FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – Starting today, Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services will implement their number of changes to make it safer and easier for customers to access services.
DPS-DVS enhanced a number of processes in the last several months.
These services are broken down into the following:
Online commercial driver’s license application
This online service allows Minnesotans to:
- Upgrade from a commercial learners permit to a full CDL.
- Upgrade a current CDL to a higher class of CDL.
- Remove a restriction from their current CDL.
- Add endorsements to their current CDL.
Online seasonal farm commercial driver’s license application
This online service allows Minnesotans to:
- Apply for a duplicate license and update their seasonal timeline online.
- Apply for a first-time seasonal farm commercial driver’s license online.
- Online standard driver’s license renewal or replacement.
- This online service allows Minnesotans to renew or replace their standard driver’s license or ID card if they do not need to make any changes to their name, address, signature or driver’s license number.
Online standard driver’s license renewal or replacement
This online services allows Minnesotans to renew or replace their standard driver’s license or ID card if they do not need to make any changes to their name, address, signature or driver’s license number.
Class D knowledge test appointments
Minnesotans can schedule their class D knowledge test appointment online at drive.mn.gov up to six weeks in advance. This eliminates the need to wait in line for a test.
Online Class D Knowledge Test
Beginning Oct. 8, DPS-DVS will begin offering the class D knowledge test online, so prospective drivers can take the test at home to earn their class D learner’s permit. Additional information is on the online knowledge testing web page.
DPS-DVS is also expanding the in-person options for Minnesotans by developing a statewide network of certified entities like deputy registrars, high school driver education programs and community organizations that will be certified by DPS-DVS to offer proctored class D knowledge tests at their locations. Additional information is on the third party online knowledge testing web page.
Virtual lobbies at open exam stations
Minnesotans can scan a QR code or text a code for the service they need when visiting a DVS exam station. This checks them into a virtual lobby, so they can wait in their car or somewhere other than a physical line. They will receive a text when it’s their turn.
This allows Minnesotans to maintain social distancing, reduce the number of customers inside an exam station at one time and stay out of the elements in cases of bad weather.
Appointment-only road tests; adjustments to the class D road test
- DPS-DVS is not accepting any walk-ins for road tests. Appointments were required prior to the pandemic, but DPS-DVS accepted walk-ins when possible. Not accepting walk-ins eliminates Minnesotans lining up early in hopes of taking a road test.
- DPS-DVS made changes to the class D road test to prioritize safety of customers and examiners:
- Applicants complete a wellness check and must wear a facemask. DVS examiners wear facemasks, face shields or safety glasses and gloves.
- DPS-DVS has temporarily waived the equipment inspection portion of the road test. Less than five percent of applicants fail this part of the exam. This time is used to sanitize the vehicle. DPS-DVS provides sanitizing wipes.
- The test ends immediately if the applicant does something to automatically fail the exam. This would include any action that would result in an accident or moving violation. This will help make DPS-DVS examiners more efficient.
- After passing the test, applicants will be able to complete their driver’s license application inside the exams station.
Commercial road test adjustments to maintain social distancing
- DPS-DVS adjusted the commercial road test, so examiners were able to resume commercial road tests at several exam stations at the end of April while exam stations were closed. All commercial road tests used social distancing strategies, which included DVS examiners using cameras and a cell phone and following the truck in another vehicle through the course to evaluate the applicant’s performance.
- Commercial road tests are currently running by appointment only at 14 regional exam stations. DVS examiners wear face masks, face shields or safety glasses and gloves, and applicants must complete a wellness check and wear a face mask. Examiners are riding in the truck during the test.
St. Paul Exam Station expanded knowledge testing capacity
DPS-DVS opened a new space for knowledge testing at the downtown St. Paul Exam Station July 13. It include more computers placed at the proper social distance, so more Minnesotans can take the knowledge test at the same time.
Driver’s license, permit and ID card extensions
DPS-DVS automatically extends the expiration dates of valid driver’s licenses, permits and ID cards that would have expired during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency and the month after the peacetime emergency ends. Gov. Walz signed two bills into law extending expiration dates, allowing Minnesotans more time to renew their credentials.
Disability permit extensions
DPS-DVS automatically extends the expiration dates of disability permits that would have expired during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. Gov. Walz signed a bill into law that extends the expiration date for disability parking certificates and permits to 60 days after the peacetime emergency ends.
Focusing on regional exam stations to offer more tests
DPS-DVS identified and reopened 15 regional exam stations to be more efficient and expand the number of road tests offered on a daily basis. The exam stations that aren’t reopening only offered road tests a few days per week, requiring examiners to travel to exam stations within the region in order to conduct tests. Now examiners are using that time to conduct more tests.
Wellness screenings and personal protective equipment
- DPS-DVS requires staff and customers to complete wellness screenings before entering an exam station or taking a road test. This consists of health-screening questions and a temperature check. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher or anyone who answers “yes” to any of the questions cannot enter the exam stations.
- Exam stations have social distancing signs and floor decals to help customers and staff maintain six feet social distance.
- There is plexiglass installed at counters to provide a barrier between customers and exam staff.
- Face masks are required for staff and customers. DVS exam station staff wear gloves. DVS examiners wear face shields or safety goggles in addition to gloves and face masks.
Saturday road test appointments
DPS-DVS began offering Saturday road test appointments at the Arden Hills, Eagan and Plymouth exam stations in June. Regional DVS exam stations outside of the Twin Cities metro area offer Saturday road test appointments once a month.
School Bus Saturdays at the downtown St. Paul DVS Exam Station
DPS-DVS is hosting School Bus Saturdays at the downtown St. Paul DVS exam station on Aug. 1 and Aug. 8 to make sure prospective bus drivers can take and pass their commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge tests ahead of the school year.
DPS-DVS collaborated with the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association and the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation to dedicate Saturday hours to CDL knowledge test appointments. Each association has a set timeframe to bring their members for these appointments.
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