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Nevada DMV mulling changes to driving skills test amid shutdown

After Georgia this week waived the road test requirement for those seeking a noncommercial driver’s licenses, Nevada officials are mulling how to handle the situation in the Silver State.

Georgia’s change allows applicants to obtain a license without taking the driving skills test. Applicants who are 16-18 years old must have had their learner’s permits for one year and one day and must not have any violations over that period, according to the Georgia Department of Diver Services website. Those older than 18 with a learner’s permit just need to select “renewal” on the web page and will be assigned one if eligible.

With all Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles offices shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials are holding discussions about the license application process. Officials would not say Friday whether they were considering waiving the driving skills test.

“The Nevada DMV is currently evaluating its options on skills testing that will ensure the safety of the public and the staff,” said department spokesman Kevin Malone. “No final decisions have been made.”

The DMV could not provide precise numbers on drivers with learner’s permits who were awaiting a road test. Malone said the state issues approximately 2,000 instruction permits to drivers younger than 18 per month.

The minimum age to obtain a driver’s license in Nevada is 16. Most teen applicants have to complete driver education and log 50 hours of driving experience. Drivers younger than 18 are not allowed to operate a vehicle between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless they’re traveling from a scheduled event such as school or work, according to the DMV’s website.

Earlier this year the Nevada DMV eliminated the parallel parking portion of the road test for license applicants, saying the parking skill needed is met by the requirements of entering and backing out of a perpendicular parking space and by other vehicle control requirements.

“We believe this change makes our drive tests safer and we are still able to maintain the integrity of our mission, putting safe drivers on the road,” Malone said in February.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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