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State lawmaker weighs in on long driver's license testing wait times

Updated: June 27, 2019 06:56 PM

James Nelson waited patiently outside the Arden Hills DMV Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

"I got here last night about 10 p.m., it is pretty frustrating but you deal with it," Nelson said.

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He's hoping someone will skip out on a scheduled road test appointment and he can take the time slot. He said the other 20 drivers in line behind him are doing the same thing.

"Yep, you just sleep in the truck, that's what everyone here is doing, a lot of these guys, the four back there showed up at 3 o'clock in the morning," he explained.

Parents told KSTP they're driving children to all corners of the state, from Ivanhoe to International Falls, just to get an appointment. And they say it's absurd.

"It shouldn't be as frustarting and aggravating as it is," said State Representative Jon Koznick (R-Lakeville).

Koznick said he's heard the concerns from constituents.

"We need to do a better job of scheduling, and having people arrive at three in the morning or five in the morning, it just shouldn't have to be that way," Koznick said.

RELATED: Long waits facing those taking driver's tests

He said, over the last four years the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has received more than $2 million to pay for 12 additional examiners. He also said a bill last session that would have required a legislative report on driver exam scheduling failed.

"It's something that I think I will absolutely take a look at, talk with the department a little more, especially with more phone calls this summer, and figure out why the demand isn't being met and what needs to be done," Koznick said, when asked if it was something he'd bring up next session.

DPS wouldn't talk on camera about the issue, but a spokesperson with Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) said there are 110 examiners across the state, which is similar to past years.

Those examiners are responsible for what averages out to be roughly 130,000 skills tests administered each year.

DVS said it "will hire seven additional examiners in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, after receiving additional funding during the last legislative session."

How much that will help is something that's sure to get a lot of attention, and depending on results, possibly more frustration.

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Credits

Jessica Miles

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

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