Imagine someone you care about, who has never used a computer before in their life, goes to take their written driver’s test and is given a seat in front of the contraption. That’s what happened to Vern Kerr, a Korean War veteran from Fresno, CA. Kerr requested a paper test, but was told he had to take it on the computer first.
Angie Kerr Phillips, Kerr’s daughter who was with him during the incident, reported that he spent weeks studying for the exam, but became disheartened when told he had to use the computer.
After he tired of staring at the computer Kerr went to his daughter and said he couldn’t do the test. “So I went and asked the gentleman if he could take the written test. He goes yeah he can take it but it will be awhile because we have other people we are taking care of.”
Unfortunately, that’s not really how it’s supposed to work. A spokesperson with State Assemblyman Jim Patterson noted in a phone call with SamePageNation that while DMV employees are supposed to encourage use of the computers for the test, paper tests are to be provided whenever requested.
When Patterson became aware of the situation, his office started asking some question. For one, they wanted to know the policy in question. They also called for an investigation.
The DMV has since issued a formal apology to Kerr. According to Jessica Gonzalez, a spokesperson with the DMV, an update has been sent to all offices reminding them of this fact. In addition, someone from the Senior Ombudsman Program is heading to Fresno to conduct some (this is your trigger warning) “senior sensitivity training.”
Gonzalez said that the DMV tries to respond quickly to incidents like this. “It’s too bad when a bad case is highlighted,” she said, noting that the department as 10,000 employees. She also noted that she is putting together some training for the department to try and prevent future incidents.
But the very best part of this story is perhaps now Mr. Kerr’s long lost Korean War buddies will hear about his unexpected celebrity and seek him out. He told SamePageNation, “all of this awkward attention will be worth it if any of my friends who are still living are able to find me.” If you have a father or grandfather who knew Chief Petty Officer Vern Kerr who served on the USS Iowa during the Korean War, please send us an email and we’ll help you make the connection. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, and by the way, he ultimately passed his test with a nearly perfect score. He only missed one, so congrats Chief! We can’t all make that claim. And thank you for your service, sir.
Photo Credit: Video screengrab ABC30
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