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Ask Evan: PennDOT Driver Testing Center issues

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This week's 'Ask Evan' question come from Ruth.  She asks, "Why is the DMV so backed up?  My daughter wanted to schedule a driver test and the first available dates were six and seven months away.  She has to drive to Lewistown to get a date a month away.  All closer centers have heavy wait dates.  Why Evan?"

I checked with my sources at PennDOT to get an answer. Yes, back-ups are indeed six months out depending on the popularity of a particular location.  Basically it boils down to high volume of need, lower number of testers.

The official statement from PennDOT says summer months are the busiest time of year for driving tests, and appointments at driver license centers may fill up quickly.
PennDOT makes new appointments available for scheduling each week, and customers are encouraged to plan ahead when scheduling their appointments. Pennsylvania's law governing the licensing of young drivers requires a mandatory six-month period before testing.

PennDOT recommends young drivers plan accordingly and schedule their road test for their earliest test eligibility date printed on their learner`s permit.  For customers that need to schedule an exam earlier, appointments are also made available on a weekly basis that allow for scheduling within a six-week time period.

You can also schedule through a third party. It's the same test, but you do have to pay for it. A listing of available third-party testing providers can be found on PennDOT's website.

If a person is under the age of 18 and fails the road test, they must wait one (1) week before taking it again. If a customer is 18 or older, they can schedule for the next available appointment. PennDOT also recommends getting online as early in the day as possible to get open slots, and look for locations that may not be as busy.

Thanks for the question.  If you have questions you'd like to ask send me an email at  Put 'Ask Evan' in the subject line,  or reach out to me on my Facebook page Evan Forrester FOX43.  Whatever the topic, I'll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.