Parallel Parking Not Part of D.C. Driving Test

Lack of space means no testing

By Andy Salsman
|  Friday, Feb 10, 2012  |  Updated 12:04 PM EDT
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It’s considered one of the toughest skills on your driving test. Countless prospective drivers, in fact, have failed their tests because of it. Some adults – years after they earned their much-coveted driver’s licenses – still wake up in a sweat after having terrible nightmares about practicing it.

It’s parallel parking.

But there are many people in our area who have never lost sleep… never broken down in tears… never cursed like a sailor over learning how to do it. That’s because the District Department of Motor Vehicles has pulled the e-brake on testing parallel parking skills.

The District Department of Transportation hosted a web chat on February 7.  One commenter asked,

"Is it true that DMV no longer tests the ability to parallel park to obtain a non-commercial driver's license? I live on Capitol Hill near Barracks Row and we have having an increasing problem with people who simply do not know how to parallel park."

The reply:

Currently, due to site constraints, we do not have parallel parking included in the road test. However, we plan to add it within the next year .

The District DMV's road tests are conducted at its Brentwood Road location in northeast D.C.  DMV Director Lucinda Babers told the Examiner: "I would say that clearly we’re aware that parallel parking should be a part of our road test, and we’ve been working on identifying sites ever since I’ve been here."  Babers served as deputy director for the agency from 2004 until 2007, when she became director.
 

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