Senator Kiffmeyer Legislative Update: August 30

Friends and Neighbors,

I have heard from many of you that your attempts to make road test appointments with Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) have not been successful. I received an email from a constituent who has been trying to make a road test appointment for her son. It has taken them almost 6 months to get an appointment, and they must drive hundreds of miles for it.

This kind of service is unacceptable, so after reading your emails, I reached out to DVS to request an explanation and potential solutions. While I appreciate their efforts and reply, I am still unsatisfied with the answer that basically says we are working on it. That is a reply I have heard too often and for far too long on too many issues.

I am requesting DVS to let me know every quarter the status of their stated solutions and also considering legislation requiring those reports. I will be persistent in holding them accountable for their own words on your behalf.

From DVS:

  1. Staffing shortage and struggling to fill vacancies. DVS is actively working to fill vacancies.
  2. No shows or tests already taken at another location leads to slots going unused and not available for scheduling though last minute walk-ins can use them. DVS replied that the FAST software firm is being considered to develop software to link test results to appointment scheduling to automatically cancel appointments if testing in another location is successful.
  3. Driving schools have standing appointment slots going unfilled at Eagan, Arden Hills and Plymouth exam stations. If the appointment slots are not filled by the schools, they become open to the public but often too late for scheduled appointments though walk-ins can use them. DVS replied that they have contracted for a study on whether this practice should continue and to study testing capacity overall. In the meantime, DVS is not adding new driving schools to the system for standing test slots.

In general, DVS said that testing slots will be added as a date approaches when the supervisor can predict enough staff will be available for extra appointments or slots are unfilled by schools.

To help the shortage situation, earlier this year, the Legislature also appropriated funding for 11 new staff to open another testing station. Location still to be determined.

You can reach me for comments at 651-296-5655 or sen.mary.kiffmeyer@senate.mn.

Mary

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