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Letters to the editor: At DVS, cuts do make sense

What Sen. Jason Rarick failed to mention in his article last week is that the testing locations that the Driver and Vehicle Services department is proposing closing are open only one day a week, at most, for limited or inconsistent hours, and run by examiners who are stationed full-time elsewhere.

He mentioned losing Moose Lake, a testing center that is open for road tests from 12:30 to 3:30 on Thursdays. At 20 minutes per appointment, the lone examiner who travels there from Duluth can usually give six Class D skills tests before they need to return to the Duluth station. The rest of their day is taken up with driving to (and from) the site, administering knowledge exams, taking their lunch break, and running the bank deposit.

That same examiner could accommodate two to three times as many road tests if they remained in Duluth. The trade-off for test takers who would have otherwise tested in Moose Lake? Having to travel an extra 40 minutes up the freeway. Meanwhile, an additional 12 appointments would become available in Duluth.

I had the privilege of working with a great group of examiners in Duluth who genuinely cared about Minnesota’s drivers and went above and beyond to set them up for success. I’m disappointed that Sen. Rarick would share an opinion that not only doesn’t give the full picture, but which disparages those public employees’ hard work and their desire to help their customers despite time limitations.

According to the math, DVS would be doing Minnesotans a disservice by not closing the proposed locations. Unless the state is willing to fund the space and staff necessary to turn satellite testing sites into permanent exam stations (or consider other options such as allowing third-party testing), DVS’s current recommendation is a step in the right direction toward increasing road test availability.

Amanda Strapple,


The writer worked as a clerk at the DVS/DPS Duluth Exam Station for nearly four years.