That was a wild 36 hours, but after MANY phone calls and emails, we are back at doing road tests with our new cleanliness standards and procedures.
Thank you to everyone who were patient with us. Trust me when I say we were as frustrated as you guys were especially those who were canceled in March and yesterday!!
Regardless of what happens going forward, we are committed to taking care of your health and your safety on and off the road!
We opened for a soft opening yesterday, and all went well! Our efforts to maintain a social distance and health protection appear to run soothly and everything was smooth!
So we were excited about today where we were going to be in in the office answering calls and promoting road test services when we got an email from DPS that told all DPS road test sites that we had to stop testing until further notice. Why this sudden reversal? We are not sure.
DPS ended their email with a statement that they were sorry for the inconvenience.
That then meant that we had to contact our students for this week and give them the bad news. All we spoke with understood, but of course, no one was at all happy about the situation. We know how inconvenient it is that you don't have your license, and we also know how long you have been waiting. So trust me when I say that this reversal is frustrating for us, too.
In the meantime, we are in contact with our state representative and other driving schools to see what we can do to get road testing open and available. Please stay tuned!
When we start seeing students next week for DPS road tests, we will be working our way through a new process that will continue to follow CDC guidelines for prevention of the spread of disease. We are still working on procedures for in car instruction and plan to release that information next week.
In the meantime, here is what to expect:
1.) Many of the tasks we were doing with the student in our office are going to have to be done by the student at home. That includes organizing and completing documents and watching a video about how we score the road test. You can find these instructions on our website Road Test for TEENS and Road Test for Adults.
2.) Students and instructors will be required to wear masks while in the car. Masks will also be worn in the building, but our plan is to minimize the amount of time students are in the building, and parents and other friends or family members will not be allowed in the building at this time.
3.) We will check your temperature when you arrive and ask that you cancel your appointment if you are feeling ill, fatigued, coughing or sneezing and reschedule.
4.) All WDS staff and students will continue to keep a 6 foot social distance. Of course, this is difficult in the car, but with masks and continual cleaning, we believe the risks of infection will be low. The governor's office issued a statement that individuals from unrelated households can ride in a car as long as there are only two individuals in the car with face masks. And, we will follow rules established for ride sharing.
5.) Cars will be cleaned between each road test.
6.) The building surfaces will be cleaned after every customer visit
7.) Although we are reducing contact time with students, appointments will still be one hour in length to give plenty of time with each student and give time between students to prevent the gathering of people in our near our office. Unlike DPS, we do not require students to come early. We prefer you arrive on time.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone one again! If you need your road test, be sure to sign up on our website!
Finally, we were able to get back to the office today after getting the good news that DPS has changed its procedures to allow us to start serving students who need the road test. Although we can officially start on Monday April 27, we are taking time to clean our office and our vehicles and establish procedures to get us through the transition back to what we hope will resemble normal eventually.
We are so looking forward to seeing everyone eventually, but TDLR is not allowing driving lessons to resume just yet. We hope to hear good news from the governor's office regarding driving lessons very soon. If you are already enrolled with us, we will call you as soon as we are able to start rescheduling you. If you are wanting to enroll, we are going to ask you to practice at home as you can and wait for us to get our lesson schedule worked out before we take you in our car. Please keep checking our website for details.
Road test appointments will start showing up on the calendar on Monday April 27 for appointments starting May 4th. If you can't find an appointment, keep looking because as we get more comfortable with serving everyone with our new health procedures, we will open more appointments.
Our new health procures will be posted officially on our website on the 27th, but they will include the following:
1.) All students must bring completed paperwork and have watched our testing procedures video.
2.) All students must bring a mask to wear while in the car with the instructor or if needed while in the building.
3.) Parents and other family members will be asked to remain in their own car during the appointment. If we need to talk to you, we will approach you. If you have questions, please have the student let us know that you would like to talk to one of us, and we will be happy to come to you.
4.) If you have questions about your paperwork before your appointment, you can scan or snap them and send them to us by text so we can give you some feedback.
5.) Because you will not be able to go to DPS in person and will have to mail your documents to the DPS once your test is complete, you will need to bring a $10 check or money order made out to Texas Department of Public Safety. We will give you an addressed envelope that you will need to stamp and send.
After listening to the address today by Governor Abbott, we are making plans to open for lessons the week of May 4th. Of course, we will have some operation procedures in place that we believe will keep our staff, officemates, and customers from spreading any germs or disease.
Please check back for updates!
As of today, all DPS offices in Texas are closed indefinitely.
We will continue to do DPS road tests today March 19 and tomorrow March 20.
However, we are not sure how DPS will process paperwork for tests completed while they are closed. We will happily help correct or adjust paperwork or retest if needed when DPS opens and clarifies their process.
If you would like to cancel any appointment, please contact our office or use your confirmation email to cancel. We will not charge late or no show fees as long as you contact us or cancel on line. Road Test appointments will be given a full refund since we are not sure when DPS will reopen or we will resume road tests.
From the DPS website:
Just like you, we have been watching this whole Covid19 situation and trying to separate the facts from the rumors. Some of what we hear is very concerning, and some is a bit more optimistic. We have been confused about how to proceed during this event, but the whole world now shutting down out of an abundance of caution most definitely called us to action.
While we are typically concerned about keeping our office and cars clean, we have stepped up our efforts by wiping down surfaces in the office and the cars between appointments. However, beginning tomorrow, Friday March 13, we will only allow scheduled students, and one parent with minor students, in our office during appointments. We understand that families want to celebrate the milestone that is getting a driver’s license, but this important step will help keep us all safe. Our office space is small, so limiting the number of people who are in it will aide in the protection of our students and their families, our instructors and office staff.
We ask that you do your part as well. If you are feeling at all ill, please contact our office to reschedule or reschedule through your confirmation email. Students who arrive for appointments and appear to be ill or showing symptoms that have been associated with the virus will not be allowed in the car with the instructors and asked to contact us to reschedule when symptoms have abated. Additionally, if you have traveled outside of the United States in the last 14 days, we will ask you to reschedule and not come to the office.
We don’t like asking students to reschedule, and our intention is not to embarrass anyone or over-react, but again we want to protect all who interact with us and give you the best experience. We will waive no-show and late cancellation fees for all services beginning Friday March 13 until this situation passes which we hope is quickly.
Finally, at this time, we do not plan to cancel lessons or road tests. However, with this ever-changing situation, we may suspend services in the best interest of the health of all involved. If the DPS closes, we will do so immediately as well.
In any case, we will notify all scheduled students and then rescheduled as quickly as possible. Thank you all so much for your patience with us during this event.