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Giblin & Benson Bill Requiring MVC to Allow Applicants to Take Written Driver’s Test Online During Pandemic Passes Committee

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt normal services and pose a risk to New Jersey residents, a bipartisan bill seeks to offer the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) written driver’s license knowledge exam online during the public health emergency.

The measure (A-4632) would allow applicants to take the written test via a website operated by the MVC in order to receive their permit during the pandemic. Test-takers would be required to certify that they did not use any reference materials or receive assistance while taking the test.

The act would expire 31 days after the public health emergency is rescinded.

Upon the bill being advanced by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on Thursday, Assembly Democrats Thomas Giblin (D-Essex, Passaic) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:

“This pandemic is not going to be resolved any time soon, which is why it’s important to find ways to accommodate the needs of New Jersey residents in the meantime. The ability to drive is essential for millions of residents, yet this public health crisis has complicated our state’s ability to grant the permits and licenses they need to operate a vehicle. 

“Even with MVC offices reopened, many have already had to temporarily close their doors due to workers testing positive for COVID-19. These closures only increase the already massive demand for MVC services. We must offer as many alternatives to in-person services as possible to limit the number of residents needing to visit these offices.

“Allowing residents to take the written test online would not only decrease the demand for in-person services, but would ensure residents have the opportunity to obtain a permit without worrying about office closures or delays.”

The bill, which is also sponsored by Republican Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.