Teens and other student drivers who’ve been frustrated by a lack of appointments to take driver’s license knowledge tests at a state Motor Vehicle Commission agency will get another chance to make an appointment to be tested at Rowan College this weekend.
MVC officials announced Monday that a limited number of driver knowledge tests will be administered at Rowan College at Burlington County on Saturday, Oct. 23, by appointment only.
Rowan is the second off-site facility that the MVC has worked with to stem the high demand by first time drivers for testing and permits since a pilot program was conducted last month at Passaic County Community College.
Appointments can only be scheduled online at NJMVC.gov. Applicants should not come to the test location unless they already have scheduled an appointment on the MVC website.
MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said the MVC was looking for more ways to partner with colleges and universities that had computer labs and secure internet connections to give the written test, in an interview with NJ Advance Media last week after the opening of a new licensing center in Elizabeth.
“We are thankful for Rowan College partnering with the NJMVC,” Fulton said in a statement. “Providing knowledge tests at an offsite location will allow us to better accommodate the historically high demand for knowledge tests in New Jersey right now.”
State Senator Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, who called for the reopening of MVC agencies for more in person transactions last month worked with Fulton and Rowan to use the college as a “large scale knowledge testing site.”
“This will provide potential drivers with greater access, thereby allowing them to be one step closer to getting their license. I appreciate that the MVC listened to our concerns and worked in partnership with our office and RCBC to bring this initiative to Burlington County to help meet the demand.”
Officials said most of the demand for appointments is coming from teenage drivers who normally would apply for a permit and take the knowledge exam through a high school drivers education class, a process that when on stand-by during the coronavirus pandemic.
A May 1 law allowed undocumented people and others such as those who are homeless to apply for first-time licenses or identification cards. Demand from those customers hasn’t been as high as from teen drivers, Fulton said.
Applicants must first acquire a learner’s permit before they can schedule a knowledge test appointment.
Citing a 40% failure rate by students drivers who took the written test for the first time, MVC officials urged them to study the New Jersey Driver Manual before taking the knowledge test.
That failure rate puts more burden on the system because those drivers have to schedule another appointment to retake the test, Fulton said last week.
MVC officials are working with other facilities with computer stations and enough space to offer additional offsite knowledge testing, with and dates and details to be announced soon.