DMV today starts a new technology-driven service to allow parents and teens to make an appointment - rather than wait in a DMV office -- for taking the learner's permit knowledge test.
In addition, this service will be used only at a new state-of-the-art Test Center in Cheshire that opens May 30. Both are designed to help parents avoid waits at major DMV service offices and make it easy, simple and convenient for them at the same time.
"This is a tremendous change in service for parents and teens, with our focus to make it easier for them at DMV. It's also a major step forward for DMV as it begins to bring more services online," said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey.
Parents and teens using the convenience of a home computer, portable laptop, iPad, iPhone or any device with an internet browser can schedule the knowledge test and then on the specific day go to the new Test Center, off Exit 3 on Route 691 in Cheshire.
DMV had for several years allowed only walk-in service for the knowledge test for this permit, which is the first step in obtaining a driver's license. Walk-ins will still be taken at the major DMV service offices. More than 30,000 16- and 17-year-olds each year apply for a permit.
Teens and parents can now go to ct.gov/dmv/do-it-online and follow the easy instructions for choosing a date and time for taking the test in the new Cheshire Test Center. After entering all required information, a $59 payment must be made through a major credit card. The cost for using the system is the same as going to a major DMV service office.
For the convenience of parents, DMV is also providing new hours for scheduling the test at the center at 1625 Highland Avenue. It will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
At the Test Center, which will feature a state-of-the-art room with laptop computers, teens will take a 25-question test. They must answer 20 questions correctly to pass. Questions are pulled from a large database at random.
DMV staff will proctor the exam room as they do now in DMV offices. Meanwhile, parents will be able to wait in rooms with comfortable seating and designed with posters that brand DMV's public health messaging about teen safe driving.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. DMV has partnered with hospitals including the state's two major children's trauma centers, Connecticut Children's Hospital in Hartford and Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. The Test Center will display in parent waiting rooms a variety of posters, including two posters showing surgeons giving messages about teen safe driving as part of staying well.
A new DMV analysis of 16- and 17-year-old drivers' crashes shows an 87-percent decrease in 2011 in those killed compared to the years leading up to the now tougher teen driving laws passed nearly four years ago. Parental and public outreach as well as enforcement of the laws is credited for Connecticut's exceptional results when compared to the national average.