SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Seven Minnesota driver's license exam stations to reopen in November following pandemic-related closures

The Department of Public Safety said 43 stations were set to reopen before the end of the year.

IMG_4824.JPG
A group of people gathered outside the Detroit Lakes exam station on Tuesday. (Nathan Bowe/Tribune)
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division on Monday, Nov. 8, announced that it would reopen 7 driver's license exam stations this month.

The move comes as the state aims to reopen dozens of stations around the state following closures due to COVID-19. The department in March of 2020 shrunk the number of open stations around the state to 15 when Gov. Tim Walz issued a stay-at-home order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Since then, DVS officials have slowly reopened exam stations but have lagged due to staffing issues and financial constraints. The Legislature earlier this year approved legislation putting $5 million toward the effort to reopen shuttered stations and requiring DVS to resume service at all 93 sites.

Locations in Gaylord, New Ulm, St. Peter, Thief River Falls, Glencoe, Red Wing and Hutchinson are set to reopen by the end of the month, DVS officials said in a news release. And 43 stations are set to be open by the end of the year. The remaining 50 exam stations are set to resume service in January, according to DVS.

Republican lawmakers on Monday said the state needed to speed up the reopening process and get more exam stations back in service.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Reopening these stations should have never taken this long. Government has to stay open to provide essential services, including licensing drivers," state Sen. Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, said. " Minnesotans in all areas of the state deserve access to essential driver’s license services so they can have the means to go about their daily lives."

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email dferguson@forumcomm.com

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
What to read next
Gov. Tim Walz visited Benson and viewed some of the damage caused by a May 12 storm. State officials said people affected by the storm should take photos and document what they do in cleaning up, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be seeking that information when it assesses the damage in 49 affected Minnesota counties.
If signed into law by the governor, the legislation would prohibit life insurance, long-term care insurance or disability insurance carriers from declining or limiting coverage to living organ or marrow donors.
Lawmakers on Wednesday tried to flesh out details for several spending bills at the Capitol ahead of a legislative deadline.
Two civil suits, filed in Faribault County District Court on Monday, May 16, 2022, allege that Rep. Jim Hagedorn asked his mother and stepfather, as well as his sister, to help pay for the cost of his cancer treatment and that money has not been paid back by his widow, Jennifer Carnahan.