ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - With driver’s tests scheduled sometimes several months in advance, soon-to-be drivers in Minnesota are sometimes stuck waiting to get licensed. The Department of Public Safety is trying to speed up that process by opening more than 3,000 weekend appointments next month.
“We called in to try to get an appointment and I was just surprised to see how long the wait was to get in,” said Molly Forsberg, a parent.
Forsberg went more than the extra mile when she learned she had to wait several months before her oldest of three St. Paul boys could take his road test.
“I ended up asking any exam station what would be the fastest and it was in Owatonna,” said Forsberg. “So we just chose to make the evening out of it, we had to stay overnight and we had to test there.”
That was last year. Now, it's her middle son's turn.
“I just decided to book it with A+ [Driving School],” said Forsberg. “They will drive your child to an appointment to have your test done. That specific son wanted to do that because he didn’t want to go with me.”
While the option doesn't cut down on road test wait time, it allows her to avoid an hour-long trip and an overnight stay.
“I didn’t want to go all the way to Owatonna, even though it’s a wonderful city, I just didn’t want to drive that far,” she confessed with a smile.
“Wait times for getting in were getting crazy long,” said Pete Hosmer, the owner of A+ Driving School.
Hosmer says it’s the top complaint he hears from parents.
“If you fail the test now you’re in this cycle of, ugh, when can I get in again?” he said. “It’s agonizing - my kid just needs a license.”
To meet the demand, Driver and Vehicle Services will expand road test hours to include Saturdays and Sundays, but only from November 2 through December 22, excluding Veterans Day and Thanksgiving weekends. The weekend hours will run from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
“We just need more testing evaluators, we don’t have enough, and it’s hard for the state to fill that position,” said Hosmer.
Weekend exam hours are expected to allow for more than 3,200 test appointments through next year. With nearly 2,900 road tests scheduled every week statewide, some still hope more will be done to accommodate aspiring drivers.
“I don’t think that’s enough,” said Forsberg.
FOX 9 reached out to DVS, but no one was available to speak on camera.