The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we live. With so many restrictions on movement, it has become challenging to do so many previously simple things—and one area that has been dramatically affected is the process of getting a driver’s license.
If you have plans of getting one, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to do so amid all the chaos. We’ve created this COVID-19 driver’s license test guide so you know how you can get your driver’s license in these confusing times.
COVID-19 Driver’s License Test — Changes to the Process of Getting a Driver’s License
As local governments fight to keep the pandemic in check, many services have been canceled, temporarily put on hold, or amended—and that includes the issuing of driver’s licenses. The changes to how the department of motor vehicles (DMV) is handling this service are state-dependent. So, to know the latest information about what your state requires, check in with your local DMV’s customer service center.
However, some of the common changes being experienced across many states concerning the COVID-19 driver’s test include:
Making Online Reservations
Gone are the days when you could simply stroll into a DMV office and get help—even though you had to wait a while. Today, most states require that you make an online reservation to access their services. This includes taking knowledge tests, road tests, or renewing your driver’s license. This also applies if you want to get a commercial learner’s permit or commercial driver’s license.
For most states, making an appointment is a prerequisite to get helped. Without one, you won’t get assistance as walk-in services are limited.
In most states, learner’s permit expiration dates were automatically extended until the states decided to lift COVID-19 restrictions. You can still legally drive on your expired learner’s permit if your state is still operating under COVID-19 restrictions. The timeline for completing road tests was also extended.
Road Tests Waived
Another change in DMV rules and regulations is the waiving of road tests in many places. Yes, depending on where you live and the requirements in your state, you may be able to get a driver’s license without taking a behind-the-wheel driving test. However, this isn’t a free pass for everyone, as:
- This is only temporary, and some states may require mandatory re-tests once restrictions have been lifted.
- Other states require parents to vouch for their children’s driving skills.
- Most states require proof of driver’s ed and a certain number of driving hours logged in the form of driving lessons to waive the road test.
- First-time applicants who have failed a test in the past do not qualify for a road test waiver.
States Requiring an In-Person Road Test
As said earlier, each state has its rules and regulations concerning COVID-19 driver’s license tests. One of the most significant is whether your state requires you to take an in-person road test or not. Many states that have lifted some pandemic-related restrictions require that you take an in-person test. Examples of states requiring that you take an in-person road test include:
- New York
Make sure to check with your local DMV whether it’s possible to schedule an appointment for an in-person road test.
States Waiving Behind-the-Wheel Tests
Other states have been waiving the in-person road test for those who meet specific requirements. This is in a bid to deal with the massive backlog brought about by the suspension of services. Examples of states waiving the behind-the-wheel test include:
- North Carolina
Again, make sure to check your local DMV for the latest updates concerning this, as these regulations are subject to change at any time.
Modified Driving Tests
Instead of just putting everything on hold or waiving test requirements, some states like Georgia, Ohia, Texas, and others have decided to modify the driving tests. These vary according to location, but, in most cases, the instructor doesn’t enter the vehicle. Instead, a licensed parent, guardian, or third-party skills provider sits in the car while the instructor observes from outside.
In other places, like California, the instructor gets in the vehicle, but you must take the test with at least two windows open.
Make sure to inquire what to expect in your location to prepare for the changes in the testing format. Other COVID-19 protocols like the use of face masks and temperature checks also apply.
When Will I Be Able to Take My Driving Test?
The one question on many people’s minds amid all these changes in policies and regulations is whether they’ll be able to take their driving test. When will you be able to take your driving test?
While many states have put expiration dates on the changes they made to their driver’s license policies, they’ve also made it clear that they may extend if need be. This means the COVID-19 driver’s license test shakeup will continue as long as the pandemic is around or until the vaccines are proven to be effective.
In the meantime, keep abreast of what’s happening at your local DMV concerning the driver’s license regulations. If you still want to keep polishing up your driving lessons, Ticket School continues to operate normally. We provide help with courses and skills testing, so you’re ready to take your driver’s license test. Get in touch, and we’ll help in any way we can, including taking the online permit or driver license test online like we have in Florida.