The regulations in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 have changed the world. As we settle into our new “normal”, we must alter the way we live our daily lives. Since people are not able to go out in public, many institutions have changed their policies to accommodate this. When it comes to driver’s education, state policymakers are realizing that the usual methods of getting your driver’s license won’t work. More specifically, road test requirements are being altered in several states.
Georgia and Wisconsin Temporarily Waive Road Tests
On May 5, Wisconsin announced that they are temporarily waiving their road test requirements for individuals under 18. According to the Wisconsin DOT, the COVID-19 crisis has caused over 10,000 teens to miss out on getting their license. As of May 11th, 16 and 17 year olds have been able to get their license without taking the road test as long as they finish their driver’s ed training and have their parent or guardian sign the road test waiver. The Division of Motor Vehicles has stated that they will decide if this change will become permanent when they receive more data.
On April 23rd, the state of Georgia temporarily waived its road test requirement for teens. As of May 12th, however, the road test requirement has been reinstated. Teens looking to get their license in Georgia now have to schedule an appointment to take their road test.
North Carolina Lawmakers Push to Waive Road Tests
In Mid March, the North Carolina DMV suspended road tests. Since then, four bills have been submitted to the General Assembly that are designed to help teens get their license. These bills are still awaiting approval.
Florida Requires Road Test Examiners to be Outside of the Vehicle
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has announced that they have altered their road test practice for teens. Examiners will now be outside of the vehicle as the teen takes their test. They will use walkie talkies or cell phones to give instructions. Drivers will take their road test in a closed course located at the department’s office. Inside the car, drivers will have to be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or over. These new regulations have caused controversy but are still being put in place.
Other states have considered altering their road test requirements, but decided against it. Minnesota had considered making a change, but decided to implement different procedures such as sanitizing the cars before and after the road test. For now, many States are still postponing road tests.
Its no surprise that COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives. We hope that throughout all of this, teens are still able to get their licenses in a safe, reliable way.
Georgia Gintowt, Author
If you are a Wisconsin resident consider taking this course: Wisconsin Teen Driver Education Online – 30 hour course