Many people have been wondering how teenagers are getting their driver license and permit with all of the changes that have been happening this year. In my experience with drivers ed, we had classes last summer before Covid happened, and in our classes we did everything on paper. Some people were able to finish their six hours of driving and six hours of observing, but in the middle of our driving lessons, Covid started and everything changed. Those who hadn’t started driving yet had to drive for nine hours without any observing time. I was one of the students who had to drive nine hours, which was a lot of driving, but I like how I had to do it better than the other way because I had more practice with certain skills and just getting the feel of being behind the wheel.
After we had finished completing either the six hours observing and six hours of driving, or the nine hours of driving, Mr.Uppena recorded the times and sent those in to the DMV. After he had sent it, our parents could read and sign a waiver that was then sent to the DMV in order for us to get our driver’s license without taking a behind the wheel test. A behind the wheel test is no longer a requirement, but it still is an option if you are comfortable with going to the DMV.
Mr. Uppena explained the new requirements for this year's students. He explained that he had to switch from doing all paper copies of tests and homework, to now all digital. He said that the requirement now is that you can only have one student driver and the teacher in the car. You have to wear a mask at all times when you are in the car, and the teacher is required to wipe down the wheel and everything that you were going to touch before you got in the car. They have also put plastic covering over the seats, and they have set up a camera which records each lesson.
Getting a driver’s license is still a right of passage for many students, even if it looks a little different during the pandemic.