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State adds safeguards to prevent cheating on online learner permit test

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Posted at 5:02 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 18:48:48-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 21-year-old University at Buffalo college senior Megan Delia said there were checks and balances in place when she applied for her learner permit about six year’s ago.

“There was two other people in the room with me and one of the teachers was there watching,” she explained.

It’s that kind of oversight that D.M.V. offices across the state and here at home would like to see happen again in the wake of online only testing during the pandemic.

According to published reports, DMV workers said the alleged cheating partially stems from the state's Green Light Law, which went into effect in December 2019 and has allowed thousands of undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns said they’ve caught applicants cheating of all ages and backgrounds. He said he never supported the move to allow the test to be taken online. Previously, it was only offered at a D.M.V. office. Kearns said he’s advocating to stop online learner permit testing to prevent fraud.

“We’re seeing an increase in people coming in, and leaving.”

In October, the department added safeguards to prevent cheating . During the test, an applicant is photographed four separate times to show they are the ones taking the test without any help. Those photos are then cross referenced at the D.M.V. when an applicant finalizes the permit application.

“If there are any irregularities, we will ask the person to retake the test again.”

Kearns said many will walk out of the office instead of retaking the test. Those applicants are denied a learner permit and the state opens an investigation.

“This is a very serious thing. If there are young people at home thinking they’ll get around the work, it’s not going to happen,” Kearns said.