On March 19th, 2020

Update for DMV LREs: Behind-the-wheel drive tests cancelled Numerous pushes by CSLEA lead to change

UPDATE - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020 6:30 P.M. 

Attention LREs: After CSLEA conversed with DMV, CalHR and the Governor's Office late this afternoon and sent the below update out at 5:00 p.m. this evening,  DMV made an additional announcement at 6:00 pm.: 
DMV takes steps to protect the health and safety of customers and employees, cancelling behind-the-wheel drive tests for the next 30 days.  Please take the time to read our original message below and the DMV's press release.  CSLEA cares deeply for the health of our members and the public and are deeply relieved that behind-the-wheel drive tests are now cancelled.
Dear LREs,
 CSLEA is very aware of the health and safety hazards associated with performing drive tests during this COVID-19 pandemic.  We have been vigorously pressing Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Human Resources, and the Governor's Office to immediately cancel and suspend drive tests.  In particular, we are emphasizing that Examiners are unable to comply with Federal and State guidance on social distancing (no close contact within 6 feet of another) while performing drive tests.  
As you may already know, the Governor determined that many state departments, including DMV, are considered essential state functions that cannot be performed via a telework arrangement.  As such, for the time being, DMV offices are to remain open to the public.
CSLEA and COLRE leadership and representatives participated in a conference call with DMV Executives  this afternoon, Wednesday March 18th.  During that call, DMV explained that they were exploring cancelling all drive tests.  However, DMV stated that they were still waiting for authority to cancel drive tests statewide from the Governor's office.  DMV was hoping that the Governor's response would be provided within the next 24 hours.
CSLEA understands the urgency in getting Examiners off drives as soon as possible.  If it were up to CSLEA, this would have occurred a week ago.  We explained to the DMV Executives that many thoughtful and supportive office managers throughout the state have used their management authority to cancel drives.  DMV was aware of this and even commended the managers for making such decisions.  CSLEA was able to verify that DMV would not force any Examiner to perform drive tests if they felt it was hazardous to their health and safety.
Regardless of the Governor's ultimate decision regarding drive tests statewide, please consider that at this point in time:

  • (1) Field Office Management has the authority to cancel drive tests for health and safety concerns related to this pandemic; 
  • (2) DMV Executive Management supports the office managers' ability to cancel/suspend drives; and
  • (3) no Examiner can be forced to perform a drive test. 
This is a stressful time for us all.   CSLEA urges everyone to make sure that they remain courteous and professional in their discussions with management.  If a manager forces any examiner to perform unwilling drive tests, please contact us immediately so we can notify DMV.
Please remember that you should feel confident in calling in sick if you are feeling ill or are considered at-risk for serious complications due to age and/or medical condition.
As we all have learned over the last few weeks, this pandemic is like nothing we have seen before.  Therefore, we can be certain that things will change over time.  When we become aware of changes, we will do our best to communicate with you.  Thank you.

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