‘It’s a burden for the parents’: Kentucky driver’s tests moved to regional sites
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Oldham County teenager Holly Huberman has been counting down the days until she gets her license.
“I’ll be able to drive around with all my friends,” she said. “I won’t need an adult there all the time. I can feel independent and feel more like a young adult rather than having to depend on someone to take me.”
Sharon Huberman, Holly Huberman’s grandmother, said she was equally as excited, but the happy emotions quickly turned to confusion when they saw where the teen would have to go to take her driver’s test.
“When she got her response back that we had to go to Frankfort, we had to come to Frankfort to take the test, and we thought, ‘This can’t be right,’” Sharon Huberman said.
However, it was right. A change in the Kentucky driver’s testing process required the duo to drive 54 minutes to Frankfort, which is one of the 10 new regional testing sites, and another 54 minutes back for Holly to take her test.
Kentucky State Police told WAVE 3 News the change streamlines the driver testing process by providing increased appointment availability.
“In transitioning to this model, we have the opportunity to offer better services at a greater volume, " KSP Commander of Driver Testing Captain Marshall Johnson said in a statement. “In previous county-by-county model, residents could only test with us once or twice a week, and sometimes less. By regionalizing, they can now come see us Monday through Friday.”
The Elizabethtown Regional Testing Office will be for residents in Breckinridge, Bullitt, Grayson, Hardin, Hart, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, or Washington counties. The Frankfort Regional Testing Office will be for residents in Anderson, Franklin, Henry, Oldham, Owen, Scott, Shelby, or Spencer counties.
KSP will continue to work with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Kentucky’s circuit court clerks to open the remaining regional offices statewide by June 30, 2022.
Sharon Huberman said the change puts the burden on the parents.
“(When I called KSP) he said, ‘The good news is we’re giving you five days a week to take the test from 8 to 5, and in your local branch you only had two days a week from whatever times they had,’ and I said, ‘Yes, but (my local branch) was only five minutes away,’” she said.
Dozens of other parents took to social media to express their frustrations with the change. One comment on the KSP Facebook page replied, “A hardship on citizens. Our (regional site) is now 1.5 hours away.”
“Here you’ve got kids who are going to school, they’re making their grades, and they may not have the family support system that can take them to take these tests Monday through Friday because both parents may have to work,” Sharon Huberman said. “And I said, ‘Look at gas prices right now.’ There are a lot of things hitting us that may not make it opportunistic for parents to take their kids.”
She added the extra driving time puts pressure on teenagers testing.
“I’m telling my granddaughter, ‘Let’s pass this the first time because we don’t want to have to go back,’ and then when the driving part comes, ‘Let’s do the right thing the first time so we don’t have to go back,’” Sharon Huberman said. “So, it’s creating anxiety in (the children) too.”
Holly Huberman told WAVE 3 News she has been studying extra hard to ensure her grandmother won’t have to make the long trip twice.
Each regional testing location will offer testing services Monday through Friday by appointment only. Applicants who require testing by KSP for a permit, driver’s license, or commercial driver’s license may make an appointment online by clicking here and locating the appropriate regional site.
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