SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It has been over three months since anyone in California has taken a Department of Motor Vehicles driving test.
“We have 280,000 people that were in our appointment system when we shut down the process a few months ago,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “So we have to first work down that backlog. Two hundred and eighty thousand is a lot of drivers but that’s across the state.”
On Friday, for the first time, drivers could get behind the wheel to try to get or renew their license.
But like everything else these days, it will not look the same as it used to.
Everyone has to wear a protective face mask inside the DMV office or in any testing car and customers will be asked health questions.
During the test, examiners will place a protective cover on the passenger seat and the windows must be slightly open.
Other safety measures will take place at larger offices to begin with.
“Mostly southern counties right now we are taking temperature tests. We’re using the IRTs that you see in the health facilities. We’ll be expanding that statewide over the next few weeks,” Gordon explained.
Those looking to take a driving test who have not scheduled an appointment will have to wait until the backlog has been served first. Depending on where someone lives, it could be months before it’s their turn.
“In some remote areas, we have less of a backlog. We’ll be done, we think, within a month,” Gordon said. “In other areas, more urban and more densely-populated, we think they’ll be done probably in two months. We expect to have everything back up and running by September 1st.”
Gordon said once the backlog of people needing to take the driving test is finished, they will once again start PSAs for people to apply for the REAL ID, the deadline of which has been moved to October 2021.