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Break out the study guides: DMV Road Test Waiver pilot program to end

Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 17:53:04-04
  • During Covid-19 Pandemic, Wisconsin parents had the opportunity to sign a waiver and bypass a road test for their child.
  • Parents have mixed reaction to it ending
  • Pilot Program started in May 2020 and will end on December 31. So far 144,082 waivers have been signed since it started.

Wisconsin drivers under the age of 18 will once again need to take a driver's test to obtain their license.
During Covid-19 Pandemic, parents could sign a waiver to bypass the test as long as their child met all of the other driver needs, like driver's education. That waiver comes to an end on December 31st causing many parents to have differing opinions.

Jenny Weier's daughter is planning to get her license in December meaning she will be eligible for the waiver. An option she may take.

"I think if they're getting through driver's ed they're going to get through the test," Weier said. "If she is doing well with the driver's ed program I think that that is sufficient. If they sign off, it should be fine."

Weier says she fears a mandatory test is not a good evaluation of a driver as a whole

"That's just one snapshot in time," says Weier. "They can be perfect on the driver's test with the DMV but the other times they may have screwed up. So, it's not really a true picture."

Some parents do not agree and prefer a mandatory test for the kids. One mother who lives in Manitowoc told me that although she had the option, she made her children take the road test.

“It gives them a non-parent objective assessment of their skills," she said.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation a whopping 144,082 waivers have been authorized since the program began in May of 2020. The department says that throughout the course of the program research indicates no negative impact on highway safety.

Regardless, the waiver will be gone after this December... so if you have a child planning to get their license after the new year, they will be required to take the test once again. Weier says she's not sure that's a good idea.

"We all did it and we all survived, but it's just different nowadays," Weier said.

If you're planning to take the test, make sure you give yourself some extra time. The Department of Transportation mentions that DMV wait times may be on the rise with all of these new drivers back in the office.