If you’re a teen in Wisconsin age 16 or 17, you’ll soon be able to get a probationary driver’s license without having to complete a road test. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has waived the requirement during the pandemic, in order to limit in-person visits to the DMV.
Starting May 11, teens under the age of 18 will be able to get a probationary license just by finishing the required training and getting the approval of a parent or guardian.
According to WCCO 4, the waiver isn’t mandatory. Parents who want their kids to take the road test can schedule one starting May 8. Wisconsin DMV says it will be taking safety into consideration when conducting tests. Examiners will be using seat covers, as well as personal protective equipment.
In order to skip the road test, teens must have already earned a Learners Permit and be violation free for six months prior to testing. In addition, they must have completed driver education classes, behind-the-wheel training, and at least 30 hours of driving with their parent or sponsor.
WCCO 4 says the DMV is estimating a backlog of 16,000 road test requests, with 10,000 of those requests being eligible for the road test waiver.
“WisDOT says it typically holds 2,100 road tests per week,” reports WCCO 4. “About 65% of these exams are for people under the age of 18 years old — 98% of whom pass on their first or second attempt.”
The road test waiver is not the only program WisDOT has initiated during the pandemic. In another attempt to eliminate in-person DMV visits, WisDOT is also allowing people with an expired license to renew it online.
As of May, there are 80,000 Wisconsin drivers with expired licenses. The good news for those drivers? WisDOT plans to waive the late fees for renewals.