State DPS commissioners answers questions about reopening driver and vehicle services testing sites at Senate hearing

At a recent state senate hearing focused on reopening Driver and Vehicle Services testing sites across the state, DPS commissioner John Harrington told lawmakers he expects progress soon.

Harrington cited staffing concerns as a large reason some offices remain closed but said he is hearing from Minnesotans every day about the problem.

Harrington says the department has a plan in place to get all the exam stations operating again.

Senator Torrey Westrom, a Republican from Elbow Lake says the goal of the hearing was clear.

The hearing was prompted by a letter from lawmakers to Harrington earlier this month asking why stations closed in reaction to COVID-19 remained shuttered despite the legislature allocating money for them to reopen this summer.  A map from the Office of the Legislative Auditor shows that the driver’s license exam stations in Austin and Winona in southeastern Minnesota reopened anywhere from November of 2020 through March of 2021, and the office in Rochester reopened in May of 2020.  Offices in Albert Lea, Preston, Caledonia, LaCrescent and Wabasha remain closed at last word.