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Why aren’t drivers license exam stations all open?

The Minnesota Senate Transportation Committee is held a hearing Friday with a very interesting question for the Department of Public Safety.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the state shut down a lot of businesses, of course, and it also closed down some government offices, including the Department of Vehicle Services 93 stations across the state, where drivers license driving tests are given. A few centers in regional hubs reopened in May 2020, but more than 70 remain shuttered, especially those in rural MInnesota.

In this area, teens who want to take a driving test to get their license have to travel to Mankato. Meanwhile, DVS stations in New Ulm, St. Peter, St. James and Gaylord are inactive.

This places an extra burden of time and distance on the teen who needs to take a driving test and on the parent who has to accompany them. It also makes it harder to get an appointment for a test.

The legislators especially want to know why these stations remain closed after they passed a bill to temporarily reopen all the stations, and approved over $5 million in funding over the next two years to make it happen.

Hopefully, the Department of Public Safety will listen to legislators and reopen regional hubs in rural areas.

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