XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices began offering driver’s tests again after the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. The first Miami Valley testing site reopened in Xenia on Tuesday with new guidelines.
“I had no idea what I was supposed to be expecting coming in here so I was pretty nervous,” said Gwen Mayo, a student driver.
Mayo was originally scheduled to take her test the day the BMV closed in mid-March.
“It was heartbreaking. I’m almost 19 so I’ve been waiting for a long time. It was pretty disappointing but of course, I understood,” she said.
The shutdown left her and thousands of others waiting months to take their tests.
“We do about 40,000 of these skills test a month so if you figure we were closed for roughly three months it gives you a sense of what the backlog is,” said Charlie Norman, the state registrar of motor vehicles.
Norman says people can expect big changes when they come for their test.
“The skills test is now on a closed course in our parking lot. We had to alter our parking lots, which are our driver exam stations so that took quite a bit of time we had to really create the protocols and testing measure and then train over 200 examiners on the new protocols,” he said.
The biggest change is that the examiners will grade the test from outside of the car. Instead of a BMV examiner, each testee must now have a licensed driver in the car with them.
“I’d be less stressed out with an actual instructor in the car rather than my mom because obviously she’s nervous for me and two nervous people doesn’t really help,” said Mayo.
Mayo said the changes to the testing format were a big adjustment.
“I passed the driving but I failed the maneuverability just because my nerves were all kind of out of whack,” she said.