Low staffing levels cause long waits and hard to get appointments for driver’s testing
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Parallel parking is often one of the toughest parts of your driver’s examination. However, getting the test itself might be even tougher, thanks to low staffing levels in the St. Louis region.
“There were times I checked at 2 a.m., at 4 a.m., I checked at all hours,” said Michelle Hayden, one of the hundreds of parents trying to help their teenager get a testing appointment.
The Missouri Highway Patrol is in charge of administering the driving test and in Troop C, which serves Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Perry, Pike, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Warren and Washington Counties, there is a significant problem with staffing.
“The Patrol has experienced a significant staffing challenge in the Troop C area, including in the driver examination section. This led to a consolidation of full-time testing sites in January to ensure full services could be provided and new employees could be trained,” said Capt. John Hotz with MSHP.
There are now only four full-time locations in the region, including St. Peters, Hazelwood, Manchester and South St. Louis County. There are limited appointments available for these locations.
“Scheduling is allowed 21 days in advance. The app should be checked often for available spots. Limited walk-in testing services are available at all sites,” said Hotz.
People are lining up hours ahead of the doors opening to try to get walk-in appointments.
“When you get there at opening, and there’s already 50 people lined up, a lot of times they’re already full,” said Simon Anderson, owner of Coach Harder Driving School, who’s seen firsthand from his students the challenges of getting a test these days.
To alleviate the staffing shortage, the MSHP is bringing in examiners from outside the St. Louis region to help. The problem started during COVID when testing sites were shut down, and then there were many officers who took early retirement.
Other parts of the state are not seeing the same type of staffing crisis, and some parents are opting to drive to Kansas City or Springfield for open appointments.
Here’s a list of part-time and full-time locations: Missouri Driver Exam Station Locations.
Copyright 2023 KMOV. All rights reserved.