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DVS opening 3 metro exam stations on weekends for road tests

Updated: October 29, 2019 05:43 AM

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS-DVS) division is expanding Class D road test hours to help reduce wait times.

DPS said Monday that it will open three DVS metro exam stations in Arden Hills, Eagan and Plymouth on Saturdays and Sundays, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., from Nov. 2 through Dec. 22. The extended hours will be dedicated to only Class D road tests, not any other services, DPS said. However, the exam stations will be closed Nov. 9 to 11 and Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 due to Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays.

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DPS-DVS said the extended hour will provide 3,240 appointments through the end of the year, in addition to the current 2,860 road test appointments scheduled every week. The department said it will evaluate weekend appointments in December and determine if the program will continue.

"The more tests they can offer the better, nobody wants to wait 3-4 months to get in for a driving test," said Pete Hosmer, owner of A+ Driving School in White Bear Lake.

While he welcomes the idea, he is cautiously optimistic.

"Weekends are the most popular time for drivers education so I think testing on the weekends is a great thing, I'm just not sure in the long term that's gonna be enough to fix our back up problem, I just think adding more evaluators is going to be a better option," he said. 

The weekend appointments at the three stations are now available for scheduling, which can most easily be done online at drive.mn.gov by selecting "Schedule or Reschedule an Exam."

The department also encouraged people with appointments to cancel them if they're unable to keep the appointment, so others can book an exam.


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"We are committed to serving Minnesotans and meeting their expectations," DPS Commissioner John Harrington said in a statement. "That means taking a closer look at the way DVS exam stations operate and making necessary changes to ensure road test appointments are available within a reasonable amount of time, at a convenient location for those who need them."

"As a former high school teacher and father of teenagers, I know that taking the road test is a huge milestone for many Minnesotans, and unexpected delays in available testing slots can strain busy families," Gov. Tim Walz added. "I'm glad that the Department of Public Safety is evaluating short- and long-term solutions to ensure that Minnesotans are well-served and we can get safe, prepared drivers out on the road."

DPS-DVS also said it has looked at other solutions, and automatically began canceling road test appointments for those who passed the test as a walk-in but had a scheduled appointment for a future date. By implementing that system in August, it opened more than 300 new appointments for customers, the department said.

"I'm excited to see government work and change and adapt like private businesses have to, that's actually fun to see, I would hope this wouldn't just stop with a few weekends here before January I hope this opens up to a dialogue of people saying we need more evaluators that's number one," said Hosmer.

DPS said 125,708 Class D road tests were given at exam stations statewide last year, and 54,810 of those were given at the three metro exam stations.

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