Driving Through a Pandemic


The pandemic has made getting your permit and license more difficult, but it’s still possible to get your license and get on the road. Photo by Rufina Chow

Because of the pandemic, the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) has been shut down, and along with it the driver’s permit and license exam. But now that it has reopened, how are teens getting their permits and license now?

As high school students near the age of 15 and a half, they can begin preparing for their California permit test, and eventually their behind-the-wheel driver’s exam. But the COVID-19 pandemic became an obstacle for those who want to get their permit and license.

COVID-19 mandates have required the DMV to be closed down on and off, but the DMV has reopened once again. However, the procedures and atmosphere of the DMV is very different.

Junior Sukie Huynh said, “I got to the DMV right when it opened so I was one of the first ones there. But there was already a long line, especially with social distancing measures. But thankfully most people wore masks.”

The DMV is infamous for their long lines and waits, and especially now in a pandemic where a six-feet distance is required. With social distancing guidelines the maximum capacity in the DMV has greatly decreased.

“Once I got inside, it was really empty. There were chairs set six-feet apart and that’s where you would wait until your number is called. When I was called, I was then taken to the exam room where I took my picture for my permit and then proceeded to take the permit test on a computer. The only time you need to remove your mask is when you take your picture,” said Huynh.

Overall, the DMV does follow COVID-19 guidelines with mask and social distancing enforcements. But with a limited amount of people inside the DMV, the wait for your permit and license has become much longer.

Nonetheless, teens are still able to take their permit and driver’s test. Simply make sure to complete your driver’s education on DriversEd.com, receive your certificate of completion, and book an appointment with the DMV to take your permit test.

After you have had your permit for at least six months along with 50 hours of driving practice, you’re ready for your driver’s exam.

Huynh said, “Honestly, even though we’re in a pandemic, getting your permit and driver’s license is still an available thing to do. Just take online practice tests to prepare for your permit test and make sure to wear your mask properly and social distance at the DMV.”