DVS offices reopening met with long line and wait

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As Driver and Vehicle Service offices opened back up around Minnesota, they were met with long lines. 

At different locations, there were lines of cars and people wrapped around the block. At the DVS in Plymouth, the wait for some was over three hours, which could have been seen as “minor” compared to the two months many waited for the DVS to open back up during the pandemic.

Beck Hagen has been counting down the days to get his driver’s permit.

“It's a little bit overwhelming,” said Hagen. “It's intimidating a bit, but I feel prepared, I'm ready to take the test.”

The 15-year-old’s dad said it was no surprise their morning was met with a delay. 

“I was expecting to spend some time in line today,” said Jeremy Hagen. “I have a very excited teenager, just turned 15 in April, so we've been waiting weeks but it's actually given him some time to practice the test, so hopefully we're prepared.”

Spencer MacDonald hasn’t been able to drive for more than two months. 

“Every time the Governor pushes it out, I can’t drive for that many more weeks, and it's been a big hindrance from what I understand,” said MacDonald. 

MacDonald stood in the more than 3-hour line at the Plymouth DVS. 

“I guess it was to anticipate. I didn't realize it would be this long, but I want it taken care of and this is the first day and apparently, everybody had that idea too,” said MacDonald. 

As the lines grew, DVS employees worked to give everyone a health screening – a safety precaution during the pandemic. Temperatures were taken, and questions were asked – all adding to the steps needed to process those waiting.

But Plymouth wasn’t the only location seeing challenges. Around the state as more than a dozen other DVS spots were back in business, some experienced glitches. 

“One of our technologies failed this morning at the Town Square location,” said Tim Lynaugh, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Assistant Commissioner. 

The software for electronic check-in crashed. 

“In addition, all of our exam stations for drivers licenses have very unique cameras,” said Lynaugh. “That system went down for two hours this morning, of all days to go down.” 

That made some feel anxious, just wanting to get the test done with. 

“It was a little annoying,” said Ella Paschke. “I just want to get my permit because it's been a long couple of months.”

Meanwhile, at the downtown St. Paul DVS, a notice was posted saying they’ve reached the maximum number of people they could serve for the test, more than two hours before closing time. 

“There will be lessons learned. We're looking at different business process changes that need to be more closely reviewed. We have some technology changes that we're looking to modify,” said Lynaugh. “With these types of services, come with your documents, be prepared.”