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Long waits facing those taking driver's tests

Drivers wait their turns at an Eagan facility. Photo: KSTP/ Chris Knoll
Drivers wait their turns at an Eagan facility.

Updated: June 27, 2019 06:20 AM

Ashley Johnson took her road test on her birthday at the DMV in Eagan - passing on her first try.

"I was really nervous, but it wasn't too bad," the 16-year-old said. "I thought it would be more difficult."

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In fact, the hardest part was actually getting the test scheduled. 

Her family lives in Rockford, an hour drive from Eagan. But a closer location in Buffalo was booked.

"Their first available (time slot) was Oct. 7th," her mother Cheree Johnson said.

Anne and Peter Kirchner know what they're in for when it comes to getting a time scheduled for their son Peter.

"A lot of his friends have gone to other locations - Duluth, Virginia, Hibbing, all over the state, Mankato, to take the test," Anne Kirchner said.

"We have relatives up on the Iron Range, so we could do that when we are up there. But I wouldn't want to make a special trip."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS called the Duluth DMV, and after being put on hold for more than 25 minutes, we were able to speak with someone who said the first available driver's road test in the northern part of the state was mid-July in Grand Rapids.

The Bemidji scheduling office, meanwhile, said three young drivers from the Twin Cities were testing there yesterday.

In Eagan, the first available date is not until Oct. 11.

Cindy Kendall doesn't have just one new driver to schedule a road test for, but two. Her twins are 17 and anxious to get behind the wheel.

After months of calling and waiting, her daughter was able to take her test in Winona - more than 100 miles away from their home in Hastings.

Her son is still waiting.

The Department of Public Safety says demand is exceeding available examiners, and summer is always a busier time.

The department added testing times will open through cancelations and staffing levels on a weekly - or even daily - basis, and the DPS suggests parents keep calling exam stations. 

Find a full list of exam stations and contact information here.

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Credits

Jessica Miles

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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