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DMV Close to Resuming Driving Tests for 16-Year-Olds



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It’s anyone’s guess how many teens have reached “Sweet 16” since the state DMV stopped behind-the-wheel tests for new drivers in March because of COVID-19.

“The DMV is working on a plan to begin behind-the-wheel tests soon.” — DMV public affairs

According to, in 2018 there were more than two million Californians ages 14 to 17. That offers an idea about how many teen driving tests have been delayed by the pandemic.

A late-afternoon email response Monday to GV Wire delivered the magic words that teens — and probably their parents — have been awaiting: “The DMV is working on a plan to begin behind-the-wheel tests soon.”

DMV Changes

Things will look and feel quite a bit different for those new would-be drivers. They’ll have to wait a little longer to get an appointment — and they must bring a facemask.

“Changes will be made to improve the safety of both the driver and the DMV employee, which will include personal protective equipment for employees, and mandatory face coverings for drivers and employees,” DMV says.

Testing Backlog Goes First

For teens that previously had appointments, there is good news.

“All previously canceled appointments will be automatically rescheduled,” DMV said. “Once the current backlog is addressed, new appointments will be scheduled.”

The DMV will make a formal announcement when the driving tests resume.

All Field Offices Now Open

As of June 9, all 169 DMV field offices had reopened.

“I continue to encourage Californians to use our online services, the Virtual Field Office, DMV Now kiosks and business partners whenever possible,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said. “Nearly all DMV tasks can be accomplished without an office visit. To keep wait times down and to maintain public health guidelines, I ask you to only visit a DMV office when absolutely necessary and to come prepared.”