The old system went like this: Parents brought their teenager to a DMV office and waited in a long line to register for the learner's permit test. They waited again for the teenager to take the test, and again, if the teenager passed, for the permit to be issued. The process could take anywhere from an hour or two to half the day.
The new system will go like this: Parents or teens can still walk in to a nearby DMV (see above), or they can go online to make an appointment for the learner's permit test, then travel to a new test center in Cheshire to take the test on a specific day and at a specific time.
The DMV announced the new system this week, though the test center in Cheshire — off Exit 3 on Route 691 — does not open until May 30.
"This is a tremendous change in service for parents and teens, with our focus to make it easier for them at DMV," said Commissioner Melody Currey. "It's also a major step forward for DMV as it begins to bring more services online."
The cost for taking the test — $59 — is the same if you register online or if you walk in to a DMV service office. The DMV says that more than 30,000 16- and 17-year-olds apply each year for a permit.
Hours at the new test center will be different than normal DMV office hours. The center will be opn Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To register for the learner's permit test online, visit the DMV website.