Aspiring Minnesota motorists could face shorter wait times to take their required driving tests under a new state proposal.
Teens and parents across the state have for months reported scheduling challenges and long delays for taking the road test required to obtain a driver’s license for the first time. Some have resorted to traveling for hours, and even staying overnight, to secure a testing spot in another city. A lack of available appointments, as well as staffing issues, appear to be contributing to the delays.
State Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Marys Point, has an idea for how to clear the backlog: Allow private driving instructors to administer the road tests.
“Parents should not have to camp outside overnight or drive hours out of their way so their child can take a driver’s test, nor should certain students be given preference,” she said.
“Students are already required to spend five hours behind the wheel with an instructor. Allowing those instructors to also administer the actual driving test would go a long way toward streamlining the process.”
Under Housley’s bill, the state would come up with a certification process for instructors and a framework for standardizing test materials and driving routes. Housley plans to formally introduce the bill when the Legislature returns to work in February.