North Dakota DOT facing back-up when it comes to scheduling driver's license tests

Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 8:21 PM CDT
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If you’re in the market for a driver’s license, you better plan ahead. The North Dakota Department of Transportation tells us they are catching up from the busy summer months and swamped with the real ID’s. One man called our Whistleblower Hotline trying to get a driver’s license test for his daughter and was told it would be a six month wait.

"I thought I would be here until quarter to five, when they close," says south Fargo resident, Shaila Davis.

A pleasant surprise for Shaila Davis. She stopped at the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s driver’s license office in Fargo Tuesday to get her license renewed. She tells us she was ready for a long wait but that wasn't the case.

"I probably waited half an hour, 45 minutes," says Davis.

Same goes for Andrew Fritz. He stopped in to change his address.

"My first time I changed it, it was an hour and 15 minutes and this time, it was a half an hour," says Fargo resident, Andrew Fritz.

But not everyone has been so lucky when it comes to getting in and getting stuff done. In fact officials with the DOT tell us they're facing a major back-up right now for people wanting to sign up to take their driver’s license road test. To give you an idea of how long, the earliest they're scheduling appointments for that in Fargo is March.

Valley News Live: “Is this normal throughout the state right now? Or what's with the delay?”

"Yeah, right now we are experiencing high volumes," says North Dakota Department of Transportation Director of Driver's License, Brad Schaffer.

The director of the driver’s license department with the DOT Brad Schaffer tells us, the reason for the delays is because they're still catching up from the summer months. That’s a busy time for teens looking to take their driving test. On top of that, people are flooding in getting ahead on their real ID’s that will soon be required and while the long wait to get in might be annoying, Schaffer tells us they're doing everything they can.

"We are offering overtime so we are running appointments at like 6 in the morning, after hours, late into the evenings," says Schaffer.

As for Davis, she'll be back in the next couple months to get her real ID but one thing's for sure, she doesn't wish to be 16 again.

"I’m so glad I’m not at the age when I have to get a driver's license right now," says Davis.

And if you're thinking about just going to a different DOT office in the state, Schaffer tells us the wait times are pretty much the same everywhere you go.

Looking to get ahead of this wait? Officials with the DOT tell us there are some driving schools in North Dakota that have a test waiver program.