Coronavirus in Vermont: Driving tests, student permits to resume at DMV

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Would-be motorists in Vermont may now more speedily steer toward a driver’s license, state officials said Monday.

Testing for a learner’s permit can be completed online; successful applicants will receive permits in the mail within three weeks, according to new guidelines posted on the Department of Motor Vehicles website.

The streamlined procedure is part of a modernization that picked up speed during the coronavirus pandemic, Commissioner Wanda Minoli said at a news conference.

Driving exams that had been suspended in March or April due to health concerns will resume next week, Minoli added; the DMV will contact applicants to schedule a road test.

Third-party examiners, recruited from local driving schools, will help reduce the backlog, of about 2,000 applications, she added — and the department will continue to expand its online services.

Minoli’s updates for getting a license this year:

  • The department will begin taking new appointments for exams on June 3; Vermonters may call (802) 828-2000 to schedule a road test, Minoli said.
  • By appointment only, in-person driving exams will resume 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., beginning June 8 in Montpelier, Rutland and South Burlington.
  • License applicants must wait in their vehicles prior to the exam.
  • Applicants must clean and wipe down the interior surfaces of their vehicles before the driving test with an instructor.
  • Vehicle windows must remain open as much as practical prior to and during the exam to increase air flow.
  • Testers and applicants must wear face masks or other facial protection.
  • Only an instructor and the student may occupy the vehicle. By prior request, a translator or care giver may accompany a student.
  • Students who pass the driving test will receive a temporary permit; they’ll receive a permanent license in the mail within 90 days.
  • Other customers who pass the driving test can expect a permanent license in the mail within 10 business days.

Since mid-March, Vermont’s DMV has conducted most of its business over the phone, online and through the mail — but was unable to issue same-day vehicle titles, exams and learner permits and non-driver ID cards.

Contact Joel Banner Baird at 802-660-1843 or joelbaird@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @VTgoingUp.

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