Waiting too long for driver’s license

A week ago the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on the long delays new drivers face to get Minnesota driver’s licenses. The report quoted people having to wait months for a license. Some wait more than six months.

The end result is a lot of drivers traveling on Minnesota roads with a piece of paper that is a temporary driver’s license.

New drivers are not the only ones affected by the delays. New Minnesota residents who apply for the state’s driver’s licenses face the same fate.

According to the Star Tribune article the delays are not related to the state Oct. 1 rollout of Real ID, a fortified form of identification required by the federal government following 9/11. Nor are the delays related to the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) for vehicle registration and titles.

New drivers in Lyon County also face additional inconveniences. Both groups of drivers are required to pass an exam on computers located at the Marshall Exam Station on Highway 59 a mile north from the Highway 68 intersection. This exam can only be taken on Mondays and Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. New drivers passing the exam are required to get back into a vehicle and travel a half mile to the Lyon County Courthouse to fill out the necessary paperwork, have a photo taken and obtain a piece of paper to carry around until the real license arrives in the mail.

It all adds up to an inefficient system. In fact, the MNLARS fiasco on top of the driver’s license delays adds up to a broken system that should be addressed by the new governor and Legislature.

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