabriel Kaplan

When junior Shaqued Benharush found out she would have to wait over a month to take her driver’s license test, she said she was frustrated.

“It took my mom a few days before (the Department of Public Safety) could get back to her, and we got the appointment over a month later,” Benharush said. “They should get back to you faster because taking a few days to schedule the appointment a month in the future makes it take a while, and it’s not fair.”

According to Park driver’s education instructor William Wodarski, the delays are caused by both a backup and understaffing.

“There’s a couple of reasons why the appointments for the license test take so long to get. First of all, because of the fact that they now have a new computer system, and secondly because of the fact that they are understaffed,” Wodarski said. “They only can take so many people based on how many examiners they have at the test centers, and this usually is affecting only driver’s license tests.”

Sophomore Jonah Smith said he was able to schedule a test, with a several month long delay, by calling the Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) division.

“I tried scheduling it online multiple times,” Smith said. “(The phone number) allowed me to schedule an appointment eventually. I wasn’t able to get an appointment until Feb. 13.”

According to Wodarski, The DVS’s current backup began over the summer and the division is beginning to catch up with appointments.

“It’s just a carry-over from how bad it was this summer and (the DMV) still hasn’t cleared everything up, so if you went online today to get an appointment, you would probably be looking at two months ahead of time,” Wodarski said. “The Department of Public Safety told me that as time goes on, more and more appointments will become available, but the only way that you can check is every day on their website.”

Sophomore Daniel Goldenberg, who got his license over the summer, said he failed his first test, and in order to bypass the months long wait for the second one, he had to omit the fact that he had taken the test a week before.

“I think we scheduled it in June before camp and then I failed it on Aug. 24. Then, somehow my mom called in and lied and said the lady told me I could come in a week, so we were able to fake our way into a reservation the following week,” Goldenberg said. “They said if she didn’t say that, I would have had to wait until October.”

In order to take the test, Wodarski recommends his students plan ahead and schedule their tests months in advance.

“Don’t wait until the last minute on a Friday and say to your parents, that ‘I want to take my test on Monday.’ It just doesn’t work that way. Plan your driver’s training and your six hours of behind-the-wheel, and as soon as you start, two months before the six months (with the permit) are over with, be sure you go on the website to set up your appointment,” Wodarski said. “You can always cancel it out, but it’s very difficult to get one.”

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety declined to comment.

To schedule your driver’s test, go to the DVS website.