MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many teenagers can’t get in the driver’s seat just yet because of the state government shutdown.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is closed right now and that means you’re out of luck if you are looking to take the driver’s test.

Cole Bacig, 15, loves everything about cars — but not the fact that he can’t drive one yet.

“My mom lets me turn on and off the car sometimes, change it into reverse for her,” said Cole.

Unfortunately, turning the key is where it ends for him.

“I guess until I get my permit, that’s what I’ll be doing,” said Cole.

He was supposed to get his learner’s permit last week, but can’t because of Minnesota’s government shutdown.

In a similar spot is 17-year-old Marcy Adams — she can’t get her driver’s license.

“It’s kind of frustrating because I feel really dependent on my family and friends for rides,” she said.

When lawmakers couldn’t agree on a budget on July 1, all non-essential government departments shut down. That included the DMV.

“I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think the DMV should be shutdown because kids need to get their license. It’s good. It’s revenue,” said Adams.

For Cole and Adams, not being able to drive is an inconvenience, but for others like Johnny Holder, it affects more than his freedom.

“You have to jump through a bunch of hoops in order to get a license reinstated, and by the time I got everything done — it’s over,” he said.

Holder has been trying to get back in the driver’s seat for 5 years since losing his license.

“I’m a freelancer so I have to get around the city a lot,” he said. “I have to turn down jobs right now because I can’t get to them.”

Even though he’s young, Cole understands just how far this shutdown stretches.

“I also understand that this is how the government (shutdown) is impacting me, but it’s also impacting a bunch of other people. So we’re all kinda … playing our role in the way that the government affects us until they reopen,” he said.

No one knows long the government shutdown will last, so in the meantime Cole will keep starting his mom’s car, Adams will hitch rides, and Holder will continue biking.

Comments (46)
  1. MrB says:

    Is this the worst thing from the gov shutdown??? I don’t think so, you’ll just have to wait a little longer, and in the mean time our roads are probably safer!

    1. MrC says:

      Agreed. Sorry teenies, but you’ll be thankful for not driving now. Gas is climbing up: $3.85 >> and terrible drunk drivers on the roads.

      1. MrA says:

        Also, used cars have gotten expensive. Luther is offering to buy back used cars for the balance of your car loan!!! Take the bus/light rail and save your money for college! The gov’t is weeks away from slashing college grant and loan amounts in the fed budget.

      2. Tim from 'tonka says:

        BTW – what’s this bs on the gas? Oil’s down and it seems Holiday drives the local market.
        They jumped Friday in Minnetonka by .19 in am
        The BP’s and independents all smiled and said – here we come suckas
        If we see $140 a barrel again —- that’s translates to better than $5.80 a barrel. Last time in similar range it was $4.35.
        How much can they pimp us? Consumption down and still this …. God help us.
        I’m starting to want the gubbermint to take it over almost. lol

        1. Brian says:

          You realize that both Oil and Gas are freely traded on the commodities market, right? The prices are not set by the oil companies or the gas companies. It is not based in any way on supply or demand. The prices are set by speculators, many of whom never plan on taking shipment of the oil futures they are buying or selling.

          This should scare everyone. It should scare everyone even more that no one is doing anything about it!

  2. ouch says:

    Why was the other guys liscense revoked in the first place?

    Lesson learned…

    1. Scotty says:

      For 3 DWI’s, obstruction of justice, and 3 drives after cancelled and knows, oh and a failure to provide insurance.

      1. Brian says:

        Exactly. You must have gotten this info from the public courts website, because I just looked it up. Ain’t many John Holders out there. And you hit the nail on the head. Yeah….lets get hands across American because this tool can’t drive. Although, from what it looks like, he’s got several convictions for driving after revocation, so the license issue doesn’t seem to stop this guy from driving anyways. Boo hoo hoo. I guess the shutdown affects everyone. I hear convicted murderes in Stillwater prison no longer get maid service, free cable, and a mint on their pillow in the morning.

        1. Unbelievable! says:

          Why would that Johnny Holder loser even comment to a reporter about his “situation”?

          There was a point in time when people used to have a little shame in a criminal past, now we get guys like this freely admitting in public to being a loser and he has the nerve to complain about a shut-down inconveniencing him.

          Hey Johnny, its been 5 years, you can wait a little longer. And look at the bright side, the longer it takes before to get your license back is just pushing the date of your next revocation back further.

  3. Anne says:

    I am a laid off state employee and my daughter is supposed to get her driver’s license next month. Although I feel bad she may not be able to get it, I totally agree with Mr.B and I also agree that this is not a critical service.

  4. KracktUp says:

    All the kiddies in the influential ‘burbs are being denied the RIGHT (perceived) to drive. Yeah for the ‘burbies” – the smucks in office cannot do it but you can. Yippppppeeeeeeeee

  5. Tammy Belka says:

    a 37 year old friend of mine has been out of work since winter. He attended truck driving school in the hopes of getting a new job. Now he can’t take his big rig license test. This affects adults as well as teenagers… badly. My friends are barely gettnig by off one income. This is a complete life-changer for them once he gets his test done!

