A temporary solution for postponed driver’s tests


Photo Credit: Rob Zamparelli

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the DMV has been closed for around three months now. Thousands of driver’s tests have been postponed, which will cause a huge backlog at the DMV.

by Michael Silver, Chief Sports Beat Manager (Football, Hockey, Baseball)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, road tests across the country have been unable to take place for the past two months. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be backed up with people waiting to take their driver’s tests. 

Georgia and Wisconsin have passed executive orders allowing all drivers with a permit to be able to obtain their license without taking a road test. As a result, nearly 20,000 16-18 year-olds in Georgia were able to get their license with ease.

This solution solves this issue of overcrowding the DMV, but at the potential risk of an exponential increase in car accidents. 

Because New Jersey is a much more densely-populated state, I do not think this is the answer. Students like myself who don’t have a license would be more than happy to get their license this way, but it is too dangerous to pass this order in a state like ours.

In New Jersey, the leading cause of death for teenagers is related to motor vehicle accidents. Currently 54% of people under 18 are licensed in New Jersey. 

If all 17 year-olds are to be given their license, there are bound to be a number of licensed drivers that are simply not ready to be driving on their own. 

However, I do think that there is a better solution for our state to handle this situation in a way that doesn’t involve people waiting months to get an appointment at the DMV. 

I believe that a faster and safer procedure would be for New Jerseyans to take their driver’s tests through their driving schools, making it a modified version of our permit test procedure. 

For this test, drivers can go on the road with their instructors for a set amount of time where they go over everything that is checked for on the current road test in New Jersey. However, this should be more strictly-graded than the permit tests. 

Driving school instructors are certified to properly assess a student-driver’s abilities on the road, and I think that this would be the best-case scenario to solve this issue. 

While affording a private instructor can be an issue, drivers have to hire one to obtain their permit, so I don’t see this as an issue if they have to do this again for their actual license.

If this method finds itself to be difficult to schedule as well, I think that this could be made just for 17-year olds who had their tests postponed due to the pandemic. Once the scheduling issue is cleared up, younger drivers can go back to the previous test with the DMV.