The Department of Motor Vehicles is renowned for long wait times and general inflexibility, which is why this story from San Jose, California is unusual among all the typical DMV stories that we hear. Sixteen year-old Bryce Rosenblum went to take his driving test in his family’s Tesla Model 3 and while he didn’t actually make mistakes that would not allow him to pass, he ended up failing the test.
Why? Well, it was because the examiner who was aboard the vehicle with him wanted to see him physically move his foot from the go-pedal over the brake pedal. And since the Tesla’s regenerative braking can stop the vehicle just by lifting off the right pedal completely, he didn’t have to actually use the friction brakes.
We understand why the examiner would have wanted to see Bryce touch the brakes, which he still has to do in his Tesla, especially in an emergency situation, but at the same time, the DMV should adjust its testing process to account for the particularities of electric vehicles, which are rapidly increasing in popularity.
Believe it or not, even though as previously mentioned, the DMV is not known for making quick changes, this time it actually happened. It may have also been prompted by the fact that an almost identical situation was documented in August of this year, so it was not the first time and the DMV was surely aware that this will keep being a problem unless changes are made.
KPIX reached out to the DMV to get some clarification as to what happened and received this reply from the agency's Public Affairs Office:
Thank you for your inquiry related to Bryce Rosenblum’s behind-the-wheel driving test. DMV’s Field Operations Division reviewed the drive test score sheet and has determined the drive test score will be revised as passing. The customer will be advised that their license should be arriving in the mail soon.
So they changed their decision and Bryce passed his test without even having to take it again. The DMV will now inform all its staff about regen braking in EVs and PHEVs so that people will no longer fail their test if they don’t touch the brake pedal during the drive, unless they make other mistakes.
More on the California DMV