Despite how high Minnesota’s taxes are, our government just isn’t working. The Department of Human Services—by-far Minnesota’s biggest government bureaucracy—is in shambles, and Democrat Governor Tim Walz still won’t explain why top DHS officials resigned, and what his administration is doing to stop welfare fraud and overbilling at the department.
Unfortunately, Minnesotans can add the highly-popular Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to our existing list of troubled bureaucracies. Kare 11 reports that it is almost impossible to get a driving test in the Twin Cities metro area. “Long lines, frustration, and possibly a night spent sleeping in your car,” says the Kare 11 report.
Kare 11 goes on: “You can see the problem first hand if you show up at the Arden Hills testing station before dawn. On an August morning, cars lined up down the block before the gates even opened. Some people had arrived the night before to secure a coveted walk in spot.”
Kare 11 also says that online tests are booked until at least January at most Twin Cities locations.
Wealthy-enough kids, however, can skip these lines by paying select driving schools who have “standing appointments” due to “special arrangements” with the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS, Minnesota’s DMV).
The whole thing is a mess, and it is also illegal. Representative Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines), pointed out that state law says that the tests must be available to take within 14 days of the applicant’s request. That clearly is not happening.
Lawmakers are also examining the “standing appointments” issue. Because select schools have special access to the DVS’s testing facilities, allowing their privileged students to jump the line, those schools can charge much more than others. How those schools get these “standing appointments” is yet unclear, and the system seems open to corruption and abuse. 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.
Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), has responded to the problem by talking-up a bill she wrote regarding the matter. “This spring I heard that kids were going to Grand Rapids to take their driver’s tests because the wait list in the cities was FOUR MONTHS,” Housley wrote on social media. Housley’s bill would certify driving schools to give road tests of their own.
One out of every five test spots at the Arden Hills, Eagan, and Plymouth testing stations are reserved for the select group of driving schools with special access to the DVS.
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