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Look out for long wait times to take driver's road test

The Department of Vehicle Services reports staffing shortages are affecting availability, sometimes for up to months at a time.

PLYMOUTH, Minnesota — Some Minnesota teenagers could have to wait up to six months to take their driver's test to get their license.

It's a right of passage that's been put on hold, with a lot of added stress, often for their parents.

Driving instructors will tell you how much people, especially teens, look forward to getting that license, much like 17-year-old Malayna Davis.

The Champlin Park High School senior admits she was nervous, but passed the test on her first try.

"I didn't want to retake it because I knew it would be a long wait to have to do it over again," said Davis.

The Department of Public Safety confirms it's experiencing staffing shortages that's affecting road test availability — so much it's even extended appointments to weekends at three locations, including Plymouth, Eagan and Arden Hills.

"We get calls all day, people saying, what am I doing wrong, why can't I find an opening," said A+ Driving School owner Pete Hosmer. "If you can find one, maybe it was a cancellation. But you know, even for the next 30 to 60 to 90 days, we're not finding any appointments at this time."

Hosmer recommends being flexible and willing to travel — even as far north as International Falls to find a Driver and Vehicle Services location.

DPS recommends checking its website often. It's where it now lists its only available appointments every 30 days, which is exactly how Davis booked hers.

"It's like a calendar and each date that has an open appointment will be green and will show each timeslot that date," said Davis. "It was a lot of going through the website searching and not finding anything and it seems annoying to keep doing it, but it's your best bet."

You also aren't allowed to make more than one appointment. If you already have one in your name, it will be cancelled if and when you schedule another one. 

DPS says the extra weekend appointments will now continue indefinitely. If you want more information, there is a road test weekend appointment FAQ here.

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