D.C.

D.C. DMV no longer requires parallel parking for driver tests

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Do people need to know how to parallel park to drive in D.C.?

You might be surprised to learn the D.C. DMV no longer requires parallel parking in its road test.

Three years ago, the agency lost access to the property it used for parallel parking, according to Lucinda Babers, DMV Director. Since then, the director says, the agency has not been able to find a permanent location and has only required parallel parking when it had access to temporary spaces.

But one long-time driving instructor told us they haven't had access to any temporary spaces and that the District has not tested parallel parking for years.

John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic says, "If you don't know how to parallel park and you can't do it safely, you shouldn't be driving in the District of Columbia."

Townsend says young drivers in particular need to learn the skill -- to protect pedestrians and the property of other drivers.

"Who wants their bumper scraped, who wants their car defaced because that other person didn't know how to parallel park?" he asks.

Babers would not agree to an on-camera interview, or explain why it has taken three years to find a permanent location for the test.

And while some drivers said they didn't see testing for parallel parking as necessary, many others said it should be required.

The DMV is currently in negotiations for a permanent location for the parallel parking portion of the test. It hopes to secure a permanent location by the end of the year.

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