The state Motor Vehicle Commission will make 165 appointments available for written, "knowledge" tests on Saturday in South Jersey at Rowan College at Burlington County.

As of Monday, appointments were open for booking on the MVC website at NJMVC.gov via the appointment scheduler for the tests, which would be administered at the community college campus in Mount Laurel.

Appointments were visible after scrolling to the very bottom of the page.

Passing a knowledge test is one of several required steps in the state’s Graduated Driver License program, but amid the pandemic have been hard to come by.

Parents and teens have reported to New Jersey 101.5 having to make appointments in the early morning hours.

In an effort to make more appointments available, the MVC also offered knowledge tests at Passaic County Community College in September as part of a pilot program to open up appointments.

Lack of preparedness for the test

The first such special session was considered a success, but for all the pent-up demand and difficulty getting appointments, there was a 30% no-show rate among the 150 individuals who signed up and nearly half who took the test failed, according to MVC spokesman William Connolly.

"We want to underscore that people who come for the knowledge test — if you can't make your appointment please cancel it using the guidance you receive from us so you can open up that appointment for other people that can help with the demand," Connolly told New Jersey 101.5.

"And, before you come for your appointment make sure you study the New Jersey Driver's Manual. We want applicants to successfully pass their tests so they can move on to the next stage of getting a driver's license," he continued.

Connolly said that failing the test keeps pressure on for appointments, in order to take the test again.

Individuals using multiple email addresses to make several appointments also has been a factor in the continued high demand, he said.

"We're currently working on a software solution to prevent that from happening but we think that's part of what's going on here," Connolly said.

Studying is the key to testing success

Connolly said there's no particular area tripping up the test takers, but rather a lack of preparedness.

"The test is to measure your overall knowledge of driver license rules and processes. Please study the manual before you come in for the test," Connolly said.

The program is helping to break up the backlog of appointments and expand the MVC's capacity. Appointments are added in different categories when possible for permits and knowledge tests and staffing has been increased.

"We're going to seek out additional partners with computers and space to accommodate at least 50 people and hopefully we can announce those details soon," Connolly said.

Connolly said customers should not show up to Rowan College at Burlington County unless they have scheduled an appointment at NJMVC.gov

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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