Drivers license testing bill to be introduced on 1st day of legislative session

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KSTP has brought you stories concerning the long lines that form in the early overnight hours at driver test sites around the metro.

Young drivers have been waiting in line, hopeful for one of a few coveted spots to take their behind-the-wheel test.

Late last year, after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) made some changes, adding hours and days at metro test locations.

State gave coveted driving tests to schools trying to cash in on backlog

But state lawmakers say more needs to be done.

"It's not that complicated to take a driver's test, so we want to loosen the bureaucracy, not make more bureaucracy," State Rep. Jon Koznick said.

It's why Koznick will introduce a bill this session.

One of its main points calls for third-party testers, or more trained people that are able to administer behind-the-wheel tests.

"I like the idea of having third party examiners because it's much more convenient, and that's really the crux of the problem. Right now, it is not convenient to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to wait your place in line. I mean that's absurd what was going on," he said.

Koznick said rules and guidelines with an audit process will be set up to make sure third-party testers aren't just testing to make money off new drivers, and they can't test someone you know.

Koznick said there could be more test location options too.

Long waits facing those taking driver's tests

"I envision they would be able to take the road test on normal city streets as it meets the outlying criteria by the Department of Public Safety," he said.

Koznick says he is working on the bill with his colleague in the Minnesota Senate, Karin Housley, and it already has support and interest from others.

"I anticipate we will have bipartisan support, this is something that directly impacts families and has a simple solution that I think we can agree on," he added.

The bill will get a number when it is introduced Tuesday at the Capitol, the first day of the legislative session.