The California DMV is suspending behind-the-wheel driving tests for at least two weeks because of the unprecedented surge in coronavirus infection numbers, officials announced Thursday.

The driving tests, which are required for first-time applicants, will be halted beginning Dec. 14.

“Behind-the-wheel drive tests require two people to share space in one vehicle and – while we have made numerous changes to safeguard the testing process – the current surge in COVID-19 cases presents increased risk to both parties,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said in a statement.

Those who had appointments scheduled in the next two weeks will be notified that they are canceled and the DMV will automatically reschedule the tests.

Driving tests were previously suspended for about three months early in the pandemic, before the DMV again allowed them in June, requiring face masks, temperature checks, seat covers and cracked windows.

Driving test examiners at the time returned to a backlog of driving appointments.

While DMV field offices will stay open at limited capacity, those who don’t need to go urgently are being asked to delay their visit or go online.

The DMV recommends that customers use its online services, which were expanded during the pandemic. Californians can apply for driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals online.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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