If you’re trying to get a driver’s license but fail your road test, will you have to wait months for another chance to pass the test in the Garden State?

Some New Jersey teens, parents and driving instructors are complaining about long waits for a re-test but the state Motor Vehicle Commission insists most people don’t have to wait longer than three or four weeks.

William Connolly, the press secretary for the New Jersey MVC, said in the northern part of the state there is a higher demand for licenses and permits so “some of our locations like Lodi and Wayne have longer appointments (wait times) but on average we’re seeing in the north about 25 days for an appointment right now, in the central part of the state it’s 18 days and in the south, it’s about 11 days.”

What’s being done to fix the problem?

He said to address this issue, they're "trying to expand the capacity that we have for road tests, we’re adding some staff and appointments so we’re working on that issue.”

“When an applicant needs to re-schedule an appointment they don’t just have to go back to the same location if they’re willing to drive a little bit longer, they can probably find a shorter wait time for an appointment.”

He noted there are 15 road test appointment locations across the state, and as of a few days ago, 8 of them had waits of 1 to 5 days.

He was quick to add applicants are required to wait at least 14 days to do a second test, however once they fail their first driving test they are allowed to go online the next day and book a re-test appointment.

Why is the system backed up?

He said this is happening because “more people are driving, more people are getting licenses, people have decided that COVID has changed their calculation for how they use public transportation, so they want to get a license and a car instead of using a train.”

He said another reason for the increased demand is they are also seeing a lot of people moving into New Jersey from areas like New York City who didn’t really drive before, and they are getting a driver’s license for the first time.

Connolly pointed out that after someone passes the written knowledge test they will then make an appointment for their driving test, but they have to wait either three months if they're over 21 or six months if they're younger.

He dismissed rumors that the MVC is blocking out driving test appointment times for unauthorized immigrants who are trying to get their licenses.

“That’s totally not accurate,” he said. “We don’t treat anyone differently based on their legal status, and we don’t even track our applicant’s immigration status.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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