QUEENSBURY Written driving tests are cancelled for this week at the Warren County department of Motor Vehicles office and will resume Tuesday Oct. 8 during limited hours — as the DMV staff adjusts its operation to comply with new state mandates for testing oversight.
The state sent out new mandates requiring counties’ DMV staff to monitor people taking written and audio driving tests, in reaction to a recent cheating scandal in New York City in which eight people were arrested.
County Clerk Pam Vogel told county supervisors Wednesday that DMV offices across the state have been directed to have test-takers continually observed by a county employee to assure that they don’t attempt to cheat, and don’t talk or use electronic devices.
This mandate, received Sept. 26, means a DMV employee will have to be taken away from a customer-service window and reassigned to testing. Until this week driver tests were administered generally when drivers requested to take them.
In response to the mandate, the tests will now be given during specific hours -- times that the customer service windows are not normally busy, Vogel said. The change affects all tests offered including: learners permits, as well as general auto operator, motorcycle, CDL, escort, tow truck and “metal coil” exams, Vogel said.
“We’re going to do the best we can in this situation,” she said. “Hopefully our efforts will be positive and not inconvenience the public much.”
According to the new schedule, operator & motorcycle permits will be administered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. As in the past, no appointment is necessary.
The CDL, escort, tow truck and metal coil tests will be administered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment only.
To schedule a test, call 761-6438, and leave name and phone number.
Wednesday, Vogel suggested to the supervisors that a county building security officer be assigned to monitor the DMV testing, and the request was forwarded to the facilities committee.