DMV field offices have reopened, but be prepared for delays

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Young people who are ready for some summer vacation freedom might have to be patient.

All local DMV field offices are now open for in-person visits.

But appointments are required for all services, which could make the process, longer.

16-year-old Hope Gutierrez is taking her driver's training. She has her permit, but now she's spinning her wheels, not knowing when she will be able to get her driver's license.

"It's hard having to go everywhere with my parents. If they're not ready or if they don't have time to come with me then I can't go anywhere," says Clovis resident Hope Gutierrez.

Since March 19th, all drive tests were canceled by the DMV due to the pandemic. Those with tests already scheduled were told they would be rescheduled at a later date. But nearly three months later, there's still no word on when they will resume.

"We're working on a plan. We're getting the appropriate equipment for our testers. We're going to be requiring everyone to wear masks and once it's safe, we will be resuming drive tests," says DMV spokesperson Anita Gore.

At Traffic Depot Driving School, driver's training sessions have once again been given the green light.

"We did stop a little bit. They did stop us. I think the 20th of March was the last time I did my final drive and that lasted up until June," says driver's training instructor David Vaquera.

Driving schools that were stalled out are now backlogged with teens anxious to drive.

At the DMV office on Blackstone Avenue in North Fresno, a usually packed office was not crowded Thursday, because appointments are limited for social distancing. Exams were still being given and most services were available in person. A kiosk inside also provided streamlined services like vehicle registration.

Hassan Driver of Fresno walked in without an appointment after never receiving license plates he ordered.

"I called about a month ago, was on the phone for a while with Sacramento and so today I just said, you know what, I have the day off, let's spend it at the DMV," says Driver.

When offices closed during the crisis, many DMV services were shifted to more user-friendly online options. Drivers can now download and submit more documents than ever before. Kiosks are also conveniently located in some grocery stores.
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