Wisconsin Public Radio

DMV Waives Road Tests For Eligible Teens

During pandemic eligible teen drivers can get driver's license without passing a road test.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - May 5th, 2020 03:36 pm
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S. Miller Park Way. Photo by Carl Baehr.

S. Miller Park Way. Photo by Carl Baehr.

Wisconsin teenagers eager to get their probationary driver’s license will be able to do so without completing a road test beginning Monday.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles is waiving road tests for drivers under the age of 18 who have completed 30 hours of the required training and have permission from a parent or guardian.

The pilot program was announced Tuesday.

Kristina Boardman, DMV administrator, said several other states have successfully done away with road tests.

“The DMV will offer road tests, but this pilot program will allow another path forward for those who qualify,” Boardman said.

The DMV stopped conducting road tests in mid-March due to COVID-19. When road tests resume, examiners will apply a seat cover when entering the driver’s vehicle and wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a face shield, to protect the driver and themselves. There is an estimated backlog of 16,000 road test requests.

Boardman said about 10,000 of those will be eligible for the road test waiver.

About 98 percent of people under the age of 18 pass their road test on their first or second attempt, Boardman said.

“When people fail, it’s usually just stage fright,” she said.

The restrictions of a probationary driver’s license still apply for at least nine months.

The DMV will also launch a second pilot program Tuesday allowing United States citizens with a driver’s license to renew online. Previously, renewal had to be done in person.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 80,000 people in the state have an expired license, said Craig Thompson, secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

“These pilot programs represent innovative solutions to help Wisconsin address challenges created by the pandemic,” Thompson said.

Customers wanting a driver’s license that is REAL ID-compliant will still need to visit a DMV service center when they reopen. The deadline for Real ID has been extended one year to Oct. 1, 2021.

Without a REAL ID designation on a driver’s license or ID, travelers will need another form of identification, like a passport, for domestic air travel.

The pilot programs are expected to continue through the 2020 calendar year.

DMV Waiving Road Tests For Eligible Teen Drivers During Pandemic was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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One thought on “DMV Waives Road Tests For Eligible Teens”

  1. blurondo says:

    Because of the reduction in miles traveled due to the pandemic, my auto insurance company, like many others, has extended a 2 month reduction of my premium.
    One can only hope that this new prodecure by the DMV will not cause them to change their mind.

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