COSTA MESA, CA — Behind-the-wheel driving tests will resume Friday at the Costa Mesa Department of Motor Vehicle offices, and offices across California, the DMV announced this week, ending a two-month long suspension due to the coronavirus.
It will take several weeks for the DMV to complete previously-scheduled tests that had been canceled. After those tests are done, the agency will start taking new appointments.
All 169 DMV offices reopened across California earlier this month as COVID-19 spread in California. The reopening allowed customers to come in to apply for ID cards, pay for vehicle registrations and apply for REAL IDs — but did not include driving tests, until this week.
Taking a driving test will be much different now than before the pandemic, the agency warned, with numerous health protocols in place.
All test applicants will be required to wear face coverings and answer screening questions before they start the exam, and temperature checks will be in place in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The temperature checks will expand statewide in the coming weeks, the department said.
Likewise, DMV staff will wear face coverings and gloves, and put plastic covers on the passenger seat and floorboard inside each test vehicle. At least two windows will need to be lowered to maintain airflow, which has been shown to reduce the spread of the virus.
The department also said it is shortening the testing route, among other changes to the test, intended to allow for more exams to be administered each day.
Earlier this month, the agency said that reopened offices will also feature "numerous changes" to guard against the spread of COVID-19. Customers will be required to wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart in line, while employees will also wear face masks and maintain physical distancing. The department also expanded credit card and digital wallet payment options to all offices.
Customers can be notified by text message when they are ready to be served, allowing them to wait outside the building until then.
The department is still encouraging people to use online services to complete transactions whenever possible.
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