School becomes DMV testing site

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Incoming students at Central High School (CHS) will soon get the chance to test for their learner’s permit this year, thanks to a partnership with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that began last fall.

CHS Principal John Long said the on-site tests at the school began as an expansion of a program between the DMV and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Long said school librarian Sharon Bolan is the on-site administrator for the testing, and that she works closely with the DMV.

Long said staff members at the school have also volunteered to get the program off of the ground.   

The tests are electronic, Long said, and students can take the learner’s permit tests in the computer lab in the school library. Long said students receive their results for the tests on the same day.

Long said the program has proven to be a success, particularly for students passing the tests for their learner’s permits.

“I’ve had a lot of kids that are very excited because they passed their driving tests,” Long said. “I wish they would have had something like that when I was in school.”

He said he estimates at least 50 students have taken the test on site, though he believes there may be more.

Long said the tests are only available to CHS students.

Students in Lunenburg, Victoria and Kenbridge have taken learner’s permit tests and driver’s license tests at nearby DMV sites in South Hill and Farmville. According to the Virginia DMV website, people who are 15 years and 6 months of age are eligible to test for their learner’s permit.

The on-site tests were discussed during the July meeting of the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meeting, where Assistant to the Superintendent James Abernathy noted the program offerings to students.

“I’m sure this is of great interest to those students who are turning 15 or who are already 15 and their parents,” Abernathy said during the meeting.

Long said learner’s permit tests are administered at the school every two weeks, though he said Bolan will work with students if there is a particularly large demand for tests.

“It’s been a good program,” Long said about the on-site testing at CHS, “and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

He said while there has not been discussion or action regarding adding on-site driver’s license testing the school is open to exploring that possibility in the future.

“If (the DMV) ever (does) expand the program, this has worked out so well it would be something we would certainly look at participating in,” Long said.