Several weeks ago, we reported that—in the face of months-long lines to take driving exams—Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), part of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), was handing out special “standing appointments” to certain driving schools that had “special arrangements” with the DVS.
These select driving schools could then charge extra to sell these standing appointments, so parents and their kids wouldn’t have to wait in the overnight or even months-long lines.
There is, of course, the potential for corruption in all this. At the time of the earlier report, “The DVS declined to answer Kare 11’s questions about how the system of “standing appointments” was started, and why the system is only open to certain driving schools.” And about 20 percent of the test spots in the Arden Hills, Plymouth, and Eagan test-stations are reserved for these special driving schools.
Now, thanks to reporting by Channel 5, the local ABC affiliate, it has emerged that the Department of Public Safety “gave thousands of reserved spots for driving tests to commercial driving schools, even schools without active business filings in Minnesota.” These schools then sold these spots to parents and kids wanting to take a road test.
“We found seven of those schools do not have active business filings with the Secretary of State’s office, but were licensed by DPS and given more than 2,000 reserved spots.”
Safari Driving School, in Minneapolis, got over 400 reserved spots without an active business filing. And four driving schools are violating state law by not having a business license.
One woman interviewed by Channel 5 called around, and was told by several driving schools that they would sell her a reserved spot for at least $100. One “driving school” that asked for cash, named “Inner City Driving School,” trained only 32 drivers in 2018, but the DPS gave Inner City 156 spots this year.
DPS has followed this practice for 15 years, but has “suspended” the program after complaints.
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