    1. Les Johnson says:

      “a 37 year old friend of mine has been out of work since winter. He attended truck driving school in the hopes of getting a new job.”

      If you’re really his friend, you may have advised him to seek training in a field with a future and a chance of making some money. Winter is 8 months ago already. How hard was he really trying to find a job?

      1. Brian says:

        Les, truck drivers are actually a growing sector of our economy and are paid pretty well for their work (pretty easy to make it to the mid-$40k in your first two years). They transport goods to our stores. We will ALWAYS need truckers to move freight for us.

        Also, it takes several months to attend school, be certified, pass the CDL, etc. Right now, due to the shutdown, no one can get a CDL or CDL renewal. I know someone who is a paramedic and waiting to take the CDL so he can drive an ambulance. Just sayin’…

        1. P SMITH says:

          Brian you do not need a CDL to drive an ambulance your exempt as for not being able to renew your CDL the only people who cannot are those who have school bus and hazmat endoresments on their license they must take a written test before they can renew. as for the first time drivers who cannot get their road test I feel real bad ,as examiners we would rather be giving you tests that sitting on the sidelines waiting on our legislators to get there job done and pass a fair budget for EVERYONE!

      2. Tammy Belka says:

        Les – it’s VERY hard to find a good paying job in Northern MN. Thanks for your concern. And the complete non-jerk way you offered it.

      3. Linda Jones says:

        Truck drivers have a wealth of positions available; please check your facts before posting! Whether it is Summer or Winter, people who need their services “whine” when they are not delivering their freight, packages, or whatever–and many stores and factories depend on them! BTW, most drivers earn a minimum of $18-25/hour, so I would think it’s a “field with a future and a chance of making some money”.

  6. mackey says:

    Shut Down is over. J. Ortman’s brat needs a license and that was all it took to resolve this mess. Kool huh

  7. Puddle Jumper says:

    I had my drivers permit at age fifteen, but waited until I was twenty one because I couldn’t afford the insurance, I survived.

  8. Elmo says:

    I grew up in a one car family of 5. Now it seams everybody has to have a car. I have no problem jumping on the bus to get to work. Don’t let a the Government shutdown be an excuse for not moving forward.

    1. Linda Jones says:

      I agree. Placing the blame on “no drivers license” is an excuse for not looking for alternate options. If someone seriously wants to work, go from point A to point B, or needs assistance getting to the store, there are always options. Sometimes you have to lower your “pride” and ask for help. The DMV WILL open again–patience is the key. Might be a good time to start using any critical thinking skills these teens are supposed to know.

  9. Brian says:

    Yeah no kidding. Go on facebook and whine to your friends about not getting your license. Personally, I feel a bit safer knowing there are a few would-be rookie drivers on the sidelines because of this deal…one less driver who can sideswipe me while texting about some lame grad party.

    1. P SMITH says:

      Brian ans a drivers license examiner I would rather be on the road with some of these “rookie drivers” than people like you who seem to have anger managment issues . there are a lot more adults out there who cannot drive very good.

  10. Kayla says:

    Okay, WCCO…I get where you are going with this whole series of stories regarding the shutdown. But whining teenagers? Driving is a privilege, not a right. I notice WCCO doesn’t mention if any of these kids have actual jobs. So any of their “driving” needs are most like just for fun. You took what could have been an actual story and focused on whining kids, and someone who had his licensed revoked based on his own poor choices.

  11. I literally could not care any less says:

    It is like the staff sits in a room and tries to think up ways that the quasi-shut down can be reported to make people mad. The story about the Eagle scout not being able to receive his badge really took the cake. Reporting about the stuff that goes to the welfare babies even makes the worst liberals upset and so they seem to be trying to stir the pot but not draw attention to the system suckers. The entitled kids of today have no idea what it is like to sacrifice. Here is how we did it. First when you were 14, you had to get a job to buy a car by the time you were 15 so you could take your permit test…no usage of mommy and daddys car. Then after you took your test in the car you bought yoursel from your afterschool odd jobs, you drove it when you were 16. Then after that you didn’t get to simply get added to mommy and daddy’s insurance policy but had to actually pay for your own policy to the tune of a couple thousand a year for liability. I don’t care that you can’t get your DL you bunch of spoiled brats. I won’t even comment on the guy trying to get his license after all of his crimes.
    At the end of the day, the shut down is necessary and we are only finally discovering that for responsible people, there are minor inconveniences at worst. Only the non-taxpayers sucking off the system are effected. The lesson is live responsibly and amazingly you wouldn’t be anything but inconvenienced by a shut down.

    1. Peggy says:

      Times change. We have a teenager with a appointment scheduled for a drivers test. He’ll survive, but living in a rural area there are no busses to catch but he does do odd jobs and has been saving for a car. It is unfair to the “responsible” youth to label them as spoiled brats. I believe the shut down is necessary as well and we have always lived within our means and have saved as well. I think we have lived responsibly but the shut down is more then an “inconvience” because my husband is one of the 22,000 laid off . So are we system suckers? I know who the sucker is!

      1. Don't care says:

        Holy buckets, Peggy, I lived in a rural area as well. There wasn’t anything at all within 30 miles. If your husband is employed by the government, he is indeed part of the problem. I paid in over 100,000$ in income taxes alone in 2010 now I revert back to your question as to who the system sucker is. Gov workers are at the bottom of the strata within their profession and that is the simple truth. I really hope you are feeling the pain that so many folks have learned to live with and without guaranteed back pay for time not working. Guaranteed back pay for time you didn’t “serve the public” is itself sucking off of the system. You are clearly in a myopic, groupthink mindset convincing yourselves that in some way, shape or form, what your husband does is somehow not sucking of the system. I hope it lasts for a long time and that even with your unemployment, you suffer some financial chaos. At the end of the day, you know in your heart of hearts that the gravy train will end whether you are kicking and screaming how unfair it is or not. Gov is not an employment program plain and simple. You have not lived within your true means when you calculate how much your government employed husband has been overpaid. When you review his direct deposits, do you smirk a little in disbelief that the scheme continues on and on? Now go calculate how big your husband’s pension will be and let’s call it a day.

        1. P SMITH says:

          Don’t care yor very missinformed we state of Minnsota workers who are LOCKED OUT OF OUR JOBS WILL NOT GET BACK PAY AND CANNOT USE OUR VACATION TIME !!!!!!!!!!!! we also are NOT the bottom we are very important to many people and we are NOT the problem we are part of the sulution the problem is that the republican leadership HAS NO LEADERSHIP ABILITY! we donot suck of anyone as for a gravey train there is No such thing except in the dog food world! maybe you should come down of your purch and see how the rest of us common folk live !

  12. Just a thought says:

    I get the feeling this generation doesn’t hear the word “no” allot…

  13. Theresa says:

    Kids don’t NEED to get their license, they just WANT to. This is an age where it is all about them. Of course the government shut down would make this be the most inconvenient thing to happen to them. Personally, age 15 is too young to drive. 16 is too young to get a license. Too immature.

    1. A teen says:

      @ Theresa. A lot of teens, like me will get jobs at 15 to pay for a car when we turn 16. Having a car and a license will make it easier for us to get to our jobs and, bring things home. My brother worked at a grocery store and my parents would have him pick things up so they didn’t have to make a special trip… biking 5 miles home is kind of hard with a gallon of milk, so having a license will help parent also. We also want to be independent and if we can drive ourselves around then we don’t have to have our parents take time to bring us places. And in response to the “Personally, age 15 is too young to drive. 16 is too young to get a license” some teens are very good drivers, better than some adults. If you are a good student and if you can pass the test then you should be able to drive. its that simple, some states have more lax rules than us, like South Dakota, teens can get a permit at 14. I realize it’s not an emergency but we should be able to drive if we are good enough to pass the test and not all of us think its about us all the time.

  14. red says:

    wah wah poor babies relax you’ll get your license someday. This is not a priority with the shutdown. There are a heck of a lot more important things. I feel a safer without all the teenie bobbers on the road also.

  15. Mommy's mind control says:

    How many of us who received our licenses in the 70’s would have stopped driving because the state shut down? LOL

    1. Help Mommy!! says:

      None. You are correct. These kiddies aren’t leaders. Mommy took care of that one!

      1. plus size model says:

        Remember they got presests for poopies and spankings for taking unsupervised risk! Poor kids. They are truly lost when mom drops dead from her type II diabetes. Big is beautiful!

    2. eastsider says:

      Now that brings back some memories! Good one Mommy.

  16. Kevin says:

    Another issue brought on by the State shutdown that has no effect on me…again I state….”WHO CARES”…….the longer the shut down the more of the wefare sucking vermon will leave the state….

    1. wade says:

      No they won’t because the welfare checks are still going out. Which is the first thing they should have cut.

      1. tired of idiots says:

        @ Kevin and wade. A lot of people on welfare need the money to survive. If you were in a position (for whatever reason) where you needed help, or if a family member needed help, would you want people to think that they are just taking advantage of us and don’t deserve it if there is a legitimate reason for them to need it? I bet if you or say your mom were on welfare you would be singing a very different tune. personal experience is very eye opening….

  17. Bluto says:


    My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.

  18. william wallace says:

    It’s an appalling situation for COLE as many american teenagers
    ten years of republican govt left the nation on its knees / through
    banking fraud which was on such a scale it bringing an western
    banking collapse /$BILLIONS lost / MILLIONS made UNEMPLOYED
    the result being many hundreds of thousands killed // in bringing a
    river of tears / a river of blood // the USA on its knees in shame at
    such brutallity against humanity // as on its knees through poverty.

    In coming to govt poor BARACK / HILLARY / AS ALL DEMOCRATS
    in having to face an awsome task in getting the train back on track.

    Thus the advice to many american young people // its time in leaving
    as venture to new pastures. // Go to Britain / FRANCE as GERMANY
    italy as other nations worldwide // however it best avoid middle east
    for a time / where americans not 100% welcome due their behaviour.

    The USA being the modern roman empire / as old roman empire it also
    going into decline // falling apart due to expansion of its military forces
    unbalanced earning ratio to spend/ thus in bringing an repeat collapse.

  19. Sad story, but not surprising.

  20. click says:

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