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COVID Pandemic: California DMV Suspends Behind-The-Wheel Tests For 2 Weeks Over Rising Cases

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) -- The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced Thursday that it plans to suspend all behind-the-wheel driving tests for two weeks amid the surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

Behind-the-wheel tests, which are required for first-time driver's license and commercial license applicants, will be suspended starting December 14. The DMV said affected customers would be notified and have their tests rescheduled at a later date.

Meanwhile, motorcycle tests would continue to take place, since the test can be done at a safe distance.

"Behind-the-wheel drive tests require two people to share space in one vehicle and – while we have made numerous changes to safeguard the testing process – the current surge in COVID-19 cases presents increased risk to both parties," DMV Director Steve Gordon said.

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMV suspended driving tests from mid-March through June. Tests resumed with multiple safety protocols, including face coverings, temperature checks, keeping windows open and the use of seat covers.

The DMV said offices would remain open, but also told those who don't have urgent needs with the agency should delay their visit, including those seeking to apply for a REAL ID. Homeland Security officials have said previously that enforcement for the REAL ID cards would not take place until October 1, 2021.

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