By Jennifer Mayerle

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s a roadblock for new drivers wanting to get their license.

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Minnesota already has a big backlog, and it is expected to only get worse. States like Wisconsin and Georgia have eased restrictions during their stay-at-home orders, but it’s not likely to happen in Minnesota.

Wisconsin drivers like Susie Evans are worried about new drivers allowed to get behind the wheel without passing a road test.

“Letting them just go on the roads like this, incredibly dangerous,” Evans said.

The probationary license requires completed training and endorsement from a parent. But the waiver likely won’t fly in Minnesota, according to State Senate Transportation Chair Scott Newman.

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“I just don’t see if happening, not at least without an awful lot of committee work and vetting and allowing input … including the public,” Newman said.

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Minnesota is already facing a backlog after halting road tests. More than 13,000 have been cancelled during the pandemic. Newman says the state is headed for a real problem.

“Keep in mind it was a problem before this COVID-19 hit, and all this is doing is making a bad problem worse,” Newman said.

A quick ask on social media revealed people aren’t interested in license requirements being eased in the state, calling the move unsafe and dangerous. Others are saying let them wait. One called for greater testing accessibility.

“I am certain it’s on the governor’s radar. It’s on our radar, and we will do our best to move on it, but no immediate relief,” Newman said.

He asks for patience, saying finding a solution may take a special session.

Gov. Tim Walz did sign a bill that provided an extension to anyone needing a driver’s license or ID renewal during the peacetime emergency. DPS numbers show more than 100,000 would have expired during this time.

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Jennifer Mayerle