The struggle to book driver's license road tests in the Twin Cities metro

Jason Reiling can practically see the nearest DMV location from where he's standing near Shoreview, but when he went to schedule a skills test for his daughter this week, he was in for a surprise.

"It wasn't until I got to Alexandria- 128 miles away- where there was an opening this week," said Reiling.

None of the sites in the metro had any openings, so if his daughter wanted to get her license anytime soon, they would have to take a four-hour round trip to Alexandria.

"She feels really ready to go ahead and take the test and...get it done and we can't get an appointment to do it, so it is frustrating," said Reiling.

A+ Driving School owner Pete Hosmer says he's heard similar complaints recently, mostly from parents.

"I can't get my child in for a road test or how do I do it? Why can't i see anything? Why is the only opening in International Falls tomorrow?" remarked Hosmer.

He doesn't anticipate the situation changing anytime soon because this is the prime time for teens to get their licenses.

"Summer is our Christmas time! This is the busiest time of the year for us," said Hosmer.

Hosmer says in Minnesota, you used to be able to book a road test up to 6 months in advance, but in January, the rules changed and shortened the window to just 30 days. That means it's even more important to plan and remain flexible.

"You want to have all of your behind-the-wheel lessons done so as soon as you find a test you can jump on it and take it," said Hosmer.

FOX 9 checked in with the Minnesota DMV and they said they are offering limited, same-day appointments as soon as someone cancels in the metro area, so keep checking their website often if you are looking to find an opening at

The limited, same-day appointments (available as soon as there is a cancellation) in the metro area are available at the following locations:

  • Class D knowledge (written) tests – Arden Hills, Lindstrom, Stillwater, Town Square, Eagan, Midtown, Plymouth, Chaska and Mankato locations.
  • Class D skills (road) tests – Arden Hills, Lindstrom, Stillwater, Eagan, Plymouth, Chaska and Mankato locations.
  • The MSP (airport) location is also offering limited same-day appointments for applications only. Not all locations will have same-day openings.

They also added they are continually exploring new ways to meet demand.

State Senator Karin Housley introduced a bill in 2020 that would allow third party vendors, like driving schools, to administer driving skills tests to reduce backlogs and wait times. That measure was not approved by the Legislature, but Housley says she plans on introducing similar legislation in the next session.