Driver’s exam stations reopening statewide
ST. PAUL – State officials have announced plans to reopen driver’s license exam stations to full capacity statewide by early next year, news Rep. John Burkel, R-Badger, said is especially welcome in Greater Minnesota.
Most driver’s exam stations in Minnesota were shuttered amid COVID-19 concerns. The Legislature earlier this year set aside dedicated funding in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to reopen all 93 offices, including in Northwest Minnesota.
"The extensive closures of driver's exam stations, especially in Greater Minnesota, have caused problems for thousands of Minnesotans forced to travel much farther than normal take license exams," said Burkel. "These reopening plans are very welcome news, and I am glad we were able to provide the funding to ensure access to driver's license exam stations much closer to home for many people."
In May 2020, the DPS-DVS consolidated all Minnesota exam stations and their services to 14 locations to increase efficiencies and maintain social distancing. A letter from DVS indicates 26 exam stations currently are open to serve Minnesotans. The department said it needs to complete the following tasks to accomplish a successful reopening by its Jan. 21, 2022 target:
- Renew leases or find new space to lease.
- Hire and train enough staff to cover testing at each location currently open.
- Hire 34 additional examiner positions.
- Set up an appointment schedule at each location.
The letter from DVS also indicates it is facing a significant hiring challenge and is working to fill vacancies. Available job positions are posted and frequently updated at https://mn.gov/mmb/careers/, DVS said.