The Iowa Department of Transportation is not issuing new permits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, teenagers can now start the process of getting their permits at home.
Parents can fill out an application to proctor the written driving test for their kids at home.
When the DOT reopens, kids can then come in and get their permits.
According to Darcy Doty from the Iowa Department of Transportation, it will help streamline the process.
It’s actually a good step to get out of the way, to pass that test. There’s a lot of anxiety, I think, around that permit test. But what it does right now is it allows those students who are turning 14 to have one small win during this COVID period and then to eliminate that potentially stressful situation. Then they know they can just make an appointment, come in, and be issued at a later time when its safer to do so.”
DOT offices are not scheduled to reopen until May – a date which could still be pushed back.
Taking the test at home is an extension of an existing program called “Skip the Trip.”
It allows students to get tested at their schools.
DOT officials say that authorizing parents to administer the exam is not a problem, since parents have a vested interest in their kid’s safety.
The new program already has more than a thousand applicants.