What it’s like to get your license as a teenager during Covid-19

Like many teenagers during this strange time, I was waiting to get my license. Across the United States, the DMV has been closed since the number of cases began to rise at an alarming rate. Like me, many teenagers have had to deal with the postponement of their tests, ruining their driving plans this summer. Fortunately, in many places the DMV has finally started to open up, but there are quite a few adjustments.

1. Make an appointment

At the DMV I was supposed to go to, appointments were already booked for months before the pandemic even started to affect our lives. Since March, the DMV has not allowed new appointments. While it opened in most cases, driving hopefuls faced the worst delays due to controversy over the best ways to protect the tester and the tested. For now, people who have been waiting for 4 months are finally getting their postponement dates. By the end of this summer, the site should finally allow the creation of new appointments.

One concerning thing that might cause a reprogrammed person a little more anxiety is the fact that they will have to wait in the scheduler line once again if they fail their test.

2. Safety Precautions

Before being allowed to enter the actual building you must first queue to be checked for possible signs of Covid. Of course, all people must stay 6 feet apart while waiting their turn. Once you arrive at the front, you are asked if you have been anywhere in the past 14 days that you may have come into contact with the virus or anyone who may have had it. They also ask if you’ve had any symptoms that might suggest you’ve been infected. Once the questions have been asked, the employee then scans your forehead to check that your temperature is normal. If all goes well and you are fine, the next step in the process is to receive a sticker to show that you are fine and wait just outside the building for a space to open inside.

You might be wondering what their solution was to keep the two people in the car safe. Well, first of all, they made masks mandatory inside the building, and especially in the car. Next, the examiner covers their seat with plastic and places a plastic mat under their feet. It is better to lower the windows to increase the insulation inside the car. This is all done to make sure they don’t contaminate you, and you don’t contaminate them.

3. The actual test

On the DMV site, they said they were trying to shorten testing and lengthen their testing days so more people have the opportunity to test so new appointments can be scheduled as soon as possible. First, they check that you know how your car works and that you can safely report the cars around you. Although not the most ideal situation, masks are mandatory inside the car, no matter how uncomfortable they are to wear. If you can help it, try not to cough at all, as it might worry people around you that you might be infected. During the test, breathe normally and concentrate on the road.

While all of these new improvements aimed at increasing safety and normalizing the world of driving can be extremely weird and uncomfortable, it’s still possible to pass. I hope this article helps you prepare for the new process at the DMV so you can focus on your test instead of worrying about what the changes might look like on your test day. Good test and good luck!