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Yes, this pandemic has changed a lot of things but perhaps this is one thing that should not have changed. It seems some states are because of this pandemic giving young drivers their licenses without making them take a road test instead of making them wait until things are back to normal for them to complete their testing. 

According to CNN, nearly 20,000 teens in Georgia have recently received their driver’s licenses without a road test and even Wisconsin is allowing young drivers to skip the driving test. While this is supposed to help prevent ‘backlog’ and limit ‘in-person visits’ many are quite outraged. As someone who failed their driver’s test a time or two, I can see why many would be concerned. 

While there are some requirements on this, what they entail is a bit confusing for some to grasp. For instance for Wisconsin teens must be US citizens, have their active learner’s permit, must have held that permit for six months without issue, completed driver’s ED, had 30 hours of supervised driving, and have an adult sponsor. See, sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? It sounds so simple that even a horrible driver who needs more practice before getting his or her license might be able to go ahead and get theirs, doesn’t it?

CNN reported as follows on this topic in regard to Georgia:

“I had been nervous about the driving test — with the parallel parking and all that,” said 17-year-old Willa Pevey from Tucker, Georgia.

“So I was happy that I didn’t have to do it.”

Neither did thousands and thousands of other teens in Georgia. All of them got their licenses without taking an official road test. It’s Georgia’s way of handling the backlog of the thousands of road test requests that have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, the state’s Department of Driver Services released just how many teens had their permits upgraded since the road test waiver was announced last month: 19,483 teens.

Georgia isn’t the only state that is waiving road tests. Wisconsin announced this week that it will start doing the same for 16- and 17-year-olds, starting Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation estimates that out of the 16,000 road test requests that have been on hold, its new program will allow 10,000 of those requests to be eligible for the waiver.
Tom Rathkamp from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, is father to 17-year-old Stephanie and they plan on applying for her license with a road test waiver, but not without a bit more practice first.
“Both my wife and I have said that we were going to take her out practicing more to see that she’s ready,” Rathkamp said. “We’re going to give her our own little driving test if you will because we are the ones signing off on giving her a license, we want to make sure… I think that with responsible parents, this can go without a hitch.”

What do you think about this? Is it a good idea or a horrible one? I understand why it’s happening but I am on the fence myself. This in many ways could be a good and bad thing. For more information on this topic check out the video below.