Rep. Scott Stone Calls on DMV to Add New Locations, Allow Driver’s Ed Teachers to Give Drivers’ Tests
Charlotte, NC – NC Rep. Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg) has sent a letter to DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, requesting that high school driver’s education teachers be allowed to administer written tests for learner’s permits and road tests for provisional driver’s licenses. By eliminating this duplicative step and allowing driver’s education teachers to perform these functions, hundreds of thousands of trips to local DMV offices can be avoided each year.
“Our driver’s education teachers already know these students,” said Stone. “Teachers administer tests to students as part of their current duties. It makes perfect sense that teachers be able to eliminate a step in the process so that a trip to the DMV office can be avoided completely.”
The fees that are paid to DMV associated with the permits and licenses could instead be paid to the schools or directly to the teachers.
“Currently a DMV official observes a student driving for just a few minutes. This is not a good assessment of whether a new driver is ready to drive unsupervised,” Stone said. “A teacher who has driven with the student for several weeks is best prepared to evaluate that person’s driving skills and attest to whether they should be granted a license.”
Stone also reiterated a request from a September 5, 2018 letter to Commissioner Jessup that the DMV add new locations in high growth, high populations areas, including south Charlotte.
“Given significant growth in the Charlotte region and elsewhere, which often includes many citizens new to our state, it is long overdue for the DMV to add a new location in south Charlotte.”
Additional Benefits & Elements of Driver’s Ed Change:
– Students will not be forced to miss classes to visit the DMV office for their tests and paperwork.
– A teacher in a classroom can more easily verify the identity and home address of the new driver since he or she is already enrolled in the school as a student. This provides additional security and efficiency to the driver verification process.
– Teachers who are given this authority can be granted access to the state DMV system in a similar manner currently given to private inspection stations. Given current technology, it should be relatively easy for the teacher to be able to take the digital photo. Once a student passes the exam, the teacher can log it into the system and the document is automatically printed and mailed to the student’s home.
Some driver’s education programs are provided by private companies, but it is not unprecedented to allow private entities to interface with the DMV process. Private inspection facilities provide real-time information to the DMV as part of registration renewal process.
During the 2017 – 18 budget year, the DMV issued the following documents:
Limited Learner Permit 98,270
Limited Provisional License 73,711
Full provisional license 54,629
The General Assembly appropriated in the 2018 budget $27,393,768 for Driver’s Education. Department of Public Instruction is tasked with distributing these funds to the LEAs.
Some LEAs charge a small fee to students for the course (for example – CMS charges $65). If at least a portion of DMV license and permit fees also supplemented the cost of Driver’s Education, there could be more funds available for our teachers.