Students hit the brakes on driving tests during Covid-19

DMV closures at the beginning of the virus’s spread have caused set backs for many teenagers looking to start driving.


Julietta Golovey

The pandemic has put many things on pause, licenses and permits not being an exception.

The pandemic has caused huge milestones to be pushed back or brushed aside.

Teenagers getting their drivers’ licenses and permits has been one of many things affected. 

“I couldn’t get my license yet because (of) Covid-19, so I’m stuck at home when school does start because my family is also worried about (the virus),” said junior Alyssa Lee.

So some students have had to attend school online because they just don’t have transportation to tack them to and from school.

“I only just got my permit,” sophomore Kalighe Oliver said. “It was horrible because I was able to get it a week before coronavirus hit, but we had to go the next week, which was the week everyone was quarantined.”

As quarantine suspended license and permit tests, a backlog of students were left with little progress towards their gas-fueled independence.

Permit testing was available much faster than driving tests because they were written tests as opposed to the in-car exam required for a license.

Only around a month later did the driving testing become available again.

“We had to wear a mask and keep interaction minimal because of Covid-19, but other than that it was pretty good,” said junior Jack Lund. “I didn’t like that I had to wait so long and had to reschedule the appointment to begin with, but it’s not like I could have gone anywhere anyways at the time.”

Some DMVs differed from others in their available services, like the DMV in Carmichael had permit testing services available in May while other locations like the DMV in Folsom did not.

“It was extremely frustrating because no one picked up the phone when calling the DMV and when they did they couldn’t even set an appointment.” said sophomore Niko Milner.

“They said we’d be able to go in-person but only on stand-by for people without an appointment, so we just had to wait all day in line in hopes of getting in. We were in line for three hours.” 

As DMVs allow more people to get on the road, hopefully many teenagers left without licenses from the pandemic will finally get to take a test drive